Sketch 7: THAT Back Corner


This comic was a funny moment in my spring break, hanging out with friends. But I realized it also could have a deeper meaning to it.

I decided I would grab dinner with a couple of my friends, as I’d missed them a lot and hadn’t seen them for a while. We arranged a time to meet up, and I showed up about 5-10 minutes late. I was worried they’d already started to eat, so I texted one of them and asked if they were inside. A quick reply told me they were here. I checked around initially, asked where specifically they were, and continued the search. After a bit, I came outside to call, and I discovered they were sitting right outside on the bench. Then, they joked with me that it was “outside back corner” that they meant. I wasn’t actually upset at them (I’m used to their shenanigans at this point), but I drew it that way in the comic because it felt more conclusive.

I knew this was the right story because it teaches a valuable lesson. It teaches the lesson of perspective and how it can affect things. While it was true that they were in the outside back corner, I had assumed they were inside of the restaurant in the back corner. But, of course, I had assumed the logical path and didn’t even consider the illogical path. But life isn’t logical. At least, not always. There have been many things that have happened in my life, and likely your life, that have made us think: “That doesn’t make sense.” Perspective and logic are two things that are, sometimes, taken for granted, and we don’t seem to account for the idea that things don’t always go one certain way.

It’s actually quite difficult to tell a true story in a short comic. Most “truths” or “events” go well beyond a simple single-digit panel event. So to find something to condense into a short and sweet comic is absolutely difficult. Especially when you are attempting to find some “truth” in it. With the two poles of a spectrum being Spiegelmann and Sacco, I imagine that this story falls more on the side of Spiegelmann. It tells the perspective of a decently truthful event without too much bias, similar to the style of Speigelmann’s Maus.

While creating this comic, I had to decide the style and panel formation that I wanted to go with. I decided on a big panel for the last punch line, as I feel that would amplify it that much more. I decided on a more stick-figure like format for the characters because I wanted it to be simple. But I also wanted to experiment with expression on stick figures and without faces. I’ve seen it quite a few times previously, and I really wanted to try it out. I think it turned out okay, but I might go back to drawing faces; it’s easier for me, even if my faces are terrible.

Tell a True Story

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I knew I had the right story for my comic when I realized I had too much fun. I first read Tim O’brien’s The Things They Carried in my junior year of high school and initially hated it. I didn’t like his weak character and wasn’t fond of hearing anything from him. However, I did understand his points and perspectives on the different “truths” we have. So following the prompt, I followed his style of a story that has some truth but not necessarily the reality I faced. As such, I generalized the experience so that any reader could apply it to a night out they might have had.

On the spectrum of telling the truth, I think this comic is closest to Spiegelman’s work because it generalizes people with stick figures and communicates the general idea better than factual accuracy.

I think the most striking and important element is the black box. It tells the reader that there is a gap in the sequence of events and allows the reader to fill it in with their own imagination.



Tell A True Story


At my family’s shabbat dinner, my sister in law announced that she’s pregnant! Choosing to write about this story was pretty easy, because it’s a pivotal event in my families life.  I found this story challenging to draw and turn into a comic, because I had to adjust the story slightly in order to make the story clear and cohesive.  For example, she was actually the last to tell her “high and low,” but I wasn’t going to share everyones highs and lows before getting to the key part of the story. An important choice I made in creating the comic was making the bottom two frames bigger than the rest because those are the more dramatic and significant parts of the narrative.

Sunday Sketch: Tell a True Story

Cold Shoulder

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I really struggled coming up with a theme for this Sunday Sketch. I was wracking my brain for good conversations I had during Spring Break or since then. I was at a loss, until I remembered a conversation I had overheard during my break at home. Let me preface this comic a little bit. My cousin Lauren is 7 years old and LOVES boys. She met my boyfriend, Nathan, over Christmas and was a smitten kitten 5 minutes after they were introduced. We told Lauren that Nathan was coming to this game, and that is all she spoke about for about a week before. This is a conversation they had during the hockey game that my family, Nathan, and I attended over break. {P.S. she offered to lend him her bed so that he could spend the night, I’m not sure that he would have enjoyed a pink princess bed that much :)} This true story was easy to tell because it was an authentic conversation that I witnessed. I’m not sure if writing about a secondhand conversation would have been as easy as this one.

A True Story….

