When I first started brainstorming ideas for the triptych, I was not sure what I should think about. There were a variety of topics that I can create triptych about, but I ended up focusing on some of my personal stories. Some of my personal memories were difficult to think back on, and I wanted to switch a topic multiple times during my creative process. I think that was the most difficult part about creating my triptych, and as I gradually overcame some of my emotions, I was certain that I wanted to create a triptych about this specific piece of memory. Creating this sort of three panelled strip was difficult because each panel had to have a purpose. There is no space left to waste and each panel has to push the story forward. Therefore, deciding what to put on the panels was also difficult. The concise nature of the triptych is also the main difference between it and the other writings I have done this semester. There is space for error in the other types of writings, but for this, there is really no space for error.

Sunday Sketch 5: Triptych

Source: Summayah El Azzioui

I decided to take a lighthearted, comical approach when crafting my story. I partly took inspiration from the Nancy triptych mentioned in the prompt and another triptych I came across that showed the struggle of a chocolate chip cookie actually being an oatmeal raisin cookie. I brainstormed situations in which there would be a fun surprise in the third panel and settled on a relatable awkward but laughable situation of someone “accidentally” eating someone else’s food. It was easy for me to come up with the components of each panel however I struggled with making the ending easily understood but not too obvious. I decided to use a zoomed-in perspective so that the reader can see the thief’s reaction and the subtle clue on the food container. This sketch was similar to previous writing in that our literacy narrative comics needed to be condensed forms of a larger story. This sketch differed in that we had an even more limited space (only 3 frames) to express a whole story.

Sunday Sketch 5 – Triptych

It was hard to make a single image containing three frames and one picture, since I wanted to use only one picture like the triptych that I saw on A softer world. I used two different apps, Pixlr and Notability, to create my frames and used Flickr to search for a picture that goes well with my text. I wanted to write and express something that I have experienced in my life. I tried to show how I felt when everything I did collapsed because of one mistake I made, even though I did so hard on everything else. I spent a quite long time writing those sentences and choosing an image that correlates to my feeling. Crafting this sort of comic strip was easier, but also harder compared to other writing I have done this semester. At first, I felt it easy to write three short sentences. However, the shorter the sentence, the more impactful it had to be, so it was not as easy as I thought, since I needed more creativity.

Sunday Sketch #5 – Triptych

I found this image off Pinterest.

This week’s Sunday Sketch was inspired by last class’s discussion on gaslighting. I tried to emulate the same set up and delivery Emily and Joey do in In a Softer World. I spent about 30 minutes going through the archive because I really liked the way they made every strip. For my strip, I wanted to make it a conversation someone may overhear when walking past a couple arguing at a subway station. For the dialogue, I tried to make it ironic that the “manipulator” was gaslighting his girlfriend when being confronted about doing that exact thing. During the composition, I was making it on the GoodNotes app on my Ipad but then I decided to make it on Google Slides because it has indicators that made it easier to “even” out the placements of the lines I used to divide the image in three and place the dialogue text boxes in a uniform way. The most challenging part of this sketch was trying to write a dialogue for it that interesting. My process when making this comic was fundamentally different than when I made my other comics because I felt like I had a more creative inspiration from In a Softer World.

Link back to assignment:

Sketch 5: Triptych

Due: 2/28

Tag: sk5

In How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels, Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden carry out an extended discussion of comics through repeated analysis of the single Nancy strip by Ernie Bushmiller from August 8, 1959 (at the top of this post). They explain that “one of the least tangible yet most significant implements in the cartoonist’s toolbox is the varied use of rhythms.[…] One repetition makes a pair. But add another and the repetitions have become a series, the basic building block of all rhythm. A set of three has the smallest number of elements that can establish a pattern (as well as violate it). Three implies more to come” (134).

For this week’s sketch assignment, create your own triptych comic. As you compose your triptych, I most want you to focus on creating a story with a very clear beginning, middle, and end. Your story can be minimalist, impressionistic, comic, dark, weird or whatever you want it to be — but make sure that each panel of the triptych moves that story forward from beginning to middle to end.

i smile more when i belong

You can draw your triptych, or create one using photographs, maybe along similar lines as the webcomic A Softer World, which ran weekly for about twelve years starting in Feb 2003. Emily and Joey published 1248 comics in that time, each consisting of three panels with photographs and words superimposed on them – often it seems to be a single image cropped into three panels, but sometimes it’s three photos taken as a series – and then the title of the comic appears when you hover your mouse over the comic (creating space for a sort of fourth panel or commentary). The comics tend to be quite dark.

I’m looking for compact and playful storytelling through both images and words. It’s an opportunity for you to play with irony, humor, and/or wit.

Add a paragraph reflecting on your triptych comic. What choices did you make in crafting your narrative? Describe the composition process a little bit. What was challenging about this assignment? How is crafting this sort of comic strip different or similar to other writing you’ve done this semester?