Dresden Codak- Hob #7
While reading Dresden Codak’s comics, I kept on feeling like I was reading/watching a cartoon with subtitles. Even though these are static images, in sections where there is not that much text, scanning them almost feels like you’re leafing through a flipbook. Codak’s stories have a flow or rhythm to them also because he eschews the traditional rectangular frames in comics and plays with size, angle, focus, and perspective in order to draw the reader’s eyes to different places.
I chose to write about Hob #7, In the Company of Science because I think it is a good example of the way Codak blurs the lines between reading a book and watching a cartoon. In this frame, Codak begins by showing a rising sun behind the silhouette of a city and an extreme closeup of an alarm clock. Both of these images have bright colors contrasted with black and are visually jarring, which emphasizes the fact that the character is also being jarred awake by a ringing cell phone. From another extreme close-up of the cell phone, we see Kimiko is calling. The man answers the phone, but instead of switching between frames of them talking, Codak fills the background with the text of what Kimiko is saying on the other side of the phone. The words run off the screen and are covered up by other images, so the reader can only see bits and pieces of her monologue.
This is an interesting visual effect because the virtual explosion of words on the screen convey that Kimiko is rambling on about Hob in a rapid, excited voice. Although we can’t hear Kimiko talking, we can clearly imagine it in our heads and even fill in the blanks in the text ourselves. Through the symbolism of carefully constructed images, Codak is able to create a sensory experience that is beyond reading words, yet still ignites creativity on the part of the reader.