Sarah (valentinite) wrote,

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reading comics is hard, part eleventy-one

So wariena plays Inspector Lunge, and he is awesome. So I convinced the library to lend me Monster, a bit at a time, and am slowly working through it when I have time.

And since I am on the train but too bleah to write, I will tl;dr at you instead. spoilers past volume 10, s'il vous plait?

So I've always had trouble reading non-newspaper-strip comics. Getting them to parse and being able to consistently identify characters were both problems, and I'm still not sure exactly why I have trouble with them. But I gave Death Note a try back when everyone everywhere was talking about it, and had a fairly easy time of it. I thought it was perhaps that reading right-to-left slowed my reading speed down enough that I wasn't tripping over the narrative style and just reading words without parsing, but maybe it was simpler -- that the character designs were very carefully distinctive. Because then I read Transmetropolitan because Wasco is an enabler (are we sensing a pattern? yes. that damned can get me to try just about anything, if I can read it on the train.</em>) And that, although there were occasional points where I got caught up in reading the background text and had to backtrack, was also OK.

If you haven't heard the but coming, I'm not being blatant enough. I'm having a great deal of difficulty telling characters apart in Monster, and it is taking away from the story a lot for me. Tenma I can always ID (and the fact that he's easy on the eyes is not a downside), and Johan, and Lunge, but a lot of the others blur together. Even Nina I had trouble telling apart from other women for a while, though usually plot can provide context.

There's also the fact that the canon seems to revel in building minor characters for just long enough to make us care, and then slaughtering them. Which makes sense for the story, but it's a type of story I'm not especially fond of -- all these characters that I already can't tell apart blur into this sort of sad mass of tragedy. And fridging characters just to provide aaaaaangst for the main character = NMK, although this story is very equal-opportunity about the death-dealing.

And wow, that sounds like I'm hating it, which is not true. It's not my sort of story, really, but I am enjoying it. Just not OMG ENJOYING IT. And Lunge is still awesome. As is Grimmer. Who is marvelous, and I will be so crushed if he doesn't survive. Tenma is also a neat character, and what's done with his art over the story is also cool -- he really does change. (Which is also interesting to me in that I can always ID him but he also changes; whereas other characters I can't despite them being very consistently drawn. Must be something about how the appearances are framed or something -- I am very comics-illiterate.)
Tags: reviews and reactions
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