Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Clan of the Poes (Page 158)

//Panel 2//
Allan’s Narration:
Do you believe in folk tales?
//Panel 3//
Edgar's Narration:
Excuse me, Dr. Clifford.
//Panel 4//
Bike's Narration:
Who knows? They’re vampires!
Bike's Narration:
Miss Jane loves you from the bottom of her heart.
//Panel 5//
Clifford’s Narration:
Her pulse is dead.
How will you explain this to Jane?
Clifford’s Narration:
No blood circulating at all.
She’s not human.
Not human!!
//Panel 6//
//Panel 8//
…It’s like a dream! You’re not real. Why are you here?
…For your sake, as well…

I had a lot of difficulty in Panel 8 in determining which character is responsible for the first dialogue balloon. The arrow for this balloon points directly at the head of Sheila, but it turns out that Japanese manga can be much more vague about this than American comics.

Even trying to judge by the words themselves, I was not quite sure...I thought that this could be Sheila, excited and in awe to finally be in such close physical contact and alone with the doctor she admires so much, so that it feels to her like a dream.

But I finally had to make a decision based on the context of the entire scene. Clifford is a rationalist, a man who has always leaned toward believing in what can be scientifically proven and backed up. (Although it is also true that he acknowledges being visited by a ghost many times as a boy, so there is that conflicted part of him as well that makes him not quite entirely sure that a vampire could not exist.) Still, when he is confronted with undeniable truth that this woman in front of him is actually a vampire, he is truly shaken to the core. It all seems like a dream to him. How could this be real?

His final line echoes this sentiment: If you are something that should not exist, then I am doing you a favor by cutting short your existence. So interpreting this in the broader view, I was able to determine for sure that those first lines in Panel 8 were spoken by Clifford.

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