Tracing Pages – Reflection Post

My essay’s thesis: Both David Small and Alison Bechdel reveal the homosexual nature of their mother and father respectively in a sudden manner and do so through different artistic and literary means, but utilizing these two aspects of their pages, and pairing it with the medium of comics allows for both authors to convey their greater message; therefore, by analyzing the common patterns in both pages, it can be surmised that Small and Bechdel do all of this to share with readers the shock that both authors experienced with the reveal of their parents’ secret homosexuality.

Before writing my essay, the actual tracing of the pages was an important step. I used to trace images from the internet quite often as a kid and this truly brought me back. Tracing the pages allowed me to notice details about the different panels, but more importantly, gave me time to ruminate on the hidden messages on each page. Ideas such as the commonality in the shock of each authors’ reveal and why each author felt the need to do so came to me while I traced each page.

Writing in the ABT format was new and quite frankly tough. It forced me to carefully choose my pages and the subsequent characteristics of each page. I felt my essay made a leap (which is why I repeatedly include words such as “surmise,” “can,” and “likely,”) as the larger message that I claim the authors are making are purely my interpretations of the evidence provided on each page.

But I feel that I am not in the wrong for making an ideological leap. The focus of this essay was focusing on the “secret language” that Bechdel and Small are attempting to communicate in. Only the authors know the answers to why they made the climactic reveal so shocking, but it is the job of analytical readers to make realistic claims that are heavily implied by what we see on the page.

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