The illustrations in this work are a unique blend of realism and cartoonism. The detail throughout the work is very good, it makes you think about the time and care put into every image in this book. The overall feel of the art is dark, very dark. Most of the work is colored in blacks, reds, browns, and yellows. This gives an almost hellish feel to the story which really accents the goal of the work. If this were illustrated in a different way I don’t think it would have worked as well as it does..
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This story was written as a graphic novel mostly because it would make reading this story more enjoyable to a wider audience. This work wouldn’t really loose anything being translated to a novel, simply because it was a novel in the first place. Because of the realism in the art there wouldn’t be the major loss, the loss of fantasy, that is usually found when a graphic novel is made into a movie. There are several scenes that fully utilize the juxtaposition of words and images, but none that couldn’t be turned into a novel or film.
The narration is done by an omniscient, outside source, there is no explanation of who the narrator is, but you can assume they are a key person or were privy to the entire ordeal. This graphic novel seems to fall into line like a good little soldier with its narration. It follows along with the typical third person perspective.
A scene that really jumps to the forefront of my mind is the scene in chapter 3 where the huge stalemate happens. First this mentally challenged boy who works as a waiter in the bar they are in gets tripped and spills “camel piss” on Roy Depape’s boots, then Depape orders the boy to lick the liquid off his boots at gunpoint. Bert, walks into the bar, and tells Depape that “I simply can’t let that happen. Nope. I would if I could, but I can’t.” then he goes on about unsanitary conditions. Depape warns Bert that he has one chance to leave the bar and go home saying “this is no place for a boy.” Bert draws and fires a slingshot with steel bearings at Depape, catching him in the knuckle, forcing him to drop his weapon. Bert now has a disarmed Depape at shotpoint, but he now has Clay Reynolds’s knife at his back. At this point Alain has Reynolds with a knife to his throat. Now Jonas has Alain with a revolver pointed at the back of his head. Then Roland has Jonas with a gun to the back of his head. All of this happening within the space of a minute. This scene is full of suspense and action, which really shows the feel of this work. The words and images really pull together for a truly suspenseful moment in the story.