The Story of Jesus, Gabe, and Cáceres
My preferred form are comics because I really like drawing and how I can move around scenes. Comics have more freedom in structure than text does simply because you can work visually. A lot of my inspiration comes from the graphic novels we read in class, notably Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang due to the narratives both present. I really enjoyed how American Born Chinese had multiple stories that converged in the end. Both of the authors heritage identities informed these novels, and that is also what informs mine. However, I want my Salvadoran-Mexican identity to inform my other identities as well, such as my queerness. I am very interested in how these identities interact in social settings, especially with family because these are moments that emotionally impact me the most. Moreover, as a math major, I am able to think about things more logically, so sometimes I try to incorporate some technical things in my work, but honestly, I like using my creative work to take a keep my mind off math. They are two different ways of thinking, but as I move onto higher level math, more creativity is involved in forming proofs and solving problems, so I foresee both my graphic narrative and math interests converging. My LATS concentration helps me understand how my Latinidad and society relate, so that informs a lot of the social science aspects of my work.
My work has definitely evolved because I have put more effort into my drawings. During my first semester of my sophomore year, I took Drawing 100, and I felt shy to make drawings because I did not see myself as good. But for Assignment 9, I finally gave my characters flesh rather than just stick figures. Even just including the basics of making objects of focus and in the foreground have thicker lines really enhanced my drawings. Because I used my Drawing 100 techniques in Assignment 9, I am most proud of that work. Thus, I envision myself making my own graphic narrative in the future.
Notes on Craft
My project deals with my queerness, water, loneliness, and mental health. It is my biography interspersed with other stories that align with me or I feel are important to tell. This is inspired by American Born Chinese. Moreover, Assignments 8 and 9 inspired this work because of the drawings and the scrapbook style they both showed. The other stories I include are that of my story’s narrator, a goldfish named Gabe, and a synopsis of the film ¡Berta Vive! directed by Katia Lara. I want to include Gabe’s story because I want his struggles to mirror mine, but with some myth behind it. I included Berta Cáceres’ story because I want to emphasize the sense of community she fostered and how water was able to achieve this, while also giving the efforts of indigenous people a shoutout in my work. The tools I used for my project are color pencils, drawing pencils, Micron pens, designer paper, glue sticks, images, and Photoshop to edit some of the images. I wanted to use Comic Life, but I found this crafty version more fun and visually more interesting to do. I feel this is a very unique style for me.
One of the biggest challenges I faced in my narrative is making all three stories converge. In fact, it took me a while to decide how I wanted to tell Berta Cáceres’s story because I could mainly find stories revolving around her assassination and not on her work before that happened. But after watching ¡Berta Vive!, I really liked the sense of community shown during her funeral and how people continued to stick together in activism. This is Cáceres’s legacy. Through that research, I learned a lot about Berta Cáceres and her efforts, how to draw goldfish, and confidence in telling my stories. I imagine this work being distributed via copies or online, although the arts and craft feeling might be lost because it would appear more 2D than the original work.
Page numbers are [shown above] each page.
I learned to draw goldfish from
“How to Draw a Goldfish.” How 2 Draw Animals, http://how2drawanimals.com/8-animals/104-draw-goldfish,html?limitstart=O.
Estrada, Jesus. “Posing by the Green River.” 14 Oct. 2018
Hudson, Toby. “Coral Outcrop Flynn Reef.” Wikipedia, 24 Jul. 2010, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coral_Outcrop_Flynn_Reef.jpg
+”Berta Caceres.” Goldman Environmental Foundation, www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/berta–caceres/.
¡Berta Vive! Dir. Katia Lara, Perf. Berta Caceres, Terco Producciones, 2016, Vimeo. Accessed 8
Dec. 2018, www.vimeo.com/229310580.
Screenshot descriptions and times:
Lenca community on a hill 4:28 Berta Caceres speaking 7:10 The speech bubble next to Cáceres is actual dialogue from the movie during the times 5:38-5:44. Garifuna people on bus 8:26 Miriam Miranda speaking to crowd 11:37 Burial ceremony 27:13 People playing in river 28:18
Estrada, Jesus. “Hoosic River during day.” 14 Oct. 2018.
Estrada, Jesus. “Hoosic Treehouse.” 14 Oct. 2018
Estrada, Jesus. “Green River Below Bridge.” 14 Oct. 2018
Estrada, Jesus. “Lying Down on Green River’s Shore.” 14 Oct. 2018
MORE WORK BY JESUS ESTRADA