Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jaime vs Gilbert 20HH #2

Of the two graphic novels,  Amor Y Cohetes was the more difficult.  It wasn't the visual components that created this aspect but more in how the story was rendered in words.  The monologues and dialogues that explain the visual aspect create a disjointed and at times incoherent process of action.  Stories like "BEM" become a hodgepodge of separate situations all breaking in on each other making it very hard to follow what exactly is happening.  Each characters section makes some sense on a localized level, but when various other story directions cut into these sections randomly, the overlying story becomes muddled.    Lenore, random people, Luba, and Mr. Radium are the various character 'sections' of the story.  Each starts off completely separated for the most part ,until they all wind together.  The problem is that in doing so, they are threaded together in an incomprehensible manner. Lenore for instance, on page 17 and 24 is shown to know information about Radium that seems almost metacognitive to the story.  This creates confusion as to whether this is a story within a story or if the Lenore characters are somehow separated from the world of Radium.  It is these constant small disconnects that make the reader pause and question the stories structure.  Unfortunately much of the questions remain unanswered and "BEM" is left loosely concluded.   'Random' is the overall feeling that I get when I read most of the stories in this graphic novel.  Very few of the stories seem to be set in our reality or close to it (which maybe another reason for the feelings of disconnection).   
            On the other hand Maggie the Mechanic, though still containing aspects not of our reality, tells a story that is more firmly rooted in structure and is easier to understand.  I thought at first that it might be that the stories in Maggie were all connected for the most part and that was why it was easier, but "BEM" and "Music for Monsters" are either longer pieces or stories that contain multiple parts.  It may be that the Maggie story does span the entire graphic novel and thus has more room to be connected but this probably isn't the case.  Maggie tells a consistent story/stories that are all connected fairly tightly.  Each interchange of character serves to either tell backstory or highlight some other relevant aspect of the overall plot.  These elements are typically either absent or are erratically shown in Amor.  Maggie's stories are told closer to a traditional novel, containing many recognizable tools and structures.  It is this lack of deviation that reduces the puzzlement and allows the reader to accept more of what is going on rather than scratch their heads wondering 'what the hell is a BEM'.  Lastly, a point of further discussion might be on how Maggie's character is depicted in the first thirty pages and how this begins to slowly transfer or change in the later portions of the beginning chapters (page 50).  

1 comment:

  1. Whil i havent read any of those works, i have to expres my frustration that some novels have upon the reader when they do jump around places or planes and they dont take the time to properly explain some small details, leading the reader into confussion, even with a strong plot, wanting to just ploug trough the end to see how it all ends, without beeign anle to cherish the content, i had a bit of this with the book Road Side Picnic from Arkady and Boris Strugatsky brothers, my introduction to it was from a video game based on the movie Stalker( 1979) which is based on the book, and it wasnt so hard for me to get into it, but the story jumps back and forth sometimes loosing the reader. i will check them out :O