The Assumption: A Graphic Post

We’re in primary school art class, where the students have been told to draw a picture of a house. Francine draws this: “What’s this?” Missus Portmanteau, Francine’s art teacher, asks, pointing to the big red circle in the sky. “It looks like a big rock is about to fall on your house.” Francine is nonplussed inContinue reading “The Assumption: A Graphic Post”

Two Graphic Novels: Gipi’s “Notes for a War Story,” and Rutu Modan’s “Exit Wounds”

“Notes for a War Story,” a first person narrative by Gipi, is set in a nebulous country where villages exist one day and disappear the next. Three young men band together to survive on the margins of the country, doing petty crime. But it’s an odd man out story. The boys have only vague notionsContinue reading “Two Graphic Novels: Gipi’s “Notes for a War Story,” and Rutu Modan’s “Exit Wounds””

The Forest, the Haircut, the Pothole, and the Hedgehog

Comic book characters are often unreal, fantastic, hyperbolic distortions of people. But the exaggeration may work like an X-ray, revealing the inner monster, or showing some virtual reality, or uncovering a facsimile of truth or beauty. The cartoon form exaggerates features, of a landscape, an idea, a face, enabling the author to make fun of someContinue reading “The Forest, the Haircut, the Pothole, and the Hedgehog”

The Ballad of the Happy Cafe: Mimi Pond’s “Over Easy”

Mimi Pond’s “Over Easy” (2014) made the Times graphic book bestseller list this Spring. “Over Easy” is another portrayal of a young woman working to define herself in a confusion of shifting cultural mores. Pond’s story is set in Oakland, around the same time as the first parts of Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis.” There are moreContinue reading “The Ballad of the Happy Cafe: Mimi Pond’s “Over Easy””