Graphic Novel Review: Daniel Blanchard

Blue a graphic novel by Pat Grant is a story about 3 friends, Christian, Verne, and Muck set out to find a dead body that is rumored to be on the railroad tracks. This story starts off with a mixture of getting to know the characters and their everyday life, to have a scenario of immigration through their town. This town is Bolton Australia, and due to Australia being a place dealing with immigration and racism that follows, Grant wanted to incorporate something that he has observed throughout his life. But in the stories the immigrants aren’t human, instead, Grant made them blue aliens, ugly ones with the long bodies and spider legs. By separating the town into 2 kinds of beings, the blue alien creatures and whites, this makes way for a very heavy amount of division and discrimination throughout the story. Once again this is a way of Grant showing the viewer how immigrants are seen and treated in Australia and many other places around the world. For example, on the 3 friends’ journey to the railroad, they see a blue alien kid who was adopted by white parents. After crossing paths and the 3 confused on what they just say, Verne says, “They’re from some other country like, near Africa or some shit. Sadly, this is not an uncommon thing to be heard, even in the real world and I think that was Grant’s goal with this graphic novel, connections. As you journey through this book it takes you on the 3 friends’ expedition, skipping school to see this dead body that has been rumored throughout the city. As they stop at multiple shops and other destinations along the way it starts to tell you how these stereotypical “surfer” teenagers and Pat Grant grew up in Australia. Taking side quest to climb up to a balcony to steel Christians fathers pack of cigarettes, their teenage life was not healthy in any aspect, to say the least. Once they reached the part of the railroad track that was supposed to have the dead body, they found instead a harsh wave coming into the banks of the east coast beach. This explains how the immigrants go to Bolton in the first place, not by choice but by a bad storm that only happens a couple times a year. As they come upon the scene, before they see anybody, they see a puddle of blue blood, alien blood, with drawings on the rock cliff that is next to the tracks. They decide to call the mission off their, wondering if they made the right decision but forever remembering the day where they learned a lot more through their journey rather than just possibly seeing a dead body.  

The Iconography and drawing in this novel are like no other, only using the colors blues, white, black, and grey, this book definitely sets a mood right from the jump. Using great use of space, Grant has a wide variety of box sizes and images throughout this book. The whole book reminds me of a lot of what Scott McCloud’s living in line talked about, giving the viewer a sense of emotion and senses. Having the whole book be filled with the color blue gives off an emotion itself, a sad emotion. I believe Pat Grant did this on purpose, seeing some of the things that Pat saw growing up in Australia, he wasn’t going to pretend that Australia, was perfect. His home has its flaws just like any other country does, and Pat wanted to show that in his Novel.

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