Hospital Translation

hospital translation click to enlarge

The Drawing Board

Concept This comic was inspired by my recent sojourn in the hospital. Despite the enormous pain I was in, I was still amused at the level of euphemistic speech. Obviously, medical professionals use "happy words" to keep their patients from becoming anxious or agitated, but sometimes they do so at the cost of clarity.

Development The biggest problem for this comic was execution. Essentially, it's a verbal or text-based joke. The images are unnecessary. My first thought was just to make a table with Column A: "What They Say" and Column B: "What They Mean." That was fine, but a little too simplistic. Plus,  I wanted to include some images.

I purposely made the images somewhat generic. I wanted them to accentuate the text, but not detract from it. I'm sure that Mark will argue that they should be more integrated.

Layout I wrote out all the text in Adobe Illustrator. After drawing and inking the images, I scanned them into Adobe Illustrator and started trying out different layouts. I started with more straightforward layouts, but they were too bland. I prefered the more haphazard approach. The hardest part was coming up with a layout that still allowed the text to be readable/understandable.

It wasn't until I decided on the black and white boxes that it really started to look right and readable. I tried to mimic that look in the title itself, which is why "medical" is black and "translation" is white. I wound up eliminating a few of the weaker translations in order to free up some space.