1865: Swett gets his first glimpse of a rocky NH icon, the Old Man of the Mountain!
ADVENTURES of a DEAF-MUTE in the WHITE MOUNTAINS
~ by William B. Swett ~
<< BEFORE: Signs & gestures …
NEXT: To work! >>
For Swett, the Old Man will become a concrete symbol of the strength and independence he finds in his own White Mountain adventures…
Original Booklet Pages (2013):
I originally drew this passage in 2013 as a 2-page spread in a mini-comic (below). In this first draft, I was trying to pack lots of comics into a single small booklet…
In 2013, I’d been working on my stick-figure graphic novel, Freeman Colby Vol. 1, which uses a lot of 12- and 6-panel grid pages — so you might see a common approach (although the Swett pages are more detailed, & thus more cramped!).
New Work, New Styles (2016)
In 2016, I revisited this project as part of a White Mountains exhibit at the Currier Museum. I’d been working with migration narratives in the project EL VIAJE MAS CARO, where I really wanted to bring the reader INTO the world of the storyteller, to encounter situations up close & face to face:
I’d also been drawing more atmospheric settings from Thomas Cole’s notebooks, AND more cartoony styles for the Ethan Allen Crawford & other stories.
Somehow those two different projects suggested a new approach to Swett’s stories… So I decided to re-draw those 2 original pages as 4 pages. The extra page space allowed me to emphasize Swett’s impressions of the immensity & grandeur of the mountain environment!
This also gives me space to play with reflections — Swett’s profile mirroring the Old Man’s — & to tie together the black shapes (Swett, the Old Man, & the mountains themselves) as Swett takes his first steps up towards his Icon.
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