Dr. Jessica Motherwell, Ph.D.

Come home to the REAL you.

Comic karma or coincidence? You decide …

Are comics controlling my life? Can some comics CAUSE stuff to happen?

Perfect stories with perfect plots and perfect endings are perfectly BORING! It’s better to start with “Oops!” or “Oh no!”

Even though I was rushed this morning, I took half an hour to create this “dot-to-dot” comic for a presentation that I will be giving with my colleague Krista Lambert at the Sketching-in-Practice conference this Friday, June 23, 2017. I needed an illustration to buddy up with a section called, “Start with Oops”, that explains how beginning a story with an embarrassing mistake or egregious error can make a compelling — and fun — story starter for student comics.

To illustrate an example of an “Oops!”, I created a comic depicting a classic scene of someone slipping on a banana peel. After my first draft, I decided that the comic needed a second character — a witness. I finished the comic and had just enough time to catch the bus and head downtown to visit my friend. After a fabulous chat, we headed out of the cafe and into the drizzle. That’s when my dress shoe heel touched down on the rain-slicked, metal railroad track embedded in the pavement. As my foot slipped out from under me and I began to slowly fall, the image of my morning comic flashed in my mind. My thought as gravity assisted my way (uninjured) down to the pavement was, “I’ve become a character in my own comic!” I realized I was acting the part of the banana-peel-person and my friend was the witness. The whole slip-and-fall scene felt surreal and very familiar.

That got me wondering: what happened? Is it possible that drawing a comic could give it comic-karma super powers to make stuff happen — like making me slip? My imagination was off and running. Was this karma or coincidence?

My dear artist and writer friends, have you ever had your inked creations foreshadow an event in your life. Have you ever drawn or written something fictional only to find your self acting like a character in the scene you only just invented? Is this a real thing?

Self-care exercise – Here’s something for you to ponder: If you could create a comic or write a story about what you would like to have happen to you, what would you draw or write?

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