Graphic Novel Review: Kylie Michael

The graphic novel I chose for this class is Real Friends by Shannon Hale. I have never read a graphic novel before and didn’t know what to choose. I knew that I didn’t like the superhero genres or sci-fi.  I spent some time looking at different graphic novels. Real Friends is about Shannon, a young girl going through school and the struggles of finding real friends. She starts at kindergarten up to high school. She has issues with her older sister and how they relate with each other. I guess I never considered a graphic novel as a novel. I thought it was just a comic book. Reading Real Friends I could relate to the struggles of Shannon and making friends. It brought back memories of me in school and having a best friend one year then the next we weren’t friends anymore. Trying to hang out with the popular girls and feeling like something was wrong with me because I wasn’t the popular girl.  This book is a graphic novel but also touches real life struggles in an entertaining way. I think the artist used iconography through bright colors and showing her as a young girl . Specific concepts from Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics” in chapter 5 “Living in Line” the author uses dark colors, the lettering style, and. faces showing fear. Also the panels have no lines around them. In this picture the girls are creating a story that they are going to write together, the colors of the background change from bright and sunny to dark and gloomy. The girls are wearing winter clothing but in this picture they are wearing capes that are worn and torn.  The girls’ faces change from soft shapes with innocent looks then in the dark pages they express sunken faces and thin smiles expressing that they are scared, hungry orphans. The lettering is jagged along with the balloon shapes to represent them hitting the bad guys and running away.

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