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First: A Collection of Childhood Stories.
Table of Contents so far ...
- The First Time My Parents Spanked Me.
- The First Time That I Saw A Dead Body.
- The First Time I Remember Shaking Hands.
- The First Time We Didn't Have Chinese Food.
- More to come... I update about every 3 weeks so be patient.

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The First Time We Didn't Have Chinese Food.

For those interested, here some miscellaneous notes about the drawing and writing of this story.

For this one I really wanted to accentuate the difference between the child's reaction and the mother's reaction in the last two frames so I did a couple of things to highlight those differences. I used more of a saturated palette, and cartoony type emotional gesture for my childhood self to give it more of an overblown feeling. The open mouth and upraised arm were influenced by the classic Simpsons “Mendoza" Pose. For my mother, I used a more subdued palette, made her smaller in the frame. She uses a more natural, less cartoony body language to express emotion.

I distinctly remember being so upset that I got cheated out of Chinese food. The fact that I nearly died had next no effect on me. It's strange how the meaning of death changes over the course of your life.

I was especially proud of the way the pizza box turned out in the end. I don't know about what the standard pizza box was like where you grew up but that winking Italian chef graphic was pretty popular around these parts. It's my favorite bit of clip art ever.

We didn't use area codes for local calls when I was a child so the telephone number on the pizza box would've only been 7 digits long at the time. I think this fact makes me ancient.

Overall, it was pretty fun trying to figure out how to organize this as a story. I wasn't sure how to deal with the blacking out part. It seemed to slow things down if I showed myself blacking out - it just generally seemed flat to do it that way.

At first, I was thinking of cutting from me breathing in the car to the blackout frames but this seemed like a weird sort of jump so I inserted a cut back to my mother shoveling which seemed to help the flow into the black frames.

It also creates a little mystery in the story as at first the reader is temporarily not sure where they are in the narrative. Plus it was fun to tell part of a comic book story with all black frames.

© Copyright 2014 Scott Huot.