“Fabulous Prizes”

This comic has a lot of interesting elements to help convey its message; some rhetorical, some technical; some obvious, some subtle. I noticed that the speech bubbles were colored to match the clothing of the speakers, helping the reader to determine which character is speaking, especially for scenes in which it may be more difficult to determine. The most interesting part of this element for me was that upon my first and even second readings of the comic, I did not even notice this. It is a very subtle tactic, and it only jumped out at me when I questioned which character said the line “Maybe it’s time traveler graffiti,” as there appears to be no character associated with the bubble, or even an extension from the bubble, pointing off the frame.

Most of the comic is drawn in a significantly stylized format; there are no “boxes,” and a sense of individual panels is diminished. The pseudo-panels appear to be chunks of art laid on top of each other (albeit carefully arranged, not mindlessly scattered), but the comic is not difficult to follow as it still reads left-to-right, top-to-bottom. I feel like the reader should take this embellishment as a way to evoke feelings like “exotic,” “adventurous,” and “epic,” as these directly support the majority of the comic’s plot: an investigation into a possible encoded textual message in our own human DNA. But when the suspense of the comic drops back down to ground-level as it turns out to be a crummy advertisement (at the very end of the comic), it returns to a more typical boxes-and-panels format to evoke feelings of normalcy once again.

Coloration appeared to have this same goal throughout the comic. The beginning and end are both colored with gentle, somewhat typical, and slightly whimsical hues, as one might expect to see as an illustration in a children’s book; but throughout the main suspense of the comic, from the line “It’s everywhere!” to the realization of the message’s meaning, dark skies, dimly lit laboratories, and vague silhouettes dominate while the comic’s cast still believes that humanity may be on the brink of a mysterious and unnerving discovery.

–Scott Marnik


~ by n00neimp0rtant on March 21, 2011.

3 Responses to ““Fabulous Prizes””

  1. I really enjoyed reading your post for a few reasons, but mostly because it’s pretty apparent how well thought out your entire process was. You didn’t just look through the comic once and comment on something pretty obvious. You clearly read through it a few times, thought about it, and also thought about what you were going to say about it. It was thorough, well-written, and very interesting.

    I also really liked how you went a step further and talked about the function of certain style elements. I guess we can never really know why a certain choice is made, but your thoughts about that are really interesting. I like how you connected the stylistic elements with the plot. It’s always useful, I think, to analyze how they function together, rather than looking at them as two separate things.

    Awesome job!

  2. I was very impressed with your attention to and analysis the subtle elements at play here. Color is always tends to fly under the conscious radar so it’s always interesting to have its effects and motivations brought to one’s attention.
    Furthermore, as with most excellent observations, they give one that feeling of “Ah, of course!,” where the reader sees with complete clarity the validity of what was said, and how true it is, and, indeed, how obvious (now that they’ve been told).
    -Dave Turka

  3. I never noticed the color-coded text bubbles! That is such a subtle but effective way to convey who’s saying what, as you said.

    The only thing I differ with you on is the re-incoporation of frames. You say it’s to reinstate normalcy, but what if it’s meant to be constraining? The comic above it is all about exploration and discovery, but when the frames return, the galaxy/universe is trapped inside.

    – Joe DeMarini

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