Date of Submission
Academic Programs and Concentrations
Studio Arts; Written Arts
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
Comics have a language of their own. Unlike film, they are not about capturing the reality of an action but about abstracting it, using symbols and shorthand to convey stories. One of the oddest and most omnipresent of these abstract conventions is the speech bubble. While other text appears in the panel, such as notes or signs, the magical power of the bubble makes the enclosed speech audible. Background signs or dialogue, the text looks the same, existing on the same flat level, but we read one as visual and the other as audible. This oddness is where Papersong came from.
A mute girl in a comic book world, Paige is isolated by her inability to speak, but as the reader we see her speech on the same level as the other speaking character’s words. I wanted to play with this irony and examine how we see different forms of communication. Throughout the story we see people speak, communicate through traditional paper and pen, but also through digital devices. Bridget, who is missing in the beginning of the story, is able to speak through us through her twitter-esc account, and the plot is set off by a series of text-messages. I decided to hand letter the entire piece, even the “digital” text, because it was important to me to feel completely in control of the dialogue. Even though it presented many difficulties along the way, the text is essential to the story and without it the story would become less personal.
This is also a story about isolation. Paige is isolated in the story but she is also isolated visually. Her bright yellow sweatshirt, which often defies outlines, is a visual marker for her unusualness. The yellow of her sweatshirt reflects her note pad, her main form of communication. More than anything, though, I wanted to create a work that was fun to read. Although it was sometimes a frustrating and difficult process, I am very proud of Papersong as a completed work. I hope that you enjoy it and laugh at some of my jokes.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Vicknair, Margaret Glyn, "Papersong" (2014). Senior Projects Spring 2014. 289.
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