Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jimmy Corrigan Formal post

First I guess I have to say that I don’t think analyzing comics are my forte, last class when we went over Jimmy Corrigan I was amazed at the things people were able to pull out of comics, but I will give it a shot. Though I don’t think I can select a certain area to discuss, overall I think the comic is very interesting how it is designed. The colors and sizes of the panels give more to what is going on than the text or images can do alone. About 2/3 of the way through the book there is a section where Jimmy is still in school and has a bouquet of flowers on his desk. It starts out with a big frame indicating to me that he has some sort of self confidence or maybe an indifference of what is going on around him. But as the teacher addresses him about the flowers the panels get smaller and smaller. Then at the end of the scene he is asked to put the flowers in his desk showing his embarrassment from this and the panel shrinks to where the text is almost unreadable. This is used throughout the comic to show artistic views such as the theatre we discussed in class but also to show Jimmy’s emotions.

Another way emotion is shown is with the colors of the images. In Jimmy’s “future” where he is older the images are often dim or gray, but when we flash backwards in time the images are lighter with more colorful images. Also Jimmy’s mood reflects the colors used in the drawings. In the frames following the image I talked about earlier the colors change dramatically as Jimmy anticipates a “pounding” from his classmates for bringing flowers for his mother into the classroom. As he expects to get beat up after school the colors immediately change to a red hue, and continue as he gets home late and awaits his punishment there. Then without any punishment he wakes up the next morning still confused about why he hadn’t received punishment for coming home late, and also for leaving the door unlocked. The colors again correlate changing to a yellow hue as Jimmy remains confused, and then as he reaches some kind of conclusion it leads to a depressing gray hue. This type of color change is used throughout the comic in conjunction with the panel size to bring more emotion and incite to how the characters are feeling.

Well that was my shot at analyzing the comic strip…there is also a French film called “Amelie” that uses the same type of colorful imagery throughout the movie to express the main characters emotions.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

It's strange that you start out your post with the thought that you can't analyze anything in particular, then you _do_; you have something perfectly coherent, if incomplete, to say about the use of color in JC.

Since it was a little short, and began so indifferently, I would have liked something resembling a conclusion, something connecting the hues you're interested in with the overall story. If it was me, I probably would have reflected on the fact that JC's grandfather is apparently telling this story to his sister - that's why it's "colored" with emotion.