Graphic Novel Deconstruction
This essay will deconstruct Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel The Sandman Volume#1 Preludes and Nocturnes (1991), in order to gain an understanding of narrative is presented through the use of image. It will also comment on the codes and conventions within the chosen text. Preludes and Nocturnes is the collection of eight comics in the Sandman series, with Neil Gaiman writing for a regular series for the first time. As such Preludes and Nocturnes is somewhat a work in progress, as the creative team honed their work. If read from cover to cover you will see a marked improvement in the writing over the course of the volume culminating in a much more tightly wound climax than at the beginning. The first chapter Sleep of the Just is a good place to start looking at the panel construction of the narrative. On the page (Tab. 1) we see the first three panels over-laying the fourth panel. The first two panels are narrow and rectangular and the third is square. The gutters are very narrow and not a lot is happening in the panels. This indicates that panel-to-panel, not a lot of time has passed between transitions. However rather than use moment-to-moment transition the creators have used subject-to-subject as a method of keeping a moderate pace for the reader to become interested in what they are seeing on the page. This is continued throughout the eight panel page. Alternatively, the creators could have shown the first two panels as one, allowing the dialogue to take place straight away as the car pulls up to the mansion. The panel could then be expanded showing the mansion in more detail and allowing for the removal of panel three completely. (We already know the man is here for a reason, therefore we make an assumption he will leave the car and knock on the door.) This would potentially allow for the removal of Panel Four, going straight to the man knocking on the door and the door being answered. This would then clear up what is a relatively...
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