Monday, May 14, 2007

Glen Smith's Diary (Page 50)

//Panel 1//
Elizabeth's Narration:
He was eight years older than me, a kindly man who said he was from the "ends of the oceans"
We met at an outdoor concert.
Note: End of September 1900
//Panel 2//
Then everyone said, "The stand probably grew legs and chased after a pretty girl."
//Panel 3//
I don't like it. I can't live with that sort of music.
//Panel 4//
I'm not tired. I'm just lonely, all by myself.
//Panel 5//
Music…is good. Music is a good thing.
//Panel 7//
Please marry me.

A pastoral outdoor concert setting, leafy trees, concertgoers strolling in the warm end-of-summer afternoon…What could be more pleasant a backdrop for a love (or at least attraction) at first sight? Note how Hagio draws Tony and Elizabeth at a slightly skewered angle in the first panel: not only is this visually striking, but in this way she can manage to fit in the entire length of Elizabeth's long skirt, the natural focal point of the panel, but and at the same time retain the tall, vertical panels below in which Tony is discoursing all his various opinions (with one reaction shot from Elizabeth, in Panel 6). Moto Hagio is a master in the elegant use of her panel space. Also, it's subtle, but Panels 2 through 7 are not shaped like perfect rectangles. This perhaps reinforces the casual, informal tone of Tony's and Elizabeth's conversation and afternoon together.

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