Individual Voices: Dawson Bolen

During my visit to the WSU Art Museum, I looked at a lot of great artwork and graphic novels. A work that stood out to me was a graphic novel titled “Abruption” from the Northwest Alternative Comics Exhibition. The story is very open ended and can be interpreted in many different ways. She chooses to make it this way by using very little text which leaves it open for interpretation. The story starts with a sequence of dark frames with the last three containing a white ball that appears to be growing. It then shows the what seems to be the protagonist in the form of a man in a weird setting that seems to be a different planet. In the first few pages he is running from little creatures in the forest. He is running from something and trying to find something, but it’s not obvious what he’s running for. He then climbs a weird tree like object and goes into a hole at the top. Voices and hands reach out and call to him which frightens him, so he leaves. He continues to run and run for a long time and eventually finds another man that is dark colored. 

Page from comic “Abruption” Is a great example of how time frames are used.

While it isn’t obvious what the story is about, some common themes are light and darkness. It could be a positive message about racial equality, or a message about dark and light representing good and evil. Either way, the artist made they’re individual voice heard to the audience. Their use of contrasting light and dark colors mixed with warm and cold line work gives the story a sense of madness. I believe this portrays madness to create the tone of a story where the man is lost and doesn’t know what he’s looking for. The artist uses tones of light and dark very well throughout the story which I believe is a very important theme. Another important concept the artist uses in their work is time frames. He uses time frames very well in the image above to show how long the man man is running for. After reading the page despite it not having any text, the reader can assume that the man is running for his life for a long time across a barren strip of land. The story however, does have some text which is placed very carefully into the story. In the image above it says, “Give your eyes a moment to adjust” which is incorporated into the text as a picture specific relationship. The text is incorporated to give the images on this page a little more context. Overall, this story really spoke to me and I think it can be interpreted in many different ways. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes graphic novels or comics. 

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