Mapping Spinning: Yellow Panels

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This is my attempt at mapping Spinning. The model above presents the operationalization of “hope”, a recurring theme in the graphic novel which is symbolized by the presence of the color yellow in a panel; here, I present the percentage of panels containing yellow per chapter. A polynomial trend-line indicates a decrease in hope from the introduction, and and a radical increase towards the end of the book.

Conducting this numerical analysis reveals that the presence of hope is very high during the introduction –which possesses a joyful tone, almost as if hinting a feel-good novel–, which decreases exponentially throughout the entirety of the book until Chapter 8, where hope settles into the story and Tillie realizes what makes her happy, having its final peak in Chapter 10. In that final span of increasing hopefulness, Tillie quits skating, giving that it made her unhappy, and accepts her homosexuality, recognizing her sexuality does not mean the end of the world. When she learns to accept herself as she is, the numbers and my intuition as well indicate hope exponentially increases.

This helped me understand that Spinning is not necessarily a story centered around hope, but about a young girl trying to understand her sexuality, and ultimately her path towards self acceptance and making the most of life with what she has by dropping anything that pulled her down (ice skating), and living her life as she truly is.

What led me to explore hopefulness in this assignment was the seemingly spontaneous bursts of yellow throughout the entire novel. These led me to believe there had to be some sort of pattern hidden between the amount of yellow present. The model succeeded greatly in measuring the percentage of panels possessing yellow, but falls short when taking into account the amount of yellow per panel.  In multiple panels, very faint hints of yellow can be observed, while some are almost 75%+ yellow.


In conclusion, the operationalization of “hope” led me to understand that as Tillie learned to accept herself as she is and seek happiness in life, rather than submit to societal expectation, hopefulness in the book increases in an exponential fashion.

Sketch 10: Food Satisfaction (Data Visualization)

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 8.27.38 PMThroughout the span of almost two weeks, I recorded my level of food satisfaction on a subjective scale of 0-100. This tracking assignment yielded some interesting results, which after developing a visual representation of the data, revealed key information about my eating habits throughout the week.

Firstly, a noticeable trend appears in the weekends, where my levels of food satisfaction increase dramatically compared to weekdays. This is because during the weekend, I tend to go out and eat with my friends or my girlfriend, in an attempt to escape the brutal grip of the duc-ling; its merciless grasp on my palate is accurately reflected by the low values presented during the week days, where values oscillate in the lower bound of the graph. Any strong outliers during the week day, such as the second Tuesday in my tracking assignment, are attributed to my ordering Uber Eats. As a general rule, if the value of food satisfaction exceeds 30 during a week day, it could be due to three factors: either I ate outside of Emory, went to Cox, or ordered food through Uber Eats.

Literacy Narrative Reflection

Writing my literacy narrative was one thing, but making a comic out of it was a challenge from a whole other world. When writing my narrative, I did not have to focus as much on the fluidity of an actual narrative, which led to some unnecessary information regarding the narrative to be uselessly scattered throughout. Once I had to put my narrative into a comic, I was forced to rethink everything I had written down in order to properly narrate it and pass it onto a coherent story. Passing it as comics made me realize what parts had to be readjusted, and what parts required more emphasis in order to make it a more effective narrative.

As I developed the comic, I had a clear idea of exactly how I wanted to develop my images in order to portray the story in the way I wanted. However, there was one problem with that: I have no illustration skills whatsoever, so I was limited to the few drawing skills I possessed in order to create the images I had envisioned. Hypothetically speaking, I would have been 100% satisfied with my literacy narrative comic if I had a private illustrator to whom I could explain all my ideas in order to properly place them on paper.

This was a great experience in my opinion, because even though I will not be an illustrator or writer in the future, it made me improve my writing skills and the way I approach narrating anything as a whole, given that this project helped me discover the best ways to display and properly narrate anything.

Sketch: Combophoto

This was a very interesting sketch for me, because it made me learn how to use Pixlr at a very basic level. Prior to starting the assignment, I had no clue of how to actually joining the two images using photoshop. This was my greatest challenge, but felt very accomplished when I managed to merge the two images together. My image selection came down to a balloon and an avocado because for some strange reason, I found similarities between the bottom part of a ballon and that of avocado.Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 9.59.04 PM.png

True Story: To eat or not to eat?

Walking along the beach with my dad usually was an activity comprised by lots of sun, business conversations, life advice, and a nice cold beer (legal drinking age in Nicaragua is 18…). However, this walk brought a small surprise. As we made our way back to the beach house, we saw a small creature squirming over the wet sand… it was a baby octopus. As fishermen and seafood-fanatics, our first instinct was to see if it was edible; after all, we loved eating octopus. However, as I carefully analyzed it, for some reason, the ruthless seafood eater became a compassionate person and grew empathy for the poor thing. It became impossible for me to even consider eating it anymore. We carried the baby octopus back to the house, placed it in an oxygenated fish bowl, and fed it fish. As the night settled in, we became increasingly interested in analyzing the octopus’ biological complexities, setting it behind many backgrounds varying in colors, seeing how effective it’s color-changing skin really was we quickly discovered that even baby octopi are masters of camouflage.

The sun rose again, and it was now time to head back to the city. With the octopus now well fed and ready to be released, we headed down to the beach and dipped the fishbowl into the water, but it was reluctant to leave its newfound home. We had to pull on it’s tentacles to release the suckers’ surprisingly strong grip, and he was quickly carried away by the waters. It’s release made me realize that I had made the right choice, when considering to eat, or not to octopus

Class Sketch (March 22)


After analyzing the images in the site, I realized what makes them art is the fact that they capture casual moments in intimate friendships, and a glimpse of the crazy juvenile life I think it is a fun approach to the topic. However, in my honest and probably controversial opinion, I think that calling it art could be overrating its value; the fact the images are taken in very poor equipment on purpose somehow appears to give it some artistic value, but objectively analyzing this, I have come to perceive it is art just because it is the lens we are analyzing it through. In the bottom line, I really enjoyed the images, they remind me of great moments of my high school life!

Literacy Narrative Draft & Feedback

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This class we passed around our first draft comics and received feedback on them. To say the least, it was an incredibly helpful process, since the feedback was taken seriously and has given me a new sense of direction with my comic. I was very glad that the feedback reflected the tone I intended to depict: lighthearted and comic.Something I noticed was that a student took the idea of my comic to be that the reading competition was wha t pushed me to read, when in reality was something tat pushed me away from reading (probably should make that more clear in my comic). Another very interesting suggestion was that I should introduce more angles and types of frame into my comic to make it more interesting; I had nought really thought of varying angles that much because of my poor drawing abilities, but since so much emphasis was given in this domain, I’ll try my best to introduce some variance into my comic’s angle of depiction.

The Objective Homogeneity of Humanity

Humanity is complex… that’s an easy one. Just to be more concise, I’ll base this discussion off the fact that society is complex.

Spiegelman makes the argument throughout the whole novel, that when social constructs are removed from the reality we perceive, all humans are essentially identical. We will all possess the same needs and look out for our own well beings. Let me elaborate on this newfound term.

Our society is comprised of multiple social constructs, which are simply subjective realities societies create, accept, and conform to. Examples of this can be culture, religion, marriage, socioeconomic status, art, race, ethnicity, and many more. If you sit and think about it, you’ll realize that almost everything is socially constructed.

When you take the time to remove every social construct from the situations presented in Maus, you realize that in the end, whether it be a Pole, Jew, German, or American, they are all human, and under the objective lens, are all identical and homogeneous.

In page 64 of the first book, Vladek takes advantage of the persona-malleability presented by the social construct of nationality, and by pretending to be a Pole, manages to board a train that will get him far away from the work camp.

Yet a better example of the homogeneity of humanity is shown in page 29 of the second book, where Mandelbaum, one of the richest people in Sosnowiec, is shown to be one of the most misfortunate people at Auschwitz, having horribly mismatched shoes, overly large clothing, and no spoon to feed himself. Auschwitz, in a way, eliminates the social construct of socioeconomic status among the prisoner population; this is key to understanding Spiegelman’s idea, since now that the construct had been removed, all subjective value given by socioeconomic status has disappeared, and all prisoners are at the same level, whether in the past one was rich or poor.


Hence, in theory, if social constructs are ignored, one quickly realizes that all individuals form part of an essentially homogeneous population… what makes it heterogeneous most of the time are our social constructs of diversity. Social constructs, although key to society and vital to our survival, are malleable and distort the objective homogeneity of humanity.


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