Pacing Reveals in Cannibal 7

by Drew Baumgartner

Cannibal 7

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

Gary Provost

Pacing is the silent artistry of every medium, the kind of essential element that you only ever notice when it’s either poorly or remarkably well done. As such, pacing is not the kind of thing we always get to talk about around here — beyond the fact that the bulk are paced competently, comics pacing usually takes several pages to really sink in, so is a difficult point to illustrate in a short essay. But then there are comics that do it so well, they almost demand that effort. Cannibal 7 is one of those comics. Continue reading

Cannibal 5

Alternating Currents: Cannibal 5, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Cannibal 5, originally released May 10th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: I’m a bit of a sucker for a good twist, which is at least a part of why I love Cannibal so much. I was absolutely tickled by the twist at the end of issue 3 — a twist that was quickly outdone with the much larger one at the end of issue 4. If issue 3 was a proof-of-concept for the notion that anyone in town could be a cannibal, issue 4 demonstrated just how devastating one of those reveals could be. Issue 5 continues the pattern, revealing yet another cannibal in our cast, but shifts the reveal forward a couple pages, reminding us that this series is more than just a sequence of jaw-dropping surprises. Continue reading

Cannibal 3

Alternating Currents: Cannibal 3, Drew and Patrick

Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Cannibal 3, originally released December 7th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: My wife loves the Scream movies. So much, in fact, that we winced through both overwritten seasons (and feature-length Halloween special) of the MTV series. From the start, the franchise has celebrated its formulaicness, forcing its heroine (and the audience) to suspect each character in kind before ultimately revealing the killer to be the one we least suspected. In stretching that formula to 10- and 14-episode seasons, we’re forced to confront the paradox of knowing the least-likely person is most likely the killer (therefore making them no longer the least-likely), such that the reveal is somehow still a surprise. It’s basic murder mystery stuff, but the series luxuriates in the time between the first murder and the ultimate unmasking of the killer. Cannibal‘s premise is ripe for a similar twist on the murder mystery formula, blowing it up to include the entire town of Willow, but with the added twist that we have absolutely no idea how many killers are out there. Continue reading