Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Sean Kelly Illustration

Dog club


I like dogs and I think they’re nice and are the only things on the planet that don’t deserve to die. I made comics a lot in college about my life using a little character with a round face and bangs to look like me. One day I tried to make a comic about a trauma I experienced but I couldn’t see myself in it. I didn’t want to tell the story as me. I used the dog to tell the story for me. The separation made it easier. I began using the dogs in all the comics I made afterwards.

For my thesis I decided to take short stories and turn them into comics with… dogs. I chose Bernice Bobs Her Hair by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only is it a less known story by Fitzgerald that I wanted to make more contemporary, but the themes in the story dealt with gender. The setting of the story is when women should be seen and not heard and appear femine in every way possible in the turn of the century. What happens if you just eliminate feminine features and just give a “girl” dog long hair and a “boy” dog short hair. Makes it pretty quirky.

Another comic I made is based on the story My Old Man by Ernest Hemingway only, get this, the characters are dogs. I’ve just always loved that story. But I wanted to take away from the relationship of a man and his son, turn it into the connection of a parent and their child, and the horror of it being taken away.