Written by Veronica Hicks & Alesha Nichols. Illustrated by e jackson. Accessible image descriptions written by Veronica Hicks. 2018.
Two seated women lean slightly over a large terracotta-colored work table.
The brown-skinned younger woman wears a medium length pony-tail hair style, and a school uniform. The younger woman’s left hand is darker and a bit larger than her right hand. The tan-skinned older woman has fluffy brown hair and wears a cardigan.
Both women are smiling quietly as the younger woman weaves a green-striped scarf on a hand loom. The older woman assists by moving the growing scarf across the table. The blue-green yarn unravelling from the skein of yarn spells out the title of the comic book, Woven, on the work table.
The authors' and illustrator’s names are hand-written as Veronica Hicks, Alesha Nichols, and e jackson at the bottom of the page.
The page is painted in a glazed, airy pink morning light and has six panels.
Panel 1. The young woman who was on the comic book cover is sleeping in bed next to a small child. Both are wearing sleep caps and are facing each other. The morning alarm is ringing at 5:00am.
Panel 2. The woman is out of bed and lovingly tucks the child in to sleep longer.
Panel 3. The woman faces a mirror in the bathroom, and sleepily brushes her teeth over a sink that holds several beauty and grooming products.
Panel 4. Still wearing the pajama shirt, the woman straps on her prosthetic left arm. The panel is cropped so woman’s face is only partially in the panel and her torso, chest and neck are shown from the waist up.
Panel 5. A brown-skinned woman sits on the steps on the upper right side of the younger woman. The steps lead downstairs to the main floor of the house. The younger woman wears a school uniform that consists of a white polo shirt with black long sleeve shirt underneath and khaki pants. The slightly older family member who wears braids, says “Hold still, Tiffany” as she fashions the younger woman’s hair into a ponytail with bangs. Tiffany uses her right hand to put on her left sneaker.
Panel 6. Tiffany sleepily pulls a chair away from the kitchen table as Tiffany’s Older Sister walks back up the stairs. Another family member is walking down the stairs. Fruit sits in a bowl on the kitchen table and two animal food dishes are on the floor near a shelf.
The page is painted in saturated orange, deep purple tones, and has three panels.
Panel 1. A conversation between Tiffany, her older brother and her aunt take place in the busy kitchen. Older Brother is seated at the kitchen table and wears a school uniform polo shirt, holds a cereal bowl, and talks while chewing to Tiffany. He says “It’s your turn for chores,” to which Tiffany replies “I already did mine this week!” Auntie, a older large woman who wears an apron, looks back from the kitchen sink where she drys dishes to say “Y’all can both do another chore. Baby girl, I wouldn’t mind help with dinner tonight.” Tiffany replies with a half-hearted “Okay."
Panel 2. Tiffany returns to the dark bedroom to sweetly kiss the child goodbye and tuck her in one more time with her right hand. The sleeping child has a small smile on their face.
Panel 3. Tiffany partially turns around to see Older Sister smiling, leaning on the doorframe with her arms folded. Older Sister says “She’s just like you… in looks and attitude.”
The page is painted in warm pinks, oranges, and browns, and has five panels.
Panel 1. Tiffany runs through her neighborhood to catch the public bus with a bookbag on her back. People are waiting in a line to get on the bus.
Panel 2. People sit in all of the available seats near Tiffany. Tiffany rests her book bag and left arm on her lap. A man seated on her right side is focused on interacting with his cell phone, a child sits to her left and pays attention to Tiffany’s arm while kicking their feet, and the parent of the child clutches her purse and sneaks a few glances at Tiffany’s left arm and hand.
Panel 3. Tiffany notices the attention from the curious child and smiles. The curious child waves at Tiffany. The child’s parent notices the child paying attention to Tiffany and is not happy.
Panel 4. The parent angrily scolds the child, saying “DON’T STARE.” The child becomes upset and so does Tiffany.
Panel 5. Tiffany grows three times her normal size, becoming hyper-visible, but no one notices how big she has become. Tiffany blushes, casts her eyes downward towards the floor, and crouches as a giant version of herself for the rest of the bus ride.
The page is painted in warm, sandy browns and has four panels. The top of the page features a page break.
Panel 1. Tiffany is now wearing gym shorts and a crew neck t-shirt and is still wearing her black long sleeved undershirt. She warms up for her co-ed high school gym class by playing basketball with a classmate. A gym teacher holds a clip board and shouts in the distance “Good morning! Line up for drills.”
Panel 2. Tiffany and her classmates are gathered together, facing the gym teacher and are ready for instructions. The gym teacher says to the group “Now let’s practice two handed passes.”
Panel 3. Tiffany cuts her eyes down and away from her gym teacher, who begins to stumble on his words when saying “Or, uh, whatever you can manage…” Tiffany starts to fade away, becoming partially invisible and translucent. Tiffany is now an outline and does not have a solid form, her gym teacher is sweating, and scratches his head in embarrassment.
Panel 4. Tiffany and her classmates are in the gym class locker room getting their regular school uniforms and possessions from the metal lockers. As she grabs her book bag from a large locker, Tiffany turns slightly to witness two girl classmates smiling and chatting behind her. The two girls chat back and forth with lowered voices, one hiding her mouth with her hand while whispering. Tiffany cannot hear the soft vocal chatter and has a worried face.
This page is painted in warm, sunny browns and has three panels.
Panel 1. Tiffany hangs her head a bit low as she walks into her next classroom. Two classmates are greeting the art teacher by saying “Hi Ms. Perkins” and “Hi Miss Perky”, to which Ms. Perkins says “Hi!” while leaning on a podium and writing down attendance on a clipboard.
Ms. Perkins is the same fluff-haired tan-skinned adult woman who is featured on the front cover of the comic book.The two students and Ms. Perkins are smiling.
Panel 2. Tiffany is getting ready to sit down on a stool in front of a large wooden work table. Seated at the table is a brown-skinned classmate who has corn rows in her hair, wears glasses, and is smiling. The classmate greets Tiffany with a cheerful demeanor, saying “Hey!” to which Tiffany, with her head lowered, prepares to sit next to the girl, responds with a meek “Hi” and a small smile to match.
Panel 3. The art classroom environment has large work tables where several students work at different stages of drawing still life centerpieces featuring bowls of fruit on pieces of cloth. The students chat with one another, while one casually checks her cell phone that is lowered beneath the table alongside her left leg. The rest of the students draw or talk with Ms. Perkins.
This page is painted with the same warm, sandy browns as page 5, and has four panels.
Panel 1. Ms. Perkins speaks to the entire class and says “Next week, we’ll start a project based off kente cloth - a scarf weaving.” She is smiling and continues to address the class and says “Think about what yarn colors you want.”
Panel 2. Ms. Perkins says “It can be for yourself OR for someone else! It’s time to clean up!” A student hollers out “I want white and blue Miss Perky!!” Ms. Perkins holds a clipboard and pen, and scribbles down what the student says. She says “Wait, repeat that!” as she faces the student who made the yarn color request. Tiffany and her classmate remain seated.
Panel 3. Tiffany looks up towards Ms. Perkins who stands between Tiffany’s seat and her classmate’s seat. Ms. Perkins, worried, blushes and furrows her eyebrows, and asks “May I speak with you, Tiffany? I’ll write a pass.” Tiffany responds by saying a sharp “Oh.” while her classmate cleans up her artwork but listens to their conversation with wide eyes.
Panel 4. Nervously, Ms. Perkins touches her left arm with her right hand. Tiffany speaks with a smaller voice, saying “I have lunch next so it’s ok…” while her classmate walks away from the classroom. The classmate turns back and motions to Tiffany, yelling “I’ll save you a seat!” Another classmate finishes packing up their belongings to leave the art room.
This page is painted with warm brown colors and has four panels.
Panel 1. Ms. Perkins picks up a hand loom from her podium at the front of the classroom by the chalkboard. She motions with it towards Tiffany and explains “We’re using a hand loom for next week’s project, most hold the loom with one hand -” as Tiffany remains seated and listens to her teacher.
Panel 2. Ms. Perkins continues by saying “and weave with their other.” Tiffany turns her body towards Ms. Perkins. Both of Tiffany’s hands are on the table as Ms. Perkins explains this part of the project. Tiffany’s cheeks are hot from blushing.
Panel 3. Ms. Perkins grasps a skein of yarn, has a warm blush to her cheeks as she admits “I’ve tried to think about how you can participate as well, but -” with worried eyes.
Panel 4. Ms. Perkins finishes by saying “I’m just not sure how to instruct you.” as Tiffany meets her gaze with wide, concerned eyes and worried brow.
This page is painted with coffee roasted browns and has two panels.
Panel 1. Ms. Perkins sits on a nearby stool, touching the hand loom and skein of yarn now on the table in front of Tiffany.
While Tiffany is sitting with Ms. Perkins, Hyper-Visible Tiffany from the bus sits with Invisible Tiffany from gym class at a nearby work table. Both Hyper-Visible Tiffany and Invisible Tiffany turn towards Ms. Perkins and Tiffany’s table, and brace to hear more. Ms. Perkins says “I know that you’re a capable mother and young woman, and there must be a way for you to use the loom.”
Panel 2. Ms. Perkins asks Tiffany “Would you teach me how to teach you to participate in this project?” Tiffany focuses on rolling the skein of yarn with her right hand and now has a gentle smile.
This page is painted with soft pinks, warm browns, and has four panels.
Panel 1. Tiffany’s right hand gently holds her prosthetic left hand. Tiffany says “I can use the small opening in my prosthetic to brace the loom...”
Panel 2. Continuing on, Tiffany says with a cheerful smile “and use my right hand to do the weaving. I’d just need someone to cut and retie the yarn for me between colors.”
Panel 3. Ms. Perkins puts her hand over her heart and exclaims “Thank you Tiffany! It was silly of me to even have worried.” Tiffany listens intensely while crossing her arms.
Panel 4. Tiffany’s blushing happy face fills the panel as she responds by saying “I’m glad you asked. I’m really excited to make my scarf!”
This page is painted with creamy oranges and pinks, leathery browns, and has four panels.
Panel 1. Tiffany reads her hall pass as she walks through the busy high school hallway where students interact with their phones, open lockers, and happily chat with each other. An inner dialogue of Tiffany’s thoughts reads “People describe me in many different ways. My family calls me sweet, feitsy, Baby Girl - and I am all of those things.”
Panel 2. Tiffany looks onward down the hallway with her cheeks blushing, and thinks to herself “Others put their own descriptions on me. Disabled? Handicapped? I just don’t consider myself those things. I was born this way, how I live and how I choose to be.”
Panel 3. Hyper-Visible Tiffany is nervously sweating, touching her prosthetic arm with her right hand as regular sized people look at her. Tiffany thinks “Some days, I feel hyper-visible.”
Panel 4. Invisible Tiffany moves past a group of talking teenagers like vapor, with no indication her presence was noticed by anyone. She thinks “And other days, I’m the opposite.”
This page is painted with buttery creams and browns, sherbert oranges, tender greens and blues, and has four panels.
Panel 1. Showing many ideas at once of girls of color with different abilities enjoying their lives, Tiffany describes the people she has seen in the past. In the left side of the panel, a girl with brown skin and two hair buns smiles and wears a green apron over her work uniform. The girl is at a check-out counter providing service to a light-skinned customer wearing black glasses and paying with a credit card for goods. In the center of the panel, a tan-skinned girl in a sundress has straight black hair and red shoes. She pushes her wheelchair forward in a tree-lined park with one hand and uses the other to hold the hand of a tan-skinned boy with slicked down brown hair in blue jeans and a green vest. The boy walks next to the girl, looks lovingly into her eyes as she does the same to him. In the right side of the panel, two girls jump joyfully with hands in the air and around each other’s shoulders celebrating at a dazzling concert. The fair-skinned girl on the left has light brown hair and cheers aloud excitedly as she kicks her foot. The brown-skinned girl on the right has large curly brown hair and wears a green crop top, white high-waisted shorts, knee-high white socks and a prosthetic leg on her left thigh. The brown-skinned girl jumps along with her friend in delight as a massive crowd behind them follows along. Tiffany’s thoughts read “When I see girls like me working… on a date… or at a concert…”
Panel 2. Tiffany swings her leg over the cafeteria lunch table bench to sit with her group of high school friends who have already started eating. Tiffany sets her lunch tray on the table and is greeted with lively waves and upbeat smiles from her classmates. Tiffany thinks “All of a sudden, I’m like wow, maybe I need to be braver - and not care what anyone else thinks!”
Panel 3. Tiffany smiles as she shares her seat on the public transit bus with an older brown-skinned man who wears black glasses and a baseball cap. The older man converses with another brown-skinned person on the bus who places their hand on the man with dark glasses’ shoulder. Tiffany rests her prosthetic arm and her bookbag on her lap and gazes contently out the bus window. Tiffany thinks “What’s most important - what I’m trying my best to do - is accept and love myself.”
Panel 4. Tiffany outstretches her arm and crouches over towards her daughter who runs towards her on the sidewalk. Daughter wears her hair in two tiny black puffs, pink and white striped pants and white shirt. Tiffany and her daughter both smile wide in anticipation for their embrace. Older Sister stands with one hand in her pocket facing them, and enjoys watching the reunion of Tiffany and Daughter. Tiffany thinks “Because I’ve got people in my corner.”
This page is painted with dusty pinks, light oranges, faded purples and rich browns, and has five panels.
Panel 1. Following behind Older Sister inside the house, Tiffany happily removes and tosses her prosthetic arm, flinging it onto the couch where a white and orange dog takes a nap on a cushion. Tiffany thinks “Who love me for who I am, any way I am.”
Panel 2. Pots and pans sizzle on the stove in the kitchen where Auntie shares a taste of dinner with Tiffany. Tiffany closes her eyes in enjoyment and holds a napping tiger-striped cat with her right arm near her chest. Further behind Auntie and Tiffany, Older Brother and Older Sister sit at the dining room table. Older Brother works hard on a drawing while Older Sister organizes his papers on the table top. Tiffany thinks “Who believe in my capabilities.”
Panel 3. Tiffany stands in the art room at the work table to show a seated Ms. Perkins her progress on the scarf weaving project. Tiffany is wearing a brown hoodie and smiles with a warm flush to her cheeks in pride of her stunning green-striped scarf. Ms. Perkins touches the scarf, and happily admires the length and quality of Tiffany’s art project. Tiffany thinks “People who want me to succeed.”
Panel 4. In her bedroom, Tiffany sits upright on her bed with crossed legs with playful Daughter. As Tiffany writes in a notebook, she is amused to notice Daughter pulling the scarf weaving out of the bookbag on the floor and dragging it onto the bed. Tiffany thinks “And count on me to teach them.”
Panel 5. Tiffany wraps the plush scarf weaving around Daughter and gathers her up in her ams. Daughter and Tiffany share a warm, loving embrace when Tiffany thinks “What’s important in this life.”
This page has a plain white background, a portrait drawing of Tiffany, Ms. Perkins, and the sleeping cat and dog cuddled together. The text reads “About the authors.”
Next to Tiffany’s portrait, the text reads “Dealing with prejudice? Other people may have ideas about what I can or can’t do that are just plain WRONG! Being a woman of color, a student and a mom is part of what makes me, me!”
Next to the portrait of Ms. Perkins the text reads “Did you know some disabilities are visible and some invisible, or unlabeled? As a teacher it’s hard to admit when you don’t know everything - but you won’t seem foolish getting input from a student on how to best teach them! You may be surprised by what you learn!”
Underneath the sleeping tiger-striped cat and orange and white dog, the text reads “So what if you’re different? You belong! Connect with others by finding your crew, express yourself creatively, and be your best self!”
A painted light orange stripe arching over sponsors of the comic reads “This comic was made possible by.”
The sponsors are Small But Mighty Arts, Divas with Disabilities Project, and the Penn State University’s Africana Research Center.
This page has step by step drawings and text directions to make your own scarf weaving, featuring a plain white background, simple black, white and red colored pencil sketches illustrating the directions in eight panels.
Materials you will need for the project are scissors, tape, 5 to 8 straws, yarn in as many colors as you like!
1. Prep your materials. Cut straws in half. Measure and cut yarn to the size scarf you want, at least 3 feet! One piece of yarn for each straw.
2. Suck a piece of yarn through a straw.
3. Fold the tail over the straw and tape it. Repeat for each straw!
4. Tie the end of the yarn in a loose knot. The straws are lined up in a row and all the yarn is loosely knotted beyond the straws. Hey, a loom!
5. Ties a double knot on the outermost straw with whatever cover yarn you want. Tie yarn on the first straw in your row of straws.
6. Hold your straw loom and begin to weave, looping the yarn under and then over the straws. Hold the hand loom with one hand and weave with the other. Keep the straw that has the original knot on the outside of the loom.
7. Keep repeating, alternating the pattern! Above the original know, so you are pushing the yarn down with each new row.
8. To change colors, cut and knot off the yarn, knot in the new color and resume weaving!
9. Keep going until your scarf reaches the end of your cut yarn.
10. Remove the top tape and knot it there, too!