Kramer’s Ergot 7 at du9

My first (long) article for the French comics/bande dessinée site du9 is now up. It’s on Kramer’s Ergot 7 and the use of scale in the included pages. (There’s also a French translation.)

From the intro section:

In light of this context, my goal is to discuss KE7 through the lens of scale. With a work this size the overall page takes on a much greater importance, even more so when the individual stories are often only a page or two. These large pages first strike the reader as a totality. The order of perception is more pictorial than textual: the page is seen first as an overall image and second as a left-to-right top-to-bottom sequence of differentiated images.

While this effect is present, to an extent, when reading more conventionally-sized comics, the physical size of the book here make it harder to simply turn the page and start at the top. You can’t read this book on a train or sitting in a chair, at least, I couldn’t. You wish it came with its on stand, like an old dictionary or atlas. I experienced reading the book by laying it out in front of me on a bed or the floor and leaning over the pages to read them. In this type of position, the top of the page is rather far away. Even if the pages were hung on a wall, where issues of position and movement of the body would be obscured, the size of these pages create a reading that is often more pictorial than textual.

With this in mind, a great portion of my discussion focuses on the use of the page as space, on layouts, and on the composition of the page as a whole.