Impression of Swallow Me Whole
I suppose I might as well read and write about another comic before leaving for San Diego. I just read through Swallow Me Whole. It’s from Nate Powell, who has also illustrated John Lewis’ March, which I discussed last year. It is about a pair of teenagers who endure hard times within their families. They are also seeing things that make their daily lives even harder.
There is a one big problem with the artwork. The speech balloons are already rather small and often become even smaller. The result is that the dialog is often hard to read. I often had to rely on the Kindle e-book’s zooming tool.
On the other hand, though the artwork is somewhat cartoonish, it is heavily shaded and cross-hatched, and It becomes quite emotive. What can I say about the story itself? It’s the kind of story that demands attentiveness yet heartily rewards it. The plot is simple but it effectively and sensitively shows a major part of these teenagers’ lives. The things that they see and how they interweave with their days is conveyed quite well, bolstered by the appropriately surreal imagery. Consider this another recommendation as a thoughtful work of graphic fiction.
I logged onto DeviantArt today and a message pointed me to the website’s poster for San Diego Comic-Con, boasting its sponsorship of the artists’ alley. The page on which the poster was displayed gave a prompt for commenters to finish this sentence: “Art is _______.”
That is a good question. People ask that all the time. People come up with their own answers as well. I had to give much thought into giving my own succinct answer. Below is the comment that I typed and posted, as awkward as it might seem. You can quote me on this.
“Art is a means to reveal and give flesh to the depths of the human heart, the reality of the world, and the presence of the transcendent.”