Common Scents Essay

351 Words2 Pages
Focusing on Visual Strategies Lynda Barry’s “Common Scents” is a very interesting essay in that it is organized in comic book form. “Why would she write it this way?” crossed my mind frequently while I was reading this, until I imagined it written in the traditional-Microsoft-Word fashion. Writing in a comic book style can completely immerse the reader into another world, but it also has its limitations. This essay would lose a pretty big chunk of meaning if it were written in a standard way, incorporating pictures literally completes the picture. Comic books captivate readers and get the message across a lot easier than regular books do. I would rather read a graphic novel any day, which, in my opinion, made my experience reading this much more enjoyable. I completely understand why some people wouldn’t like this, and I’m sure there are a few in my class. Following a comic book with all the different pictures, dialogue and thought bubbles, and narration can be difficult and confusing, but certain stories benefit immensely from it, such as this one. Without pictures being incorporated, the only way a reader would get the humor from certain homeowners in the essay smoking while complaining about germs and smells in there houses would be to explain it in a boring, detailed paragraph. Having smells as the primary focus of the essay makes writing it a graphic novel style even more of a logical choice, too. Even if Barry had taken a few pages to describe it, it still wouldn’t have the same affect on the reader that a picture does, because the old, cliché saying, “A picture speaks a thousand words” is completely true. Though it has been done, it is really hard to make a serious point with a graphic novel. In my opinion, comics are meant for entertainment and enjoyment, not business or getting a serious point across. In this context, a graphic novel format is

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