Hey folks, welcome back to another awesome blog post. I’m really excited to share with you what we did in our most recent project, and as always we will start off by introducing our driving question.
“How can I support my understanding of a significant event from the Cold War?”
This project is called the Coldest War, as obvious as it may sound, it is a cold war based project. Our goal for this project is to choose an event of our choice (related to the cold war), and create an original comic book based on that event.
We first learned about the cold war through a wider lens. We watched documentaries and got lectured on the Cold War to get the big picture of the timeframe. Some of the major focuses are: when it started/ended, what specific events happed during that time period, and most importantly the significance of the Cold War.
Shortly after watching our last documentary, we chose our own topics/events to dive deeper into. I personally really enjoyed the space race, it’s fascinating how advanced the US and USSR technologies were back then, because no one has ever landed on the moon since the end of the Cold War. Considering that no country have broken USA’s record after 50 years, this establishes their superiority as the number 1 super power on earth.
The first keystone of this project is pretty straight forward, a keynote presentation on our chosen topics. The first step of creating a story is always researching, in this case, it would be the space race. Surprisingly, no one chose the same topic as me, considering that Space Race is quite an event during the Cold War.
During this researching phase, we gathered multiple sources, and learned how to properly cite them in our keynote slideshow. There were specifically two tasks that the teacher assigned us. First, gather information through varies of reliable sources, and then rewrite them in paragraph form. We divided these paragraphs into small sections, based on when, where, what, who, and how.
As I was doing research, I began to wonder if the Cold War has really ended or not. Based on my topic alone, the legacy of the space race has continued. In 1957, the Soviets launch the world’s first satellite and officially marked the start of the Space Race. But before that, the Nuclear Arms Race has been going for decades. The reasoning behind these two races are fundamentally the same, both sides sought to prove their superiority of their technology, military power, and economy.
Some people would like to think about it this way, the nuclear bombs are the devastating weapon that both sides acquired during the Nuclear Arms Race, and the Space Race is just an excuse for the government to invent a more efficient method to deliver those nuclear warheads. At least this was what the majority of the American citizens were thinking of. Having the technology to launch satellites into space precisely and accurately is one step closer to launching nuclear missiles across the globe. I can imagine why the Americans were living under the constant fear of getting bombed in the 1950s. Not only did they not have a defensive system against nuclear missiles, but USA was always one step behind in the Space Race.
The USSR seemed to be the guaranteed winner in the Space Race, as they launched the world’s first satellite and man into space. But out of nowhere, JFK announced that the USA would land on the moon first, before the end of the decade. Check out the “We choose to go to the moon” speech:
This speech was quite surprising for most people, since USA was always one step behind the Soviets. As mysterious as this may sound, the US did manage to land on the moon first. 1n 1969, the Apollo 11 successfully landed on the moon’s surface, and Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon. The success of the Apollo project marked the end of the Space Race, but it also marked a new beginning for space exploration. After the Space Race, the global competition transformed into a global collaboration. The joint Apollo-Soyuz mission symbolize the gradual improvement of the US and Soviet relationships.
Some people suspect that the US did not land on the moon, and that the government was so desperate to beat the soviets to the moon, that they faked the whole mission. This Hollywood conspiracy is really interesting, so I decided to include it in my comic book as a plot twist.
Check out this Hollywood conspiracy:
No matter how interesting this event is, my ultimate goal is to create a comic book to support the significance of the Space Race. Similar to the Manhattan Project, the government funded this event, and created special organizations to specialize in developing these new technologies. With support and funding from the government, us humans are able to create some amazing technological advancements. Although the intention may not just, the results are usually quite extraordinary. For instance, a lot of countries in the world still do not have the technology to create nuclear weapons.
One of the most significant turning point of the Space Race is the moon landing. In the 1960s, most people didn’t even have computers at home, and NASA was already sending men up to the moon. Just imagine how shocking that was for the people around the world. Arguable just as shocking as if UFOs are landing on earth today. Even 50 years after the Apollos 11 landing, no one has managed to land a foot on the moon ever again. Ironically, the USA also “lost” their technology to go back to the moon, further proving the Hollywood Conspiracy.
Here it is, my amazing comic book that you have all been looking for. A comic that has included all the myths and important details about the Space Race. I call it “That time when USA colonized the moon”.
Although the final product is great, and I’ve utilized all the formatting techniques the teacher has taught us. I could’ve spent more time on storytelling, and created a more engaging story. It is quite difficult to create a interesting and engaging store based on real events, because it limits my creativity. But at the same time, I do not want to stuff information into the dialogues and make the conversations sound unnatural. Creating a enjoyable comic while establishing the significance of the Space Race and the Cold War is definitely a challenge.
One of the simplest way of enhancing the storytelling is through art, it can add visuals to the scenes, and give information that are not necessarily spoken by anyone. However, the downside of that, is that it’s super time consuming. Typing is easy, I can type a thousand word essay in 1.5 hours, but drawing quality panels is a total pain.
Don’t get me wrong, the steps are straight forward; find the right image to trace, trace it, and coloring. It’s just the drawing part that is time consuming, for each panel I roughly spend 40 minuets to an hour, and their are roughly 30 panels in my comic (including duplicates). I really wish I spent more time refining the story, instead of drawing so much. Never the less, I enjoyed the process of drawing, so I will not complain. I will. however, do daily drawing practices from now on to increase my efficiency of tracing, just in case if we do another project similar to this.