Color: Alex Gutzwiller

This page from the graphic novel “Nimona” by Noelle Stevenson is an excellent example of how the use of color can convey the mood of the story being told. On page 249, a newscaster is reporting the deaths of the King and the Director of the Institution as the result a mysterious beast that went on a murderous rampage that also sent others to the hospital. The entire Kingdom is shocked and in mourning by this event pledging to unite over the tragedy. Stevenson’s uses of complementary colors within the frames portray the feelings of sorrow and warmth amongst the peoples at the same time, as they pledge to reunite. Complementary colors are two colors opposite on the color wheel containing no elements of the other resulting in opposing feelings of warmth and coolness. The colors used for the reporter’s frame are in hues of green, showing the intensity of dull and brighter green shades, while the mourner’s and Institution’s colors are created with analogous hues of reds and yellows. As the eye moves across the two top green frames and into the bottom three frames mixed with the hues of reds and yellow creates these contrasting moods. Stevenson makes the deaths and feelings of the people stand out due to using opposing colors of red and green on the color wheel. The reporter’s frame is filled with tragic news and the shock of the event and designed with green. Yet, despite the tragedy opposite feelings of warmth and unity within the frames of the people is created by using analogous reds and yellows. These complementary frames are placed directly side by side emphasizing the cold news of the event and the warmth of people in unity. These contrasting moods are strongly displayed especially in the last frame with the use of the green reporter’s frame within the frame of the mourning people standing strongly together. Additionally within this last frame, Stevenson’s use of analogous colors of reds and yellows, which are close together on the color wheel, creates the feeling of harmony. This is portrayed with the yellow flames of the candles held by the people against the predominately red hues within the frame and clothing as they stand together feeling warmth and unity in remembrance of those that died and pledging to remain united and strong. Likewise, the middle two frames contain these same analogous colors of reds and yellows showing the harmonious ideas of the people to disband the institute. Although the institute in the middle left frame is in flames, which is normally a horrible event, the idea of destroying the institute is gaining favor amongst the prominent voices of the people. Within this frame Stevenson uses the hues of red changing it’s color within the spectrum. The sky is filled with the red color of fire, yet the frame remains within the red hue making the building a brown because red turns to brown due to a low saturation of color. The yellow flames are in harmony with the red hues as analogous colors further calling for the agreement to disband the institute.


Noelle Stevenson’s graphic novel, “Nimona” page 249 (HarperCollins Publishers, 2015)

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