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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Tough topics through graphic narration

16 pages from March’s original graphic novel and other pieces of graphic design. Photo by Eve Lyons-Berg.

This Monday, Feb. 3 the first exhibition by Edith March ’15, entitled “Innocence Dream,” went on display in Smith Gallery. It features 16 pages of an original graphic novel, as well as a few other pieces of graphic design.

March has designed the exhibit so as to walk the viewer through her creative process.

“It’s … kind of open-sketchbook style, where you can see the process of making the comic book,”  March said.

March grew up in South Korea, and the style of her art is modeled after manga, a graphic style popular in East Asian countries.

“In Korea, if you pay like five cents, you can borrow a comic book,” March explained.

She first became introduced to the art form by watching the children’s television series, Pokemon and Digimon. Manga is very different from how the U.S. approaches comics. While U.S. superhero comics are commonly written by various writers, with the comic having different plots and storylines, manga is typically written by one author, with the comic written as a novel. The manga/anime style is distinctive and easy to recognize, though each artist’s technique is unique.

Because March is only displaying 16 pages, viewers cannot see the entire story, but the themes of her comic focus on how individuals deal with bullying. Viewers also cannot see the full development of her characters—March has only written from one character’s perspective so far—but her full story will include multiple characters’ backgrounds. She conceived the idea about five years ago, drawing from her personal experiences as well as from the types of bullying that she saw around her. Then, around three years ago, she began writing the storyline and drawing out the sketch boards for her comic.

“I think there is no one who has never been bullied, but I think the bully is also kind of sad. No one ever thinks, ‘Oh, the bully is also a victim,’” March said.

March plans to continue to draw manga and work with graphic design in years to come. As an art and biology double major, March hopes to attend graduate school in the field of biology, but pursue art as a hobby.

March hopes that by visiting her exhibition, viewers will leave with a greater appreciation for manga.

“I want to change people’s perspective on manga being a lower art form, because it takes a lot of work to do it and people really enjoy reading it,” March said.

“Innocence Dream” will be in Smith Gallery until the 14th.

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