Most times, it seems comics aren’t about drawing what you see but what you want to see. From mythical locations to super-powerful heroes, it’s an escape from reality. But artist Jason Polan is using it to document the mundane things he sees in his day-to-day life. Running in the New York Times‘ Opinions Page online, Things I Saw is a comforting and somehow revealing visual list of, well, the things he saw.
Like reading someone’s grocery list, this unique way to show the artist’s life lets your mind fill in the blanks like imagining what’s going on between the panels of a traditional comic. Like a sort of visual stream-of-thought agreggator akin to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, it shows the highlights of what Polan is seeing and allows you to imagine the rest.
The column is actually a continuation of a Tumblr blog Polan did in the summer of 2011 as part of an gallery exhibition that year. Seeing it get a second life inside the New York Times is an interesting and welcome sight.