January 18, 2005

The Ways My Life Could Have Deviated

by Andrew Stern · , 7:13 pm

Craig Robinson wondered What If…, and then drew some charts.

The first chart represents the imagined potential of his life up to the present, and the second chart is the imagined potential of his life from the present forward.

I found these charts more satisfying than the similar but different chart exercise I conducted a while ago. Carl would surely agree.

8 Responses to “The Ways My Life Could Have Deviated”


  1. nick Says:

    Nice.

    But I have to wonder: What if he had used rollover text that instantly appears, instead of popup windows that take two seconds to load and pop up (or more, depending upon your network connection)?

  2. Sean Barrett Says:

    Or, as long as we’re critiquing the UI, at least made the popup windows reuse a single window so you wouldn’t have to keep closing them.

  3. Websafe Says:

    Craig Robinson’s flow chart is very interesting. The general tone is light and flippant. I found it a little disconcerting that he was playing with the idea of his dad having or not having a heart attack. Perhaps it seems better to do such things with entirely fictional characters. But I appreciate seeing the structure.

    Andrew’s branching-story chart is a very amusing document. A commenter wondered if it demonstrated obsession to make such a chart. I would say no, because the mastery of any art form requires a great deal of analysis, including popular art forms.

  4. Paolo Says:

    I could be doing anything right now… Its probably because of your actions that I am not. Who can say how you haven’t effected me?

    If you hadn’t called Adam that day, he wouldn’t have seen the cheap flights to England, he wouldn’t have come over here and met Sally, Sally would never had been friends with Rebecca, and I would never have fallen in love with her…

    If I’d never gone out with Rebecca I would have got straight ‘A’s in my A-levels and have gone to Oxford Uni with a year at Havard. I would have got a job in to the city and I would be mega-capitalist, and I would never have written this on freedom. I’d have called it dross.

    I’d have big belly, like coca-cola with fries and I’d ask you to call me Paul (bloody Italians). There is no telling who I could be. Thanks, Wacko.

  5. andrew (not stern) Says:

    “Craig Robinson’s flow chart is very interesting. The general tone is light and flippant. I found it a little disconcerting that he was playing with the idea of his dad having or not having a heart attack. Perhaps it seems better to do such things with entirely fictional characters. But I appreciate seeing the structure.”

    (Disclaimer: Craig is a friend of mine.)

    This piece is not meant to be some sort of academic exercise. Craig is primarily and artist who happens to use pixels. So it is hardly surprising that he explores his emotions, hopes, worries, etc. this way. The nearest thing to this stuff for me is Chris Ware, who also integrates autobiographical elements into his work. How pointless it would be if Craig had created some fictional characters. You can watch a TV show if you want fictional characters dying, crying, and laughing. It’s sort of missing the point, I’d say, to admire this merely for the structure.

  6. andrew Says:

    [Editor's note -- the "andrew" of the above comment is a different person than the "andrew" of the GTxA blog, who in fact wrote the original post in this thread; the above commenter's name has been addended for clarification.]

  7. Grand Text Auto » Keeping Digital Comics Comics Says:

    [...] g themselves, it looks as if they will be walking a very fine line. I wish Boxer has seen this piece, for example.

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  8. WRT: Writer Response Theory » Blog Archive » Flowchart Art and Comics Says:

    [...] life decisions create his own personal family tree. (Robinson was previously mentioned on Grand Text Auto, also in relation to “Carl.”) While [...]

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