Reading through the first fifty pages of Lynda Barry’s What It Is, you will notice a trend that Lynda asks several questions like, “What is an image?” and “Where do they come from?” She asks these questions many different times and in many different ways. By this, I mean that she uses different phrasing for asking the questions or she uses the same phrasing but with a different style of text. Throughout the book, she uses her creativity to find her imagination and the images and words used on each page resemble something called formstorming. Formstorming as explained in Ellen Lupton and Jennifer Cole Phillips’ Graphic Design: The New Basics, is a way that designers and artists can use one certain theme throughout a page or several pages, and they can stylize that theme and make several different variations to text or images in a creative and very unique way. There are examples of formstorming on practically every page of Lynda’s graphic novel. Shown in the picture is an example of formstorming from page 21. There are birds of different shapes, styles, and textures, as well as several questions about images and dreams and where they come from. Lynda uses a collage style of different cutouts of words and drawings that are layered over the top of each other. The lighter cutouts and the areas of the picture that are larger are what noticeably stand out when looking at the page as a whole. All of the pages are similar in collage form and the graphic novel is visually appealing from front to back.
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- 336 Spring 2018
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