Graphic Novel Review: Rachel Fox

“Zen Comics.” Zen Comics, by Ioanna Salajan, C.E. Tuttle Co., 1978, pp. 35

The graphic novel that I chose to read for this project was a small book called Zen comics. There is no story or plot of this book but rather it is a small collection of 1 page comics that all have a message of peace or zen. The book is by Ioanna Salajan and was published in 1974 and has a buddhist zen theme. Typically I find books like this soothing because they bring out appreciation for the little things in life like the power of nature and that happiness is within. This book has been a perfect read for this crazy time. When I would start to go stir crazy from being stuck inside due to quarantine it was great to be able to pick up the book and read something that was humorous and laced with a positive message. 

The iconography and art work in the book is a good use of the linework discussed in Mcclouds Living in lines chapter. The robes of the characters are always flowy and sweeping with a wide brush that gives a look specific to this book and the backgrounds and textures use a minimalistic quality to create a sense of peace and nature rather than lines that look nervous or tense. Even the typography chosen is thinner and handwritten in appearance that gives the comic a more relaxed feeling than what I typically find in comic books. The example that I have selected shows a good example of what the theme of the book is like as well as what the artwork is like. The positive message and minimalist yet realistic art form flows together to create a very strong theme for this book. Occasionally I find the art style and the message of a comic can clash with each other but this book is a good example of unity between the two elements. 

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