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Graphic Novel Review 127/365: Fraction Hawkeye Issue #11

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!  Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

This week I will feature a great variety of comics and graphic novels that contain little to no words.

Title: Hawkeye Issue #11: Pizza is My Business 

Author(s): Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth

Publisher:  Marvel Comics (2013)

Age Rating: 10+

For those fans of hero comics, Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is an utter treat.  Minimalist, silly, and action packet, the Fraction Hawkeye run makes my top ten hero comic book list every time.

During this run, two issues have been lauded over more than the others: issues #11 and #19.  Today, I’ll discuss #11, and we’ll get to #19 later in the week.

“Pizza is My Business” is an issue told completely through the perspective of Lucky, Hawkeye’s dog, whom he rescued from some bad dudes.  Because the story in the issue is told through the lens of a dog, we read the images as the dog does.  He primarily thinks in images, and the words that he does know appear in word bubbles while the rest of the dialogue is scribble.  Check out this panel with Clint and Kate Bishop talking:

You can see the things Lucky immediately associates with each of the characters, and the only words readable are “up,” “you,” and “low.”  None of those words are important to Lucky at the time, those are just the only words that he knows coming out of Kate’s mouth.

Images are universal, and I think that’s what I dig most about this issue: if you do not speak English, you can still follow along, as long as you can read common images.  I see lot of comic artists playing with the idea of emoji as thoughts or words in text bubbles; Fraction found a way to take that concept and make it a bit more academic.

Here is one of my favorite pages with the dog, at the order of Clint, is told to watch the building:

The reader gets this cool blueprint-type page littered with mini-yellow street signs, showing the reader the sights, sounds, and smells picked up by Lucky.  With no worry of words, Fraction can play with how the images interact on the page.

This is a super cool issue in a super cool run.  Go grab that Fraction Hawkeye run as an early Christmas gift for yourself.

Happy reading!

Eric

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