The Arrival Response
The Arrival By Shaun Tan is an incredibly interesting graphic novel that plays upon the absurdity and confusion of immigration. The general feel of the images, the rhythm portrayed, is very surreal and old. In this way, the author illustrates the way in which immigration could make one feel entirely out of place.The colors used are dark and grey, which works itself in as a symbol to the dull and dreary initial lifestyle, also a monument to the author’s ability to make each scene seem dated. Had each frame been vibrant, it would have taken a bit longer to realize which era this is supposed to emulate. As for textures, the whole novel seemed oddly smooth, almost to a creepy extent. Everything was drawn very smoothly. As for whether or not it was more surreal than Barefoot Gen, I definitely believe so. The addition of giant humanoid robot things and tentacles definitely makes it a bit less realistic (though it’s portraying realistic emotions/feelings).
In all, I found this graphic novel to be very inspiring, the artwork is amazing and seeing a story of immigration in such a new and backwards way was almost refreshing in contrast to the dull and recycled history lessons we’ve all heard a million times.
A post of my most-used words and phrases on my personal blog for the past year.
My Favorite Color:
I’d have to say that my favorite color, as dull as it is, is grey. I see quite a bit of beauty in neutrality; on both subjects and in color. For me, it captures a lot of what my life has been about. I’ve never quite settled on any one thing, my life has been an amalgamation of “not-quite-all-the-way”. I jump from interest to interest, never really mastering anything but experiencing little of it as I go. As much as I don’t prefer that method, it’s just a part of my personality in the fact that I’ve never quite committed to anything in my life.
Now, I guess the reason that grey reminds me of neutrality is in the fact that it’s neither black or white. It’s a lot of what is wrong with the world today: too few people understand that not all concepts are simply black and white. Grey areas exist and you can take comfort in them. You don’t always have a solid answer for things, but that’s okay. We’re human, we don’t know everything, and it’s foolish to assume we do.
For example, this is an image of Gandalf the Grey from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He is a monument to wisdom and neutrality.
Another iconic image portraying the color grey is that of the moon. It’s been used as a symbol of wisdom and a portrayal of mystery since the inception of mankind.
Owls are also another prime contributor to the relationship between the color grey and the concept of wisdom and neutrality, often portrayed as guardians.
Elephants are often viewed as docile, yet powerful creatures, another form of neutrality.
Lastly is granite as an example of a cold, often overlooked, grey product that once held massive structures together and is still present in most houses.