Graphical Novel Review: Dane Graves

Berserk Volume 1 Page 25

 

The Graphic Novel I read over October was the first volume of Berserk by Kentaro Miura. The overview of the story of this first novel is that we’re introduced to the main character, Guts, and an Elf named Puck who is used as a sort of Folly character. He gets into a bar fight to get some information and inadvertently saves the Elf as a side effect. He is captured by soldiers and brought to a torture chamber where he is tortured for disrupting the peace and killing men who were subordinates to the nearby lord. The lord is described as something beyond human and Guts makes fun of the mayor saying that he was sacrificing women and children as meat to this lord to save his own ass and not the town. Guts is thrown in the dungeon and Puck the elf comes back and heals his wounds and brings the cell keys to let Guts out. Guts is revealed to have a brand from the past. Guts reveals to Puck that he didn’t care about saving him and Puck runs off sad. The brand starts to bleed revealing that the demonic lord of the town is nearby. The lord is killing and eating every person in the town for the death of his subordinates along with his knights when Guts appears and begins to cut down the soldiers. Guts engages in combat with the Lord who is revealed to be something of a demonic snake monster. Guts nearly dies but is able to subdue and kill the demon, but asks it first where the “Godhand” are, inferring that they are the Lord’s masters. guts then kills the demon and moves on with Puck following along with him. As you can maybe tell the story is quite visceral and bloody in content. The artists extremely detail oriented art style is of high praise making each panel a joy to scan over and read. It also does a good job of making the world more fleshed out and believable rather than a more simplified art style that wouldn’t fit this genre as much. As this is a manga a lot of styles that trend in manga are found here such as sweat on faces to demonstrate nervousness or shock.

When reading web comics it was interesting to see that since they aren’t necessarily limited to pages that readers have to flip through and only see whats on those pages. Many web comics are long vertical stretches that you have to scroll through continuously to read rather than flipping through pages. Such as Scott McCloud’s “I Can’t Stop Thinking” web comic that is divided by multiple sections of long vertical stretches rather than pages.

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