Tasked with analyzing two pages from David Small’s “Stitches” and Tillie Walden’s “Spinning” and a deadline to boot, my most mournful reflection is that I incorrectly assessed the due date to be a whole 24 hours earlier than it was; as such, my loss of sleep is a slightly less-noble sacrifice than I previously assumed.

Tracing out the pages helped me realize a lot more about the techniques inside each page and appreciate the work a graphic novelist puts into planning and preparation for their final production. Moreover, the sheer multitude of possibilities one faces when plotting out a page is both astonishing and exciting, so I guess something should be said for the wonderment that comes from a blank sheet of paper. What an endless array of opportunities!

Since I had to hold off on introducing my “thesis” until the final paragraph of my essay, I was able to notice the particular patterns present in each page which in turn helped me construct my argument that Small used his moment of embrace to emphasize David’s transition into self-expression while Walden used hers to portray the critical assistance her teacher provided for her in an “ordinary” yet significant acceptance of Tillie. Instead of working backwards by creating a claim I would then be forced to find evidence for, I was able to analyze the choice of framing and panel sizes Small and Walden chose and their effects in order to naturally compose my conclusions.

At first I thought I was going to have trouble meeting the minimum word-count, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually had more than enough sentences to supplement my essay. The issue I had came instead from cutting down and streamlining my muddle of wordy words to fit the word maximum. I will admit though that this problem is a decidedly more helpful “hindrance” than not having enough, for when you’re forced to trim the fat, what’s left is only grade-A meat (I hope!).

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