“A Pictorial Letter” by Reimena Yee is an island of reflection in the otherwise harried and fast-paced Yuletime. The short webcomic allows a moment to look back on the past ten years and take stock of how far the cartoonist has come before realigning and restating her personal goals for the next decade.
The letter opens with a reflection on where the cartoonist was in 2010: at fifteen years of age, she was consumed with the stress of school and grades, and unsure of what she wanted out of life. The sensation of being overwhelmed by the expectations of others and following the goals that they have set out for you is one that many readers are likely to find familiar.
However, as the short comic proceeds, Yee begins to reflect on how she began the process of replacing other people’s expectations for her life with her own. She notes that she began to relinquish her desire for approval from others and began to look inwards to find the validation that she sought.
By tracing the process of overcoming external expectations, Yee follows the path she took in self-actualizing and identifying the goals that were most important to herself to accomplish. While some readers may not be so far along in their personal journies to be able to claim they have reached such heights, following Yee as she recounts her experience is sure to offer some measure of hope for the future.
Yee uses straightforward artwork and simple colors to express herself in “A Pictorial Letter,” and that simple style is exceptionally effective in communicating the story at the heart of this short comic: the cartoonist’s personal journey over the past ten years.