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

Bob’s Burgers 2

bobs burgers 2Today, Greg and Drew are discussing Bob’s Burgers 2, originally released September 24th, 2014.

Greg: It’s interesting to see how longform installment-based storytelling, like comics or TV, has transitioned from being primarily self-contained stories that one can jump into at anytime to telling one long, overarching story that one must view from beginning to end using individual units simply as content demarcators. Obviously I’m way the heck oversimplifying and generalizing, but comedies in particular have a storytelling hurdle to jump: to keep laughing at characters’ fundamental behaviors, their behaviors must remain fundamentally the same, yet in this new vanguard of serialized storytelling where folks binge lots of content in a row, we kind of demand characters to change. Slightly paradoxical, I am thus unsurprised, if just a tad disappointed, that in its second issue Bob’s Burgers seems to be going purely episodic, settling into a formula that shows just how rigidly defined this title will be. And yet, the issue is just so damn funny that I have trouble complaining too much.

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Bob’s Burgers 1

bobs burgers 1Today, Greg and Spencer are discussing Bob’s Burgers 1, originally released August 27th, 2014.

Greg: Imagination, particularly as a kid, is a powerful, revealing thing. It’s your subconscious untethered, playing make-believe and laying out your attitudes and ideals in surprisingly intimate detail. When I was a kid, my friends were keen on playing the most violent versions of Dragon Ball Z and Star Wars possible — all fighting, all the time. I was more concerned with making sure the good guys stayed good and the bad guys — only if they really deserved it — got beat up and, ideally, learned their lesson. In this first issue, we get a glimpse into the fantasies and insecurities of Tina, Louise, and Gene Belcher, as Bob’s Burgers lays out three stories of imagination.

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