Between Five Card Flickr and the original Five Card Nancy, Nancy makes a more cohesive story. It took me several attempts in FCF to create a five-image sequence that did not demand a lengthy and warped narrative for a relationship, while Nancy’s inherent visual coherence lends itself better to scrambled storytelling.
Fates sending a message, old-skool,
Soon way of the dinosaur, no more,
Paper flower funeral for fool,
Extra limbs and eyes so sore,
Climate change melts poles, not cool.
The poem format seemed appropriate for reinforcing the relationship between five disparate images, which, surprisingly were from only two photographers. Its curious, because I know part of the reason I chose the images I did was some compositional and mild conceptual relationships. The phone was an intriguing beginning – it seemed a catalyst, and it created a space for a narrative. The stegosaurus’ position echos the curve of the first photo’s table and the black and white is nostalgic in the same manner of the design of the phone. I didn’t pick up any conceptual ties between the flowers and the prior pictures, but it didn’t involve people or buildings, both of which seemed inappropriate. The chaotic crowding of the image does provide a foil to the quiet emptiness established by the first two. The frog introduced a living element, related by evolution to the dinosaur, and the composition of having one compelling element to the left of center with a foreground in the lower left and a short depth of field mimicked the opening image. Intriguing that they are both by the same photographer, I realized at the end. The ocean scene seemed a good ending to a story, and also inspired my interpretation. During grade school, whenever I needed to write a ’1-page paper’ Dad would recount his tale of how he would exactly follow the length parameters by ending the story’s page with the closing phrase ‘and then the world blew up!’. This account always elicited a laugh and for several uninteresting assignments I was very tempted to emulate him.
On the other hand, Five Card Nancy makes choosing a cohesive narrative relatively simple. I did use the ‘draw again’ feature several times; after the first four panels established the dream-sequence/ odd experience narrative, I actively looked for panels that would serve well as an ending sequence, but not close the interpretation to a strange dream.
Visually the panels fit together naturally, as they share a visual drawing style, comic language, and color scheme. There is even some compositional movement from frame to frame, especially between the final two panels – the road and bush line up perfectly. The yellow wall and background are consistent between several frames as well. I especially enjoy the fact I don’t need to write a poem to tie the sequence together.