Knowledge Is Power

A light in the dark

After reading Persepolis i had the urge to grab a box of crayons and go to work on coloring the whole book. But then i realized that not only would that be a waste of time but it would destroy the solemnity of the book. By not adding color the author was able to keep focus on what was important – the text – and not having to much focus stray to the illustrations.

Adding color to this memoir-comic-strip would have greatly changed the mood throughout the book, keeping it black and white gave it a feeling of a memory that couldn’t be retrieved. With all the violence being depicted throughout the book from: battles, explosions, riots, and deaths. All the added red would have turned this memoir-comic-strip to a parody of the graphic novel Sin City, which to me, would have ruined the book.

I feel by keeping it black and white she was able to accomplish the sense of solitude she was feeling at times. By executing all black or all white backgrounds she was able to change the mood without taking your focus of the text to the pictures. The non existent of color seemed to make the story and the drawings flow smoothly, so for a non comic fan, it made this one a much better read.

And it makes me wonder if this was the purpose the author intended; to write a book that appealed to kids, that was simple to read, and would provide knowledge and history. Just like her favorite comic she read as a child entitled “Dialectic Materialism.”


7 thoughts on “Knowledge Is Power

  1. I’d have to agree on your many points concerning the need for black and white. I can also see how the author might not use color because of her focus on story. I think the art style also contributes to the story in a way. it gives it a more distinct look, by using obscure anatomy (cartoons). I feel as though color, as well as detail would have redirected the readers attention away from the story, and more so on the images, and for the in depth story she told, it was important to focus on political, family, and general parts of the story. every moment was suspenseful, and it was good that the author decided to take a more personal route for developing comics. Since the book lacked color and vivid detail, it did at times become tiring to read, and some of the drawings eventually started to mash together while i was reading, but this was only because the comic book style forces you to think about whats on the page versus just reading and glancing. for example the panel where there was complete blackness, to describe emotion. that seen alone was extremely emotional. and the scene where the parents hid the posters in the dads jacket; that was a very tense situation. the author managed to wrap different emotions up in a bottle and pour it on the page without adding color; this is something i’d say most comics could rarely do.

    • I do also agree that color would have distracted readers from the author’s true point of view. With color I feel that many people would have not taken the author seriously, pertaining the text. But I also agree with the above comment about the book getting a little bit boring. Compared to other comic books I have read this one is completely different, in terms it is not really has playful as the usual comic book about superman, Spiderman, or etc. But because the color was black and white it made me focus more on the text and not just the pictures to see what was going on. Because If I was reading a regular comic book I most definitely would have not read any words and just look at the pictures. So this style for this comic was definitely helpful to readers to better understand the emotion the author was going for.

  2. You made some good interpretations of the black and white color scheme of the book. I believe the author/artist definitely kept it that way to add to the story line. Black and white are two defining colors on the opposite ends of the spectrum. There is no middle ground “color” in the Persepolis to join the two extremes. I think the use of the two colors reflects the story. She is struggling to find her place in two opposite worlds, with little leeway for overlap. She is trying to compromise the way she was raised in her country’s culture and the Western lifestyle she wants to partake in as well.

  3. I would have to agree with your post. Adding colors to the black and white comic would lead my eyes to look at the brighter, more attractive colors first and then have my eyes make its way around the pictures. I feel like the author meant for this to happen for the readers to look for the pictures and focus what was in the center of the frame. Even though the lack of color might not so this comic justice, the shading definitely makes up for it. Instead of the brighter color drawing the reader’s eyes, the shadows tend to draw the reader towards the focus of that particular frame. It was hard to remember some things because of the lack of color, but once you read the text it all makes sense. I also wonder whether this comic was written for children. Hmmmm

  4. i agree and disagree. I on one hand feel like color is a good thing to add to images because sometimes it’s the picture you’re looking at that really helps a reader understand. And when it’s all just black and white and no color I mean it just makes the storyline kind of dull and depressing. Now I’m not saying a lot of color I do however agree with the fact that by using black and white as her background colors it made the point very blunt i feel like. I’d just also like to see some color and just for plain and simple fact of that it will bring some life into the images without necessarily killing the point the author has set out for the book. I’d like to ask the author what kind of audience did she intend to bring in with her text and storyline. The last thing about this book is i just feel like I get lost into it quite often and not the good kind of lost where you just don’t want to put the book down its probably the exact opposite.

  5. I agree that the whole black and white theme makes the story flow. If the author were to add color it would distract the reader of the real feeling the author is trying to imply. By keeping it black and white it helps set a mood of anger, sadness, confussion and liked you mentioned “solitued.” So I agree leaving it black and white helps set the mood that Marjane feels in the story.

  6. I agree with you on grabbing a crayon box and just going to work on this book. When I first opened the book I never thought that it would be black and white and also a comic book. But after reading this book I realized that this book is meant for the black and white images and not just regular color images. As a frequent reader I am used to pages and pages of text so I am not used this type of book that has images and text together. I also agree with you on how using the black and white images convey the emotions that this book put outs and the transition of changing moods without taking your focus of the text to the pictures. Well, anyways great post.

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