The Secret Language of Comics

Casino Royale?

For this sketch assignment, I have decided to re-create the iconic poker scene from casino royale. Having watched the movie a few times, I still get excited when James Bond reveals his straight flush, which very rarely happens.

The original scene from the movie Casino Royale, when James Bond flipped over his 5 and 7 of spades.

Here is my version of this scene, which I re-created using a deck of cards and my poker chips. I do not have the black and red chips they used in the movie, so I used black ones instead. I also could not position my hand correctly, so those are the only major differences.

Casino Royale?

For this sketch assignment, I have decided to re-create the iconic poker scene from casino royale. Having watched the movie a few times, I still get excited when James Bond reveals his straight flush, which very rarely happens.

The original scene from the movie Casino Royale, when James Bond flipped over his 5 and 7 of spades.

Here is my version of this scene, which I re-created using a deck of cards and my poker chips. I do not have the black and red chips they used in the movie, so I used black ones instead. I also could not position my hand correctly, so those are the only major differences.

Data Viz from Everyday Life

I tracked 5 areas of my daily life: stress/human interaction/accomplishment/satisfactory levels and time spent on laptop, to form a graph measuring my overall productivity level. From the graph, I can analyze my overall productivity level, and see what events in my life impacted my productivity. When I was first brainstorming about my data, I was unsure about what to track. Then I focused on a concept that I wanted to analyze for myself, which was productivity. I spent some time thinking about what contributes to my overall productivity, and I came up with the 5 areas.

When looking at the 5 areas, I can see that they are impacted by the events in my life. For example, my birthday was March 28, and unfortunately I had a lot of work to finish that week since my birthday was on Sunday. Therefore, you can see from the graph that the days leading up to March 28, from 21-26, my overall stress level and time spent on laptop increased as I was finishing all my work before my birthday. You could also see my human interaction, satisfactory, and accomplishment levels increased from 27-28 while my other levels decreased. This is because I finished all my work, and spent more time socializing since it was my birthday. Another event that impacted the 5 areas is my bio midterm on April 2. Clearly, on the graph, my stress level went up because I have a midterm that day, but my accomplishment and satisfactory levels also went up because I did well on my midterm. The day after my bio midterm, everything went down because I finished all my work, except my human interactions level because I socialized more.

Overall, from my data graph, I can see that my everyday productivity levels depend heavily on the events or assignments that I have that day. If I were to do this in the future, I would focus on a different category, because productivity is easily affected by other aspects of my life. I would rather do happiness or positivity levels. I also think that if I do this long term, I can discover factors influencing my life that I never knew before.

Literacy Narrative Part 3 Reflection

I think the overall literacy narrative project helped me meet the learning outcomes of this class. By creating both a comic and an essay, I expressed my thoughts and ideas using different modes. I also went through an entire process of editing and revising my literacy narrative, which helped me improve it drastically. Overall, this project allowed me use all aspects of my current skills, and pushed me to develop more skills such as web-design and drawing.

After drawing the comic, I felt that it was easier to return to the alphabetic literacy narrative. When I was creating my comic and revising it, I realized areas where I need to emphasize more and areas that were unnecessary. This helped me gain a better perspective on my essay as I understand it better from the readers’ viewpoint. After working on my literacy narrative in a visual format, I also found that both the visual and alphabetic format has their advantages and drawbacks. It is easier for the readers to understand what I am saying in a visual format, whereas I can use the readers’ own imagination about the words that I write in an alphabetic format.

Now, I see the story that I am trying to tell more cohesively. Before, I feel that it was a bit fragmented. With some pieces not adding up or being at the wrong place in the story. Now I think I have improved the flow of the story, which makes it easier for the readers to follow along.

Literacy Narrative Comic Reflection

After completing my comic, I realized that the work that I have done reflects the learning outcomes of the class. Firstly, comics involves multiple types of literacy, and to complete my comic I used multiple modes communication to express my ideas and help the readers understand the plot of my comic. Whether it be using different colours or sizes of panels, I used different techniques to help the readers realize what is significant and what is not. Also, the entire process of completing my comic involved several steps from making the first draft of my literacy narrative and the comic, to editing it and turning the final copy into the final comic. This showed that I practiced writing as a process, drafting and editing my words while writing reflections like this. Finally, I used technology appropriately as I used my iPad to sketch out my comic and revise it into the final copy. If the same process was done on paper, I think it would’ve taken more time and would not be as efficient. 

Overall, I think it is different to write my literacy narrative as a comic. As a comic, some of the aspects of the literacy narrative had to be turned into a visual representation, and after those aspects were added, the story itself became more obvious as to how I became a reader. I feel that I did not need to explain as much in the comic as the essay since I could show certain things using images directly. I also realized some of the unnecessary details in my alphabetic literacy narrative that does not contribute to the bigger plot or storyline. I think turning my literacy narrative into a comic helped me see it from the readers’ perspective, and I really realized what I need to include in both formats of my literacy narrative to make them better. 

When creating my comic, I had to select only the important events or details to include. If I tried to include every single detail, my comic would be very long and hard for the readers to follow along