During our class visit to the WSU Art Museum Collection Study Center, we looked at many different comics and art prints from the Northwest Alternative Comics exhibition. There were so many interesting pieces that I analyzed and looked at. One of the booklets in particular really caught my eye. Hitched, by Mita Mahato, tells the story of a road trip.
The design in Hitched really spoke to me and drew me in. The whole booklet is comprised of a variety of maps. The book also has a collage-style design to it, with what looks like different paper cutouts placed on top of the maps to create a collage that is similar to the one we did in Project One. The trailer being driven in the story is actually a paper cut out that is placed on map to look like it is heading somewhere. Every page has the trailer traveling along a road, so there is little closure that the reader has to do.
In Chapter 7 of Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud states, “because of its independence from our evolution-bred instincts, art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature cast us in” (166). In my opinion, Mita Mahato’s Hitched really depicts the experience of feeling lost and wandering. Mahato writes about the experiences one has during a road trip, but also how you’re just passing through. The maps are all jumbled up, and the different cut out pieces are thrown about the maps in a chaotic way, which just adds to the feeling/effect of being lost.
It also reminds me of the road trips I went on growing up. One page in particular talked about the things they saw on their drive, such as city lights, mountains, and desert bloom. I feel like I can picture the author looking out the window of her car, in awe, and taking in the different sights that she passes by.