Graphic Novel Review: Libby Fletcher

Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

I read “Ghost World” by Daniel Clowes this past month.  The graphic novel has two main characters, best friends, Enid and Rebecca.  They recently graduated high school and are figuring out what they’re going to do with their lives.  The novel shows the ups and downs of their summer and talks about different universal post-graduation teen issues (college, friendships, sex, etc.).

The iconography was relatively realistic.  The characters all had very recognizable, key characteristics, whether that be their hair, nose, body, etc.  I think that Clowes did this because he wanted to build strong characters that were separate from the reader.  The reader can relate to Enid, Rebecca, and Josh (their love interest), but they’re not supposed to relate the characters to themselves on a deeper level as Scott McCloud mentioned.

“Bikram Addict” by Eroyn Franklin

I actually really enjoyed all of Eroyn Franklin’s webcomics.  I found it really intriguing how she used her own personal struggles and made a comic out of it.  Reading a comic online was definitely much different than reading the print graphic novel.  Personally, I prefer the webcomic format over the print comics.  I find it much easier to pay attention to the details within each individual frame.  As soon as I started reading “Ghost World,” I found my eye constantly wandering around to other panels on the page or only reading the speech bubbles and not paying attention to what the pictures in the panels were depicting.  Honestly, even though I thought “Ghost World” had a good storyline, it was really tough for me to fully understand the plot while I was reading.  “Bikram Addict” and Franklin’s other webcomics, however, were a completely different story.  First off, I really liked the iconography of Eroyn Franklin’s work.  I think the more iconic approach was a really good artistic choice because even though I’d never heard of Bikram Yoga, I was able to relate to her humanity, which McCloud talking about in “Understanding Comics.”  Also, I found her comics to be easily comprehensible and enjoyable.  I’m not sure if I just enjoyed her style more than Crowes or if I just liked the online medium more than print, or a little bit of both but I definitely prefer the webcomic.

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