“Blue are the streets and all the trees are too”

(Couldn’t help but think how fitting the lyrical genius of Eiffel 65’s ‘Blue’ fit with Enid and the Ghost World she lives in)
ghost20

In class we discussed the use of the mint blue colour throughout Ghost World and what it represents in the moments when Enid is alone. The colour was interpreted to signify a “transitory space” and “form affective attachments”. I also believe it serves as a freeze frame for Enid, a snapshot of her most vulnerable moments that isolate her from the future and connect her to the past. The future is used to drive a lot of the angst within Enid as well as between her and Becky. By removing her surroundings and presenting her alone with her toy, painted in this blue light, we see possibly the most honest representation of who Enid is at this moment in time away from her unease of the future. Additionally, it could present a moment of peace for Enid in this moment of isolation. The entire plot follows Enid’s ego-centricity and the impacts on those around her but here we see Enid alone and there is a comfort she finds from the toy but also in being able to express herself free from judgement.

Also, I loved the comparison that was made of Ghost World to Lady Bird! The relationship Enid has to her father, sometimes self-destructive behaviours, and friendship with Becky in many ways mirror Lady Bird and her parental relationships, her self-imposed isolation, and her friendship with Julie. Both capture the same tone of an angsty teen transitioning to young adulthood and the implications of that on those around them.

A little bit about Hawkeye #19

I really enjoyed re-reading this issue after Dr. Gibbon’s lecture, paying closer attention to the grammar of facial expressions and having a better understanding of the signs used in the comic gave me a new perspective of both the plot and how disability structured the comic. One thing that surprised me (and my limited finger spelling knowledge of British Sign Language) about Hawkeye #19 was how different ASL and BSL are. As the finger spelling alphabets are so different I thought it would be interesting  for you all to see Hawkeye spelt in BSL:

hsignlanguageasignlanguagewsignlanugageksignlanguageesignlaguageysignlanguageesignlaguage

(these are all right-handed signs, source: https://www.british-sign.co.uk/)

7 thoughts on ““Blue are the streets and all the trees are too”

  1. Hi Katie,
    I like how you put the American Sign Language at the end of the blog, but what does it mean? When I was reading Ghost Town, I was thinking why is the cosmic blue. Blue represents cold, lone and stays away. I personally like the color blue because it reminds me of water and sky, peaceful. But in the Ghost Town, it represents lonely and wants to keep away from other people. I like your thoughts on the comics, keep up the great work!

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  2. Hi Katie,

    First up, I’d like to note my disappointment at not thinking of the Eiffel 65 reference myself!

    For real though, I loved your commentary on Ghost World’s use of colour and development of Enid. I think it’s important to realize that even the most “toxic” or unlikable people in our lives are exactly that: People, with thoughts and feelings just like everyone else. Ghost World illustrates that extremely well, and you can’t help but feel bad for Enid even though she’s kind of a jerk.

    Also, I’m going to have to add Lady Bird to my movie list for this summer! It’s one of those movies I just kind of skipped over, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so now I’m obligated to check it out.

    Anyways, great post this week!

    Sincerely,
    Dante

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  3. Hi Katie,

    It’s always fun to get a perspective of different cultures and how it affects the way we interpret certain things. I think it was brilliant of you to include BSL in your post to compare it with ASL. I wonder how the atmosphere of the issue might be changed (if at all) if BSL was used instead.

    I wanted to input some of my thoughts on Hawkeye #19 as I found it really interesting and enjoyable. I got to re-read Hawkeye #19 after Dr. Gibbon’s lecture and it also gave me better understanding and different interpretations of Hawkeye’s character in the comic. I think that taking out words completely in the issue gave it a very different atmosphere, but also highlighted the author’s ability to convey such powerful messages through images alone.

    Thank you for your post, it was a great read.

    -YoYo

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  4. Hey Katie!
    I found it really interesting how you compared the BSL to the ASL and how different they are from each other. I think that how much thought went into the body language and expressions in Hawkeye #19 was compelling and I also really enjoyed it.

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  5. Hi Katie!

    The Pale shade of blue used in Ghost World definitely has this cold and isolated feeling about it and I think it really helps evoke the emotions that Enid feels. Also, very interesting to see the difference between ASL and BSL. I wonder what aspects of each culture created this difference in language and symbolism. Great post!!!

    – Iain Davidson

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  6. Hi Katie!

    I liked your analysis on the colour choices in Ghost World. What I was struck by with the blue that permeates the whole comic is that it is reflective of the themes of not wanting to move on and the fear of change that comes with leaving adolescence behind. It almost seemed to me that it was as if it was reflective of them clinging to the ghosts of the past and that washed them in its haunting and melancholic light. Or maybe I’m just thinking too much about it. Either way, great post! Your discussion on colour helped me put into words something that I had been mulling over since reading Ghost World. Thanks!

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  7. Great post Katie! I agree that reading Hawkeye after Dr. Gibbon’s lecture made the comic more interesting as some of the elements in the story was made more salient. Also, it was nice of you to add in the spelling of Hawkeye in BSL into your blog post! 🙂

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