In Cell by Cell, I look deeply into the panels of an issue, appreciating and analyzing the story and artistic composition.
This page sets up a regular, six-panel page with each panel of equal size. The structure connotes the comfortable order of the Maki home during this time. Reinforcing the harmony of the house is the many smiles shared between family members and the warm color tones–mostly sepia brown with some red and yellow. There are blue and green tones, but they have a softness, indicating calm and the naturalness of grass and water.
The page introduces the joy and intimacy in the relationships between Makoto and his wife and daughters. The conversation isn’t incredibly deep–revolving around being on time and experimentation with muffin recipes–instead, the relationships are developed in the physical language as they speak. Smiles that go all the way up to the eyes. The cock-eyed smirks and winks of shared jokes. This is an idyllic pre-work morning.
In cell 1, Meiko comes down the stairs and finds Makoto with a steaming muffin in hand. She asks why he isn’t at work yet, indicating that on most mornings, Mack would be gone by this time. Makoto shushes her, but in a playful way. This is not the fatherly control of the Council. Her added height from being up two stairs suggests the more egalitarian power structure in the family. He tells her he can’t resist the fresh from the oven muffins in cell 2. The gold background fills the panel with a visual warmth akin to the kinesthetic warmth of the muffins.