What Do You See When You Look?
For me, the most striking page is the one with the illustration of Karen inside the painting. She has literally crawled inside a piece of artwork. She pried open the canvas and poked her head in before diving in altogether, so that she could freely explore and investigate the dark corners, so that she could understand everything about a single moment in paint. From the narration, we know that all she’s doing is looking at, analyzing, attempting to form an understanding of a painting. But the image of her sitting inside a cave with her feet swinging out over the frame, looking from the inside of the painting out at her brother, shows us that the evaluation going on in her head is so much more. As she is looking at the painting, her mind is inside it, taking in every detail and living every fleck of paint. Another part of why this page is interesting is that Karen actually finds in the cave in the painting is an eight-year-old Deeze, so even though in reality she’s looking at the painting, Ferris’ illustration shows that we are actually looking at him. This works on two levels. First, in looking at the painting she finds a way to better understand and see her brother (including some sad and trapped version of his childhood-self). Second, she is quite literally looking at him in the illustration, as the older Deeze is directly in her line of sight from where she has crawled into the painting.