Graphic Novel Review: Madison Roby

Page 37 of Hinds’ “The Odyssey.”

The Graphic Novel I chose to read for this assignment was Gareth Hinds’ “The Odyssey: a Graphic Novel.” This novel was published in 2010 and was based off of the original poem, “The Odyssey” by Homer. The Graphic Novel follows the 10 year journey Odysseus takes to get home after the Trojan War; along the way he is faced with giants, sirens, and the wrath of the gods as he strives to return before suitors take his wife’s hand. The graphic novel takes on a very detailed iconographic style, each panel highly detailed, though still not hyper-realistic, in a similar fashion to artworks produced during the time the Odyssey was originally written. Some things that Hinds employs in this novel include the use of interesting closures. One

Page 37 of Hinds’ “The Odyssey.” Close up to show iconography.

such instance is on page 37 where the entire page does not have panels, however, there is a clear passage of time between each fight. The reader is prompted to come up with their own order for these events, however, it does read from left to right like most novels, making it easier to interpret.

Alongside this physical novel, I also read Scott McCloud’s “The Right Number,” a graphic novel about the life of a man trying to find his soulmate through an algorithmic approach at telephone numbers. There were many differences to reading a novel on paper versus

Scott McCloud’s “The Right Number: Part One.”

digitally, one being that the digital format, in my opinion, required more user interaction. McCloud’s graphic novel required the user to click or tap the center of the comic, arrow below it, or page number in order to progress through the story while Hinds’ novel, given its size (around 11 inches in height), only required me to turn the pages every so often. I felt as though there was more room for different

Scott McCloud’s “The Right Number: Part One.”

uses of closure and the passage of time in McCloud’s novel, as there was an element of animation involved. The panels, each one inside the other, required me to view them one at a time and some transitions left much to be interpreted. For instance, a transition from the characters to a cityscape. Given the text, the reader knows there was a large gap in time between these two frames, however, what happens between them is up to the reader.

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