Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Sometimes I love you so much, comics"

That's the thought that occurred to me when I hit this four-panel sequence from volume three of Shuzo Oshimi's Flowers of Evil last week. Saeki, the long-haired female character on the right, and Takao, the male character, are entering their classroom together at the beginning of the school day; the night before, Takao had horribly vandalized it and used wrote a startling confession on the chalkboard which would, when discovered, irrevocably change his relationship with Saeki and the way his entire school would think of him forever.

It's a pretty dramatic moment for him, obviously.

The way this page is laid out just...excited me, for a lack of a better word. Flowers is printed right-to-left, remember, so the first two panels are the tall, vertical one featuring Saeki and profil and the one of a flushed, wide-eyed and terrified Takao.

The way the dialogue bubble is placed in those panels, Oshimi shows the reader two different people from two completely different angles at the exact same time; that's what Saeki looks like while she's saying "What is this..." and that's what Takao looks like while Saeki, standing next to him, says "What is this..."

It's basic stuff, of course, using the grid of the panels to show the same moment from different perspectives; Comics 101, really. But it's so elegantly handled and, I don't know, maybe I just read too many comics, but when I hit that transition, with the dialogue co-existing in two moments like that? It just really struck me how well comics can do the things that only comics can really do.

Maybe I just read so many bad ones, that when I encounter one that works, it's able to impress me that much more strongly...?

1 comment:

Akilles said...

Might be that that`s the reason as to why you`re so impressed. I think that it`s fancy too, but I`m not excited.

Or maybe it`s your personality. You are, after all, able to be enthusiastic about little things.