Lecture 003

Min: protagonist, Malaysia -> New York Art Institute (animation) Aunty Tori: who cook breakfast Uncle John Lilly Grace Parekh: sister? Lily's going to UK, Everybody went to UK before Marko: cat

Parent's friend

Fried Rice Notice

Page 67 unaccepted too real -> P75 delete

Fried Rice Essay Preparation

convey a sense of reality -> bring the reader closer to audience -> achieve the goal of diary comics

Comic is a literary work that uses a combination of images and text to convey messages. Web comics, benefited by its relative cheap production and distribution cost, enables individual artists to create their own comics for a wide range of audience. This unprecedented convenience allows artists to document and share their lives through drawing, which births to a relatively new type of storytelling technique in comics industry. Different from traditional comics that emphasis on entertainment or raising concerns about certain social issues, an autobiographical web comics focuses more on building the relationship between the artist and the readers. "Fried Rice", an autobiographical web comic created by Erica Eng, uses several techniques to achieve this goal by conveying a sense of reality. Specifically, the absence of exaggeration in its panel design, the realistic depiction in its artistic style, and rich cultural elements throughout the story build up the intimacy between the reader and the artist.

The mundane panel design of "Fried Rice" conveys a sense of reality. Throughout the story, the author consistently uses rectangular panel with white gutter (except page 29 when the author tries to use curved gutter to convey a sense of humidity of the weather) as a way to separate one event from another. Even for the most dramatic event in the story such as receiving a rejection letter (on page 67) from NY Art Institute on page 67, the author choose to use panel in the same manner as the rest of the story. Such conscious use of ordinary rectangular panel without any visual exaggeration lowers the significance of the event and blends the dream-like college rejection with the rest of the reality. In this way, the artist intentionally hide character's strong emotion to make the character more real. In addition, there exists neither extreme angles shots nor exaggerated emanata such as motion lines within the panels. If such angles were used in the framing of characters, the extreme emotion such as fear and awe would distract the audience, breaking the harmony with the rest of mundane story. The ordinary panel shape and gutter, as well as the absence of exaggerated angle and emanata blends fictional space with reality. Such realistic depiction within an autobiographical comic can better share the feelings of the artist to the reader.

The artistic style of the comic also adds to the sense of reality. The panels consistently use various colors of low saturation that is more aligned with the color scheme in the physical world. On page 58, the top panel stands out from the rest of the panels not only because it only uses black and white but also because the speech balloon has high-saturated black color. In fact, the style of this panel is only used once in the story to depict television program that exists in a highly fictionalized space while the rest of the panels remains in physical reality. The fact that the artist, although has a choice to use saturated color, does not choose to continue with such hyper-realistic style of drawings enhances the story's harmony with the reality. Moreover, the child-like stroke gives the reader a room for imagining the process of comic-making. Take the second page, for example: the use of rough stroke instead of smooth computer graphic reminds readers that, although being a web comic, these pages were physically drawn by the artist herself using graphite and watercolor (https://paprikapeprica.carbonmade.com/blog). Realizing the individual labor behind the scene not only adds aura to the artwork but also connect the reader to the artists even more. Furthermore, the background of most of the panels were finished to the same level as the main character. The choice to include detailed background pins down the setting and therefore enhances the authenticity of the story. The artistic style such as color scheme, stroke, and background are chosen to convey a sense of reality.

Finally, cultural-specific elements are used to convey intimacy to the target audience. Throughout the story, there are cultural-specific terms, names, object, holidays, and family dynamic seamlessly blend into the storyline. On page 56, there are red lanterns, potted orange trees, and red origami drawn that are used to decorate the family as a preparation for Lunar New Year. Paying new year calls to other families on page 62 is also a typical activity in Malaysia. (cite?) The mix-ins of Southern Min "Ah Ma" (grandmother) on page 64 and Mandarin "Gong xi fa cai" on page 62 further relates to the reader who live in Malaysia as most of them can speak multiple languages. (cite?) All these cultural specific details that can only exist in Malaysia reminds the target reader that the artist lives in the same community as the reader. In this way, the reader can feel much more represented in the comic. The comics increases the bound between the reader and the artist using many cultural-specific elements in the story.

In Fried Rice, the mundane panel design, the realistic depiction of the artist's life, and the inclusion of strong cultural theme brings the reader closer to the artist's life. Being a web comics, the reader's inability to experience the process from going to a comic shop to touching comic books at hand decreases comic-reading experience. As the nature of web comic lacks physical interactions with the reader, Fried Rice takes advantage of relative low cost of production of web comic and complement it with story and art that is more relatable to the local audience to make the reading experience successful.

who work with little resources, embrace lack of resources material condition around art making realistic representation of physical world symbols and languages

Korean Web Comics

Characteristics: Think, but long, scroll-able

Fried Rice Discussion

No-where-girl: first Diary Comics

Why looking unfinished, unpolished:

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