The thesis of my paper is that both Tillie Walden and David Small both slow down time and disorient the intended direction of reading to emphasize their respective emotional climaxes. I identified each of these climaxes as David realizing that his mother doesn’t love him, and Tillie underperforming at worlds, which eventually leads to her crashing her car.
Before choosing a page from both Spinning and Stitches, I knew that I wanted the pages to relate somehow. Something that we talked in class about both works was Tillie’s and David’s emotional climaxes. Therefore, I took a page from each comic that I interpreted as each character’s emotional climax. I felt that annotating and tracing the pages was very useful. It was almost like a forced pre-writing assignment since it helped me brainstorm ideas. By analyzing and annotating my tracings, I applied the concepts in Chute’s essays and began to notice the similarities and differences between the works.
The writing of this essay did not change my writing process too much. I still brainstormed ideas before and lightly outlined my essay. If anything, this essay was quicker to write because it is acceptable to immediately to start analyzing the evidence. There is no need to write and wordsmith an introduction.
After doing this assignment, I do feel that I understand “the secret language of comics” better. When initially reading both of these works, I did not notice any of the patterns I discussed in my essay. During my first read of both Stitches and Spinning, I was more reading for plot rather than examining the author’s images intricacies. Tracing and annotating really opened my eyes to how each author poetically elaborated about key plot elements. For instance, by tracing the page in Stitches, I realized that all the panels showed no signs of life, which emphasizes David’s loneliness. In my essay, I make further analysis like this. Therefore, I feel like I do understand Stitches and Spinning more after writing this essay. By tracing and annotating, I know realize why creating a certain page or panel may take weeks for an author to illustrate. In Chute’s essay, Art Spegielman says that he sometimes spends weeks on certain panels in pages. I initially thought that he did to make his art high quality and implement simple illusions. However, after writing this essay, I know realize that authors must draw their images at a high quality, but also they must decide, which poetic patterns they will use to highlight certain messages or plot points.