Graphic Novel Review: Edison Soliman

For this semester, the graphic novel that I chose to read was Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibaishi. The story dwells into this family of a mother and her two children. Her oldest being Emily and youngest being Navin. The book starts off with a backstory on how they lost their father in a car accident and now the mom, Karen, needs to find a way to support her children by herself. It goes back into present time as Karen, Emily, and Navin are driving to their new house, but it turns out it’s a mess. They go on a huge cleaning spree and that’s when Emily finds the magical amulet that was supposedly passed down to her from a great grandfather. A turn of events follow as their mother gets caught by a mysterious monster and the children try to get her back. They find themselves lost in an alternate world like Earth but inhabited by different creatures. There, Emily and Navin run into their great grandfathers assistant as he guides them to shelter. There they find their great grandfather who quickly passes after he grants Emily as the new stonekeeper. She utilizes this new power along with her brother and the assistant to get her mother back. The finally rescue her but she gets poisoned in the process and the book ends with them traveling to find an antidote.

The iconography of this graphic novel is represented in varying amount of curved lines. This type of line style very appropriate due to the context of the book being a very heart warming tell about family. In chapter 5 of Scott McClouds book Understanding Comics, he goes on about how lines give representation to many things that are invisible to us in reality. He states of line could be expressive in the direction it goes. In this sense, he talked about how curved lines give a “warm and gentle” feel. The iconography is also very expressive in the author’s color choices throughout the story. At the start, when they are moving into the new house, the colors are very bright and warm. But this all soon transitions as soon as they find themselves in the alternate world and the colors give a cold and dark sensation. The shift in color helps provide symbolism that the story has taken a turn and brings in tension to the reader.

Warm colors at the start of the story. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi.
Cold colors indicating a shift in story. Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
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