Thursday, 18 April 2013
Highland Laddie II
When Hughie and Annie talk above the sea, we follow their conversation while seeing the scenery around them. This does not happen in a prose novel. It does happen in a film but, in graphic fiction, we can read and reread at our own pace, move our eyes from panel to panel across two facing pages and turn backwards and forwards between pages in a way that is not possible even with rewind and fast forward on a DVD.
Learning the identity of one of the smugglers near the end of the story, we can look back for any visual clues that we might have missed earlier.
As Hughie enters his home village, he passes three silhouetted boys seated on a wall with a small dog at their feet and says, "Don't be gettin' sentimental." Whom does he address? The boys resemble Hughie and his two childhood friends whom he re-meets as adults and who are shown in flashbacks. Does Hughie see three boys who remind him of himself and his friends or are the silhouetted figures and the dog a memory?
Later, when we see Hughie as a child returning a lost dog to its home, he is menaced by dinosaurs and World War II hardware that clearly are in his imagination. The cover of no 4 highlights Annie as a child surrounded by other superhero children.
19/4/13: And it is possible to look back and work out in which panels Hughie's pocket must have been picked.