Most people have gone through this: imagine being with a group of friends, with a significant other, or even just alone, trying to decide where to eat. It’s a nightmare. You try to please everyone but each person tends to have their own preferences. It can take hours to decide where to eat. Now, imagine all the places you usually go are closed. That’s what happened to me when I was trying to decide where to eat with my boyfriend when I got back to campus early after spring break. All of the dining locations on campus were closed except for Kaldi’s, the over-priced yet very convenient coffee shop on Eagle Row. We tried to come up with many ideas off campus but could not agree. It seemed as an eternity passed, hence my little SpongeBob reference to “one eternity later.” Our laziness kicked in and we finally decided on Kaldi’s, due to it being so close to home. I feel that this comic can be very relatable as many people have gone through the same process of deciding on where to eat. This moment was a good one to pick for this assignment. Although it seemed like an eternity, it was only about 15 minutes in time and focused only on the subject at hand. It is a truthful yet relatable story, sort of in between the works of Spiegelman and Sacco.

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A True Story…

Real Narrative

I struggled to find a story that I wanted to tell. I thought about it over spring break and still couldn’t find anything. Then, when I was looking for it, the story just came to me. The moment was so strange and unexpected I knew this was the perfect story. I may or may not have modified what actually happened for a comedic effect, but the gist of what happened is still there. I’m definitely more on the spectrum of what I feel Sacco does where he may or may not make himself look better with the stories he tells and change them a little, where as Spiegelman takes the story as it is and simply adds artistic flare through the images. I wanted the overall layout of the page to convey something through just a simple glance and so what I did was use very dark colors to make it seem like the dark and stormy night it was on the night that the event happened. I also knew that I had to be as accurate as I could with the Emory shuttle because it is such an important part to the story, featured in two panels. I also wanted the second panel and the last panel to be the same to show like there was an arc to the story by showing that something changed.

And yes it may sound odd, but the bus driver confused me speaking Spanish with cursing.

Tell a True Story

When we were told to think closely about an adventure, conversation, or experience from break for this sketch assignment, what I would do came to me immediately.  In addition to a home cooked meal, clean bed, and time with my family, my favorite thing about going home is seeing my best friends and going to our favorite place in town.  My town is on the water which has its many perk including the most amazing views at anytime of day- especially sunset. When my friends and I got our drivers licenses, our favorite activity became taking drives around town and singing along to our favorite songs.  We would drive the same streets over and over again taking in the moment as much as possible, especially when leaving for college got closer. Our favorite road is this one way street that we either stop the car at or loop around countless times. Here, you can look out across the water into New York City.  During the day you see the skyline and at night you see the lights that depict the magnitude of the big apple city. We call it “The View.”

I loved the Novel The Things They Carried.  After completing it, I was blown away how Tim O’brien’s war experience does not actually align with the “true war story” told.  Some characters do not actually exist within his life and scenes did not play out as written in the novel. But, the “true war story” is the generalization of the soldiers during this war experience.  So, telling my true story in this comic is not the exact scene that may or may not have taken place with my friends at home during spring break; it is the adventure that I have gone on countless times all leading up to the same view.  The view that depicts home for me.

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A True Story

Drawing and writing a true story was not as hard as I thought it would be. I wasn’t sure at first what to draw, there a million-and-one conversations, places and people I could have drawn but not many of my experiences over break spoke to me on a deeper level. The day my Emory friends came over was a weird one and I had a nagging feeling the entire day of something being off and when they left I was able to pinpoint exactly what it was. I was a little undecided as to how to approach the whole comic but I think I draw more from Sacco’s style of large panels with less traditional structure and text which describes a feeling more than a statement of truth. I felt that the sites that we went to would only be done justice by the structure I chose and I also felt that it helped me portray how I felt and experienced the whole thing.

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Sketch 7: Tell a True Story

Due: March 25

Tag: sk7

Over spring break, be on the lookout for a moment that is worth representing in a comic — watch for some sort of small adventure you might take, or a conversation you are part of, or a conversation you hear, and as you come upon them take notes for yourself and maybe make quick little sketches or take photos to capture images for later. Your story does not need to be momentous. You do not need to be able to fully grasp its significance, such as it is. But watch for a story that seems to be a little window into some sort of meaning or that might show something interesting to readers.

Then create a short comic that portrays that moment as truthfully as you can in a way that combines both words and images.

If you’d like, you can make your comic like “Remind Me” from Palestine (41-50) and include many words to only a few images. Or you can make a comic with only a few words. You can use photographs or draw something or create some other sort of visuals. You can tell a funny story or a sad one, or draw on other emotions.

The only two firm requirements are that your comic needs to have words and images and it needs to show something true. With the full understanding that “truth” is a complicated and contested state of being. (Your story does not have to be a true war story; it only needs to be true.)

Once your comic is completed, publish it to your site as a post. Write a brief reflection about your writing process for this post. How did you know when you had found the right story for your comic? How difficult was it to tell a true story in a brief comic? If you think of Spiegelman and Sacco as outlining two poles of some spectrum defining different approaches to telling true stories in comics, where does your comic fall along that spectrum? What were the most important choices you made along the way of creating your comic?

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