Graphic Novel Review: Grace Kannberg

For the month of October, I chose to read the book-length comic, Beautiful Creatures: The Monga. This book stuck out to me the most because of the plot and storyline. It follows the life of a boy named Ethan living in a small southern town. The town itself is stuck in its old ways, as well as the people in it. Ethan keeps having reoccurring dreams about a mystery girl and hearing a song called ‘Sixteen Moons’. Then one day at school a mysterious girl named Lena shows up. She is the daughter of Old Man Ravenwood, the creepy shut-in who everyone avoided. Ethan heard her playing the ‘Sixteen Moons’ song and realized that she was the girl from his dreams.

After he realized this, he starts trying to get close to her. They bond over the trust that they build, and she admits that she is having dreams with him in it. Over the story they get closer, he even goes over to her house where he learns that Lena and her whole family are ‘casters’ (have magical powers). Their relationship grows more romantic, but Lena tries to put a stop to it because she might turn dark. She has the choice to go dark or light, but that would mean killing others in her family that are one or the other. The story ends with Lena’s mother stabbing Ethan and Lena bringing him back to life.

I found this Monga to be both interesting and intriguing. There were parts that I couldn’t put down the book. Although, I thought that it took me a bit to feel connected to the characters. This is because of the two-dimensional platform I was reading from. But near the middle of the book, I got a better understanding of who they were.

Beautiful Creatures: The Monga By: Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, and Cassandra Jean. Illustration by Cassandra Jean.-Grace Kannberg-November 6, 2019

The iconography of the story was displayed in a Japanese style. I think that the writer/artist chose to use this type of iconography and drawing style because it fits the dramatic, romantic, action-packed, story. The writer/artist frequently used Scott MacCloud’s concept of Aspect-To-Aspect for the viewer to get a better sense of the mood in the story and the setting for where the characters were at. Another element from Scott MacCloud’s book found in Beautiful Creatures: The Monga is the arrangement of panels. Most of the panels found in Beautiful Creatures: The Monga were sequentially used to show the movement of time, emphasize important concepts, and used to bleed off the page to show a compound effect. An example of these happening together comes from the photo provided.

Bikram Addict By: Eroyn Franklin. A digital comic.-Grace Kannberg- November 6, 2019

From reading the webcomics by Eroyn Franklin and Scott McCloud what stuck out to me the most was how different it was reading on a digital platform. I found that I was able to read the comics a lot faster than I did reading Beautiful Creatures: The Monga. In addition to this, I also found that I was able to pay more attention to smaller details. This was because I was able to zoom into spots that I wanted to look at closer. By doing this, I felt as though I got the bigger picture of what was going on within the story. I did this with the Bikram Addict story and learned more about how line played a big part in the story.

Bikram Addict By: Eroyn Franklin. A digital comic.-Grace Kannberg- November 6, 2019

Scott McCloud talks about how line can touch on all five senses. Eroyn Franklin does this in her story showing how the character was so focused on herself that others in the background became not as important, sweat marks to show exhaustion, and gunky sweat to show how hard she had pushed her body.

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