Posts Tagged ‘Manhwa’

The Color of Heaven‘ is the third and final part of Kim Dong Hwa’s Colors trilogy.

This part continues the story of Ehwa and her mother as we follow the happenings in their lives. We also follow their love stories which follow different paths and move in different ways. There is yearning, longing, heartbreak, lots of mother-daughter conversations, allusions to images and metaphors from classical poetry, descriptions of flowers and nature and how they are metaphors to happenings in a person’s life according to Korean tradition and culture – all these and more are there in the book. There is one scene in the book that is different from the norm. Ehwa disappears one night from home and gets back the next morning. When her mother asks her where she was, Ehwa refuses to reply, but tells her mother that she would like to be punished. What happens after that for the next couple of pages in heartbreaking. I can’t tell you what happens though. You should read the book to find out. I really want to tell you how the book ended – happy or sad or open-ended – but it not for me to tell, it is for you to find out.

I loved ‘The Color of Heaven‘. It is a beautiful finale to this wonderful trilogy. I loved the whole trilogy – every part and every page. The blurb to the trilogy reads – “A sweeping trilogy of first love and second chances”. That is a perfect description of it. The whole story is lyrical, the artwork is brilliant, the depiction of traditional Korean culture is fascinating, the love stories are wonderful. But for me the best part of the book is the depiction of the relationship between Ehwa and mother. It is one of the most beautiful mother-daughter relationships that I have ever seen depicted in any book. Ehwa’s mother is one of the most beautiful mothers ever portrayed in fiction. She is one of my favourite characters ever. This trilogy is one of my favourite graphic novels, ever.

I am sharing a couple of scenes from the book. Pictures #1-2 form one scene and pictures #3-4 form a second scene.

Have you read ‘The Color of Heaven‘? What do you think about it?

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The Color of Water‘ is the second volume of Kim Dong Hwa’s Colors trilogy. The story continues from where it left off in ‘The Color of Earth‘. We follow the lives of Ehwa and her mother as little things keep happening in their everyday lives, interspersed with the occasional big thing. Ehwa keeps growing as a person and discovers new things about herself and the world. Her friend Bongsoon is her partner-in-crime in many of these adventures.

My favourite parts of the book are the ones in which Ehwa and her mother have long conversations. During these conversations, Ehwa asks questions to her mother and learns new things from her, sometimes they share things about their lives, and at other times they do things together. It is such a beautiful depiction of a mother-daughter relationship. Sometimes we forget that they are mother and daughter and we imagine that they are best friends, till Ehwa makes fun of her mother on something, and Ehwa’s mother responds, “Is that the way to talk to your mother?” That scene always makes me smile 😁

There are interesting depictions of traditional Korean culture in the book, some of it fascinating, and others that we find hard to accept if we read it with 21st century sensibilities. Many of the conversations in the story have allusions to images and metaphors from classical poetry, which are fascinating to read. ‘The Color of Water‘ ends in an interesting way, and I can’t wait to find to find out what happens to one of the characters in the third part.

I am sharing some of the pages from the book to give you a feel for its beauty. Pictures #1–3 form one scene.

Have you read ‘The Color of Water‘? What do you think about it?

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‘The Color of Earth’ by Kim Dong Hwa is the first volume of the trilogy, and is a manhwa – that is, the Korean version of the manga or the graphic novel.

The Color of Earth‘ is about a young widowed woman and her young daughter Ehwa. The story describes how young Ehwa experiences the beauty of the natural world as she grows up, while navigating the transformation that happens to her body, her emotions and her mind. The story is also about how Ehwa’s mother experiences loneliness and what happens when there is a possibility of discovering love again.

The book is beautiful, lyrical, poetic – if a graphic novel can be described as lyrical and poetic. The artwork is gorgeous, and as I am not an expert, I don’t have the vocabulary to describe it. In some places, the artwork is simple and straightforward with clean lines. In other places, it looks like pointillism – drawing a picture just with points. In other places there are intricate line drawings. The nature scenes and the rain scenes are incredibly beautiful. The book can be read just for its artwork. The relationship between Ehwa and her mother is a central part of the book and it is beautifully depicted. It is almost like reading about the Korean Lorelai and Rory. Ehwa’s mother is one of the most beautiful characters ever depicted in any graphic novel. The story also depicts traditional korean culture very intricately. I loved that aspect of the book. The book also has a beautiful, poetic introduction by the author and an essay at the end describing the book’s themes, by Hwang Min-Ho.

I loved ‘The Color of Earth‘. It is such a beautiful start to the trilogy. I can’t wait to read the second part now.

I am sharing some of the pages from the book so that you can experience the beauty of its artwork. The first three pictures are continuous and depict one scene, and so do the next two.

Have you read ‘The Color of Earth‘? What do you think about it?

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