To conserve effort during these busy times, here are a couple of projects I've done for school. The end is nigh and hopefully this summer I can go back to writing haflway decent posts again. First, a comic I had to make telling a story from my life that had something to do with American culture, and the explanation I had to write to go with it. If you can't read the comic at this resolution, you're not missing anything.
I feel like it's hard to notice distinctively American cultural items when I grew up surrounded by them and most of them are shared with the rest of the world thanks to globalization. As I brainstormed, one thing that occurred to me was the polarization of American politics. We have only two political parties with any chance of winning an election, and the discourse between them has increasingly devolved into hypocrisy and mudslinging. As far as democracies go, this seems to be a uniquely American phenomenon. I have learned from my European friends that other democracies have more than two parties to choose from and more mature political discourse.
I sketched out a plan on another paper of what I wanted the panels to look like and a couple words in each explaining what I wanted in them. I put in a little size variation but in general the standard three panels across the page works for me. I'm not much of a visual artist so I didn't get too ambitious with that. My drawing skills also leave a bit to be desired, as I can't draw anything three-dimensionally or remain entirely consistent between panels. If I weren't too lazy to improve on this I'd like to draw comics a lot more often. I didn't go the digital route because I needed the flexibility that drawing it myself provides. I took a picture instead of scanning it because every scanner I've ever used cuts off one edge of the paper for some unfathomable reason.
The comic ended up having a lot more words than pictures. This wasn't my intention, but since I am a writer by nature, it just happened that way as I had lots of words I wanted to include in it. Though incorporating real events in my life, there's a lot of summary and symbolism, like showing people in person that I only talked to on Facebook in real life. The explanatory notes with arrows were inspired by one of my favorite comics, “Bloom County”. It's kind of hard to follow the chronology of the words without interrupting the flow, and if I had time to do it over I would try to plan that better.
The comic also ended up being a lot more self-righteous than I intended, kind of making it sound like I think I'm super enlightened and everyone else is stupid. My enlightenment is the point of the story but I tried to counterbalance it by showing how obnoxious and thickheaded I was at first. I don't think conservatives are stupid and I don't think liberals are stupid, but I do think anyone who worships their own political ideology and turns a blind eye to its flaws while criticizing the other side is stupid. And in this day and age they dominate the conversation.
And then this video about climate change that I joined up with a classmate and her sister for. I can't actually stand to watch it, but I figured out that I come in around 4:45 and mumble through my lines in a barely audible fashion just like in real life. Why don't you just skip to 10:23 and see the credits that I made.
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.