Graphic Novel Review: Ruby Pitts-Cranston

Everything Is Flammable, By Gabrielle Bell

The graphic novel that I chose to read was Everything it Flammable by Gabrielle Bell. The story is a memoir that follows a woman who has to go back to her hometown to help out after her mothers house burns down. The story focuses largely on the mother daughter relationship, as well as the daughters feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and financial problems. Most of the colors are somewhat dark or dull which fits well with the main characters emotions. The graphic novel has 6 panels on each page, with very little deviation from this layout. Each chapter is separated by a solid colored page, with a small illustration and title in one of the lower corners. All of the text appears to be handwritten, and the text bubbles often fill a large portion of each panel. I think that the style of the comic lends to the feelings of

Everything Is Flammable, By Gabrielle Bell

depression and anxiety that the main character often feels, but can also fit with the representation of everyday life. Bell also utilizes time frames to help tell the story. Sometimes cutting to a scene where she is talking to her therapist, and then back to whatever is happening in the story. This helps to show what she is feeling during the events taking place.

When reading web comics it was a fairly different experience than reading an actual

The Right Number, By Scott McCloud

graphic novel or book. For most of them I had to scroll through to click to the next page, or in the case of McClouds The Right Number, you had to zoom into the panel you were on to get to the next. This gave a different feeling to the comic, since you weren’t looking at a full page at a time, but a single panel. This was interesting to me because there weren’t any gutters or pages, it was more like looking at individual pictures than reading an actual comic.

 

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