I took a look at the graphic novel Smile by Raina Telgemeier in the WSU library during Tuesdays class. The novel tells the true story of the authors awkward early years from 6th grade up to high school. The novel did a good job, style wise, at creating a teen like comical feel by using large gutters on the surrounding edges and thin clean cut gutters separating the straight-edged planes that give it its position in space. The large space surrounding the planes is symmetrical and makes it feel balanced and equal. I thought the design choices made were appropriate to the story, especially with the use of splash pages. Each new chapter contained a full page image that introduced the scene that followed. It usually was a location, like the city, or a characters house, but succeeded at creating that acknowledgement of environment and draws your eye to it because of its surprising detail. It felt almost as if you were watching it through a television, only you can take your time soaking in each scene, which is why design choice is so important.
An interesting style choice Telgemeier made was the ridged lines around the planes during the earthquake scene. Right away your eyes are drawn to the dissonance that is occurring within the scene and its black background is capable of making the viewer feel the transition to a tense environment, as we begin to see something other than strictly arranged lines and a shift in symmetry. Another use of color was during Raina’s dental surgery, where the pages background appeared a decaying yellowish color to illustrate the characters lack of reality while she is under the anesthesia.
When significant actions occur within each plane, the words, made up of points which mark a position in space and express their own identity, are worded in bold and typically take up an unusually large portion of the comic. This immediately draws your eyes to the big letters and elaborates the importance of the action. It also ties into the “teen comedy” kind of feel that I picture the author going for based on her design choices in this particular novel. Overall I felt it was a very smooth and goofy visual read.