Monday, December 7, 2015

Apes in the Woods: A Colouring Book

For my second blog post, I decided to read an entirely different monthly comic. I chose the comic because the salesclerk told me it was published by Glassmonkey, which is a publishing company, located right at home in Windsor Ontario. The comic is called “Apes in the Woods” written and illustrated by April Fawler. The comic was generally very quirky and clearly written as fiction. However what really stuck out to me was the way the comic magazine felt in my hands. The paper was very similar to the paper in a colouring book, something that you would use a crayon to colour on. As well as the paper being very similar to a colouring book, the authors line is very interesting in the sense the comic looks like it has been drawn right on the page with a magic marker. The combination of these two elements makes the comic less serious, the reader assumes the comic is written for a younger audience and will automatically have a happy-go-lucky narrative strictly because of the feel of the page and the way the cartoons look. This concept ties into Ian Hague’s theory on comics as a material that affects the way a comic gets read. He compares Hatfield to McCloud’s ideas, “in remarking on both the physicality of sight and the existence of tactility as a means for accessing comics, Hatfield begins to move beyond the formalist abstraction of McCloud and acknowledges the significance of the physical form that comics take” (22). This theory is implying that readers not only take away meaning from the narrative and elements that are in a comic but from the physical feeling of a comic. Using the example I provided, I felt as if I was reading from a colouring book, which completely changed the way I felt and understood the narrative. Just by looking and feeling the pages I could put a genre to the magazine and right away understand it as a children’s comic.

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