Friday, December 28, 2012

Clowes' Ghost World by Jeff La Croix

      The illustration in “Ghost World” is rather simple and straight-forward. It follows a traditional style, with very defined and repetitive frames. In this sense, it reads kind of like “Maus,” and nothing like “Blankets.” Characters are drawn with some level of detail so that their expressions are obvious. In contrast, the background rarely has much detail, only enough to let you know where the scenes are taking place. Uniquely, the background is always green, white, and black. While you couldn’t describe this piece as colored, it betrays the typical dichotomy of colorful images versus black and white. I think that the gratuitous use of green lightens the piece a bit. Replacing all of the green with gray scale might make the imagery a little heavier and therefore make the subject matter seem more self-important. This isn’t the case, though, as the plot is fairly mundane in its nature.
     Of all of the pieces that I have read for this course, I would suggest that “Ghost World” would translate most easily to other mediums. I suppose that makes sense, as it has since been made into a movie. The illustration, use of frames, and dialogue are fairly simple. I think that it works just fine as a graphic novel, but that it could easily work as a film or even traditional prose. The only thing that we really gain (in my opinion) over the traditional novel is the constant and humorous style changes that Enid goes through.

3.   “Ghost World” lacks an omniscient narrator, but instead relies entirely on conversation to tell the story. We never see any thoughts or any storytelling, it’s as if there is just a camera following Enid and Rebecca throughout their mostly unremarkable lives.

4.     The scene in which Rebecca and Enid are returning from Cavetown was the most prolific in the piece for me. Rebecca and Enid are arguing because Rebecca wants to follow Enid to college, and Enid is being rather weird about the whole thing. Throughout the entire book, they have been completely inseparable best friends. Rebecca wants to keep it that way, so she’s willing to move across the country to be with her. Enid finally tells her that it’s weird for her, because she wants to completely start over when she gets there. Rebecca following her means that her past is following her. All of the things that she’s done will live on with Rebecca in her new world. She cannot truly escape her old self, should Rebecca follow. Rebecca asks why she feels this way, saying that it doesn’t seem like her, to which Enid replies that she hates herself. In the next scene, we learn that Enid has failed the test required for her to get into school, and she will not be leaving after all.
After their argument, we only see Rebecca once more at Angel’s. She’s working. Enid and Rebecca only speak for a brief moment before Josh shows up, and it is made clear that he and Rebecca are to spend time with each other alone soon. We don’t know what has happened since they last saw one another, but the relationship between the two girls and Josh is never the same.

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