Mirror Images

After reading through the Hob storyline, I chose to comment on #10 because I think it’s doing the most interesting things visually and structurally. I don’t know a lot about comics, and I’ve never read them anywhere other than a newspaper, but I imagine that Codak has some more freedom when it comes to format and structure with his web comic than he would if he tried to do something similar in print format (but I’m learning that that’s true about most forms of narrative on the web).

The top panel sets up the story that’s being told in the rest of the section & is pretty traditional looking. It’s basically two pictures, side by side, with characters and speech bubbles…the usual. But the bottom part was a little overwhelming to me at first, mainly because of the sort of pattern the different pictures make. All the text is contained in the corners. I’d guess this is done so that the text doesn’t take away from the illustrations.

The most interesting thing about this page, I think, is that it’s constructed like a mirror image. Even the pictures themselves look similar at first glance. My best guess is that this is done out of a sort of irony. At first glance, it looks like a mirror image, but when you read the story, the pictures on the left are the opposite of the ones on the right, in a sense. On the left we see a picture of a man having control over machine, and the opposite is true of the picture on the right, after technology had become so advanced and humans feared losing control of it (definitely a legitimate fear, if you ask me).

The bottom two pictures do the same thing. The left shows the “mother” with control, and the right shows the aftermath of “the war” and what started the historical recovery project. Again, the two pictures are structured very similarly, but the actual content is completely opposite.

So what’s the point of this? For me, the unique visual structure of this page made me look at it more closely than any of the other ones. Maybe he’s trying to say that things can completely change. One day, humans are controlling robots, and the next, the opposite can be true. I might be reading too much into it, but for a lack of a more sophisticated term, I thought this page of the storyline was pretty awesome.

-Julie Howell

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~ by juliehowell on March 20, 2011.

One Response to “Mirror Images”

  1. There were a lot of good posts this week, but this one stuck out to me because Julie talked about things I hadn’t noticed about this Hob strip. Since I was reading Hob on a netbook, I never saw both sides of the mirror at once so the effect wasn’t apparent to me and I quickly read through this page and onto the next one. However, with Julie’s analysis, I was able to see how the styles and techniques on this page elevate it and warrant additional consideration.

    – Diana Huang

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