Looking over the triptych comics on A Softer World, my favorite comics were those that played with my expectations. I enjoyed those where the third frame changes the tone of the comic in an unanticipated way. Here are two examples illustrating my point:
In both of these comics, the first two frames set the reader up to expect an optimistic message in the end, but then the third frame turns the message around in a humorous way.
I intended to do the same thing in the triptych comic that I created. I used a cliché quote by Robert Frost in my first two frames to set the reader up to expect a sage, sanguine message similar to the quote. Instead of going on to say “and that has made all the difference” as does Frost in the poem, however, I finished with a message of regret that the reader would not expect. This tonal shift is reflected in the photos that I took as well. The first shows the two paths as two relatively equal options, followed by the second, which clarifies which path I chose, and then the third, which portrays the path as daunting and fenced-off. I like how this comic will play with readers’ expectations, ending on a dark note that contrasts with most people’s perceptions of the famous quote with which it begins.