Comics: Shengjie.wu


The comic ‘The Misunderstanding’, is talking about the conversation between two lamps at the store. The white lamp is misunderstanding ‘cash back’ when the black lamp asks it need cash back or not.


The idea of this comic is from the issues of translation between Chinese and English. As we know, the English ‘wassup’ or ‘what’s up’ means ‘How are you doing’. But if we directly translate to Chinese, ‘what’s up’ could mean ‘what is the thing on the top’. ‘Cash back’ is usually misunderstood by the people who first come to American store and pay for the goods. For instance, my friend Chen asked me to go to Safeway buying some stuffs. After he swiped his debit card to pay the goods that he bought, Safeway staff asked him need the crash back or not. Chen said as much as possible. The staff looked at him confusedly. I told Chen that cash back means cash that consumers receive along with their goods when paying by debit card. Thus, the idea of comic ‘The Misunderstanding’ comes from the true story that I have.


After read ‘Understanding Comics’ by Scott McCloud, I found that comic is separated as two major styles. The first one is realistic. The second one is iconic. I prefer to make my comic iconic. From my perspective, iconic characters are more interesting than realistic characters. When I decided to make my comic with iconic style, I started to design the character. Even though I had the idea of text for my comic, my mind was totally blank about the idea of character. Therefore, I looked at my lamp and started blankly. An idea showed up suddenly. The lamp could be the perfect character for my iconic comic. Thus, I draw my draft on the paper. I tried to make those two lamps act as human. Thus, I make their motion difference in different frame.


In order to fit Scott McCloud’s definition of comics: Comics are “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence”, I tried my best to make the images in deliberate sequence. Every motion in ‘The Misunderstanding’ is in sequence. For instance, the clicking motion of black lamp, and the motion of ‘pick up’ machine are sequential. Thus, I think ‘The Misunderstanding’ fits definition of comics which is juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence.


I decided to print my comic except to show digitally. ‘The Misunderstanding’ contained a lot of frame, and I wanted to show them in one page with sequence. Thus, it was hard to see clearly in digital, especially the words in the speech bubble. Under such condition, I tried to print my draft comic to see the quality of the comic. I found that it was easier to read with print than to read with digital. Thus, I decided to print my comic.

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