by Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
- (in verse) the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
Comics has its share of unique jargon, but much of the vocabulary we use when analyzing it is borrowed. More often than not, we’re borrowing language from the world of film and photography, where we might understand issues of the relative location and sizes of images within the panel as matters of placing a camera in a physical space. We’ll also draw parallels to prose, as the language — and especially narrative modes — of comics can often resemble that of a novel. But prose isn’t the only literary media, and while it’s lamentably rare, comics can draw from the world of poetry, as well. Aleš Kot and Danijel Žeželj’s Days of Hate has always lent itself to elegant turns of phrase, but canny use of the decidedly poetic device of enjambment turns issue 6 into a goddamn love poem.
The poem comes in Huian’s narration, which Kot breaks up into boxes with little regard for punctuation — in a way that doesn’t make sense as anything other than poetry:
Actually, this sequence might better illustrate the stream-of-consciousness nature of Huian’s narration, since complete the lack of punctuation maybe obscures the enjambment, but I loved it too much not to include. Here’s a clearer example of enjambment:
These line/stanza/box breaks exist only to split up sentences, separating clauses in a way that draws out attention to the words themselves. I don’t feel fully qualified to analyze the poem itself (though the repetition and development of the phrase “I am deathless” strikes even me as powerful), but even recognizing it as an almost anthemic love poem is enough to give it symbolic power I wouldn’t normally ascribe to narration. Kot is drawing upon an underutilized set of tools in the comics world, and the results are astoundingly unique.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?