Submitted by Pear-pear on August 6, 2008 - 16:16
So. What's with that 70s floral kitchen chair? and that spicerack? and that doily?
The last few comics feature these additions to the scenery not just to signify that the protagonists are inhabiting some new environs, but to try and give some clues as to the nature of those environs and what sort of events might ensue.
As a teacher facilitating discussions of literature, I try to shuffle in plenty of "prediction" questions. These are often the most complex questions to answer, and the most fruitful. Accurate predictions are not what I'm looking for when I ask, "So, what do you think will happen when Sir Gawain finally gets to the Green Chapel?" I'm looking for evidence that the students are engaging with the text on a metatextual level--they are, somewhere in their brain, comparing what they've read so far with everything else they've read, looking for cues in the structure of the plot and the familiar types of characters.
Does that mean good literature is predictable literature? No... but when the narrative includes familiar signs that make the well-read reader go "Don't go in there!" or "Oh sh-- She's his MOTHER!" while the novice reader goes, "What? Why? Huh?" Same goes for comics, but with visual cues as much as narrative/plot structure cues, which is part of what makes the medium so rich.
With that said, my hope is that the new background will create narrative opportunities for me and a developing sense of pattern and plot for the reader. Anyway, look for new characters and new clues as to where this is all going. I'm half-considering spice-rack oriented comics (like a "lower deck" episode on Star Trek TNG, haha), but we'll see how it goes.