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Cell by Cell: ‘Bitch Planet’ #5 (Part 10)

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Kelly Sue Deconnick (writer), Valentine De Landro (artist), Image Comics

In Cell by Cell, I look deeply into the panels of an issue, appreciating and analyzing the story and artistic composition.

Pages 21-22 Overview

As the violence ramps up to the issue’s conclusion, the action on the field and the layout of that action becomes more fragmented and chaotic. Faces are hyper-expressive, causing frustration, panic, and, in the case of Operative Whitney, smug enjoyment to leap off the page.

A new layout presents a structural diagonal, as before intensifying the sense of tension and chaos. It also creates a disorienting zoom in, pull back effect, like a dolly zoom (or Vertigo effect) for the page:

It’s a technique that expresses two concurrent qualities: disorientation and realization. Certainly, punches in the face are disorienting, but worse is the realization that Meiko is left entirely unguarded.

The diagonal lines of narrative created by the littlest panels featuring close-ups of Penny’s face and fist can be read in multiple directions, as long as the bottom right panel is read last, indicating her sudden realization and panic about being distracted from her defensive duties. They can also be read as happening concurrent to the panels featuring Kam, Alika, and Meiko, creating a heightened sense of chaos.

For the rest of the analysis of these pages, click through to the full article on PopOptiq.




Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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