Graphic Novel Review: Dahlia Xie

The graphic novel that I chose to read was Sabrina by Nick Drnaso. The novel is centered around a man named Calvin, who works for the military. Calvin has a friend from high school named Teddy, who’s girlfriend named Sabrina went missing, and Teddy is emotionally distraught and decides to live with Calvin for a little bit. The story follows Calvin’s relationships with his ex-wife and daughter, co-workers, Teddy, and Sabrina’s family. The drawing style was very minimal and there was no shading. The art style was what initially really drew me into this graphic novel. I think the author, Nick Drnaso, decided to use this art style to either put more emphasis on the text or the emotion in the collective pannels. There are multiple instances in which there is no text and just multiple scene-to-scene pannels that, in my opinion, show even more emotion that those pages with lots of text. The author also plays around with panel organization, there were multiple pages that did not read in the traditional left to right, top to bottom fashion, and I had to re-read the page to figure out the correct order.





Reading comics digitally was a very different experience in comparison to reading them on paper. One of the main differences is that digital comics have the potential to become a gif/video format, as seen in the Eroyn Franklin comic I have added. It’s similar to the idea that Scott McCloud mentioned in Understanding Comics, that movies are like a sped-up comic. Each of the frames in Eroyn Franklin’s digital comic gif could be translated into their own panel in a paper comic but it wouldn’t have the same effect as it does in the digital format. The understanding of time changes between paper and digital comics. For example, in this digital comic that I have attached, Eroyn Franklin can control the speed at which the frames change but if this were a paper comic, the passage of time between each frame would be mostly up to the reader.


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