Graphic Nostalgia Reflection

For this specific project the process of filtering out how my view on my literacy narrative has evolved remains more complicated than one might initially suspect. I went through two initial drafts of part one for this literacy narrative. The second draft presented a more condensed and shifted topic matter than the first, however, it still dealt with abstract feelings of nostalgia and a wistfulness for my childhood. This intangible aspect was the hardest part to interpret into a visual comic, and after grappling with the concept for several hours I shifted away from the idea of nostalgia in favor of my passion for drawing and painting. At the time of crafting the comic I did not think much of this shift that came from my visual thinking. I thought my passion for drawing was merely a representation of my feeling of nostalgia for those lost worlds I created in the past. However, when I then took the step to recondense the graphic novel into a third version of the literary work, I discovered a deeper aspect to the more visual shift.

In order to redraft my visual work into text I was forced to look at how the piece as a whole had shifted from its literal origins. The ending was the most obvious place, as in the original I had ended on a philosophical discussion of the idolization of my childhood whereas in the comic I had condensed the end into a portrait of different ages of me reading or drawing and discussed how reading reconnected me to that artistic side of me. In translating this back to a literal narrative my message changed even more. When I began thinking about how exactly reading connected me to visuals I remembered how when I was little I would use tracing paper and trace old graphic books such as Calvin and Hobbes, Bone, etc. Then I remembered how in my Junior year of high school –as I rediscovered those old childhood books– I also began to paint and draw again to relieve stress. On a more meta level I also recognized how the entire process of creating this graphic novel about reading was another example of how reading has pushed me back into visual art. These connections all came into place which completely shifted my narrative away from some wistful nostalgia of the past to an exploration of how novels –specifically the graphic ones– allowed me to reconnect to my younger self through art. The last part of the literacy narrative does introduce a quick break down of my childhood books into visual ones versus literal ones and how they operate differently when it comes to nostalgia –which to be honest I think comes off very rushed and is not explained very well– but overall the point still differs greatly from my original piece.

I am really happy with how it turned out, and although I do think the ending could use another draft I’m unfortunately not sure if I will get to it with all of my other finals to work on. This entire process has really emphasized to me how writing is a process. Each redraft adds and takes away concepts from the initial piece. I have never experienced such an intensive topic shift in my work before, and I think that is due to the shifting medium I worked in. As I reflect upon earlier, the entire process of rediscovering art from reading happened to me as I was crafting the comic, which in turn influenced the narrative shift in my “final” redraft. If that’s not a better example of rhetorical composition then I don’t know what is.

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