From an interview with Graphic Novel Reporter, illustrator David Small gets metaphorical about a very big moment in his life:
Because I have only one vocal cord, my voice is sometimes pretty shot. That can be frustrating when it happens in public speaking situations.As for why Small has only one vocal cord, he tells that story in his new graphic memoir, Stitches.
For example, on the night of the 2001 Caldecott Award Ceremony in San Francisco--in a vast, packed auditorium--as I mounted the podium to give my 20-minute speech, I lost my voice. All I could do--painfully--was to croak out the words as I had written them down. Modulation, inflection, nuance...all of those flew out the door.
The American Library Association, in bestowing on me their highest honor, turned me from a frog into a prince. That night, before their very eyes, I turned straight back into a frog!