Graphic Novel Review: Ivy Padayao

For my chosen graphic novel, I read through Urgent Request by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim. The story is a bout a girl named Janet who works a “boring” 9-5 job where her boss is very unappreciative of her. The story then goes on to show how a “Nigerian

“Urgent Request” by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim page 113

prince” got into touch with this girl over email asking for money for “help with his family”. She then begins to send over the money and quickly falls head over heels for this “prince”. Throughout the book the panels and graphics all seem very gloomy, dark, and very spread out around the pages. At the end, when she is fantasizing about the prince that doesn’t really exist, the panels become larger, more colorful, and cover more of the page. I think this style that the authors created really helps emphasize to the reader that there is a difference between her day-to-day “sad” life and the life she wants to create that’s in her head that’s colorful  and, in a sense, more exciting. The iconography is also very vague and not super detailed, so it helps the reader put themselves “into her shoes” more and makes them imagine themselves within the story. In this example, you can see how “gloomy” and spread out the panels are within the beginning of the Urgent Request by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim.

Something I noticed within the online digital comics I read through, were that they were all very interactive with the reader. The panels moved around, used different transitions, and I think this involves the reader into the story trying to make up for the reader not being able to physically flip and touch the graphic novel. In Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics he discusses how authors want the reader to really delve themselves into the story they are reading and how there are a number of different ways

“Mimi’s Last Coffee” by Scott McCloud made June 12, 2004 

for the author to do this. In the digital format, they can do this by making the story interactive with the reader. An example that does this where you can clearly see how interactive the comics can be, is Mimi’s Last Coffee by Scott McCloud. In this screenshot you can see how interactive this comic may be, and when the reader views it, it zooms in on which panel you want to read.

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