Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 73


by Kaoru Mori
Genre notes: Victorian romance
5 vols
ISBN: 0316302236 (Amazon)

Emma is chiefly the story of Emma and William, an orphaned household maid and the son of the monied class. This is a romance and we see them meet-cute, fall for each other in that stereotypically understated Victorian way, encounter difficulties due their class distinctions, and finally resolve their relationship. It’s a lovely little story.

As Emma is the story of two principles, Mori leaves every other story untold. While William and Emma’s story finds its resolution, a reader could easily become frustrated with the many loose ends Mori leaves untied in her supporting characters’ regard. Personally, I found this abandonment of other characters charming and felt their untold stories just added to the book’s wonder. Because of Mori’s reluctance to end all stories with the conclusion of Emma and William’s story, she keeps Emma from being yet one more example of contrived romance.

Mori’s storytelling is impressive. The weight of her line perfectly suits her subject matter; it’s crisp and confident. She excels at choosing setting, pace, and moment, giving her characters the opportunity to reflect on actions, words, or thoughts from prior panels and pages. As well, Mori includes any number of silent scenes, allowing the reader to pause and take in the full scope of what is occurring within the more introspective parts of her characters stories. Keeping the reader involved, Mori uses a number of visual devices, requiring one to pay attention to camera angles and character details. The storytelling occurs as much through visual relief as it does through verbal narrative and dialogue.

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