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Every day this month, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Forget Sorrow, which was published by W. W. Horton & Company and is dated 2010. Enjoy!
Belle Yang’s graphic novel about her family history in China during the 1940s through 1960s begins with this innocuous page. Graphic novels are, of course, somewhat different than serialized comics – Yang already has us hooked, so she can take her time introducing stuff and doesn’t need a hook. So she gives us a pictorial representation of herself, telling us what the book will be about. It is interesting that Yang is younger in this book than she is is real life. We also get a nice overview of how the art will look – Yang’s style is evocative of Chinese nature drawings, and it’s a nice contrast between the stolid figure drawing and the fanciful background. This will also be common throughout the book. The character in the final panel means is, presumably, a representation of Xuan, Yang’s name, and it also ties the book back to China and Yang’s historical story. So Yang blends the modern and the historical nicely on one page, and leads deftly into her story.
Forget Sorrow is a fascinating graphic novel, and while the first page might not leap out at you and grab you, it’s still a solid way to get into the book.
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