Graphic Novel Review: Chloe Brusseau

The graphic novel that I chose to read for DTC 201 is titled Breakfast After Noon, written and illustrated by Andi Watson. The novel explores the life of a young british couple, Louise and Robert, as they plan to marry, start a family and life together. Right off the bat, at the beginning of the story, we see Robert become hesitant and unsure of the direction of his life. He is unhappy even though he seemingly has it all. He soon is laid off from his job which he enjoys, and is somewhat in denial. Louise, unemployed as well, returns to get her college degree while Robert won’t give up on his old job. The rest of the story explores the stress put on their relationship as they try to navigate through these tough and trying times. Andi Watson used fairly simple and cartoon-looking figures as opposed to more realistic figures which I find interesting as the subject matter is quite heavy. I think he does this to emphasize the idea that this is in fact a graphic novel, not a non-fiction book.

One concept that stood out to me was the idea of making emotions appear visible. In chapter 6 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, this idea is explored. Breakfast After Noon often goes back and forth from Louise and Rob’s relationship going well, to not so well. There are some parts that the backdrop and overall feel of the panels play a part in the feeling of what is going on and piecing together the story.

Photo taken of page from Breakfast After Noon, by Andi Watson

In this particular scene, it starts raining heavily. The page starts out with establishing that, and goes into Louise and Rob bickering again. The wind and harsh-lined raindrops provide a feeling of tension, and the reader can almost feel the cold. McCloud discusses how comics contain images that can “evoke an emotional or sensual response in the viewer” (121). After viewing this page, without even reading further, the viewer can sense the overall feeling of what is about to happen. I find this to be one of the most interesting and compelling parts to reading a graphic novel/comic as opposed to a traditional novel.

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