A Novel Way To Change The Subject

| Related | October 11, 2013

(I am on a ferry, reading a very large omnibus edition of the comic ‘Echo.’)

Aunt: “What are you reading?”

Me: “Well, this woman here witnessed a military accident, and she sort of gets superpowers. The government is trying to track her down.”

Aunt: “Oh, neat.”

(I turn to the next page, which features a different character.)

Aunt: “Wait, is that her? She looks different.”

Me: “No, that’s someone else.”

Aunt: “Oh, so the first story is over and now it’s another one.?”

Me: “…no, it’s the same story; it’s just a different character now.”

Aunt: “What?”

Me: “The panel is just focussing on someone else. It’s still the same story.”

Aunt: “Oh, I get it; it’s a flashback.”

Me: “No. The first character’s name is Julie. This is Ivy.”

Aunt: “Well, what happened to Julie?”

Me: “You know how in a movie, the camera won’t always be looking right at the main character, and we’ll sometimes go see other characters and what they’re doing? It’s like that.”

Aunt: “Is that what makes it a graphic novel instead of a comic book?”

(To this day, I am not sure whether she was genuinely uncertain about the topic, or whether she wanted me to put the book down and talk to her about school, which is what I ended up doing.)

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