What Are You Looking At?

Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness.” — David Foster Wallace

That cartoon at the top of this post is by a cartoonist named Wally Wood, and — the title is kind of a giveaway on this — it’s a list of 22 ways to illustrate a panel in a cartoon.

Consider this: There’s only so much you can do with a cartoon. There’s only so many ways to keep a story going. There’s only so much that’s possible in a tiny rectangle.

Before looking at the Wally Wood graphic, I might have been able to name five or six ways to illustrate a panel.

But 22? I had no idea.

Point is: Whatever you’re thinking about, there’s probably another way of thinking about it. Whatever you’re looking at, there’s probably another way of looking at it.

Don’t get locked into your own perspective. Get out and listen — to friends, to critics.

Let them help you figure out what you’re really dealing with. Let them show you a new side of the problem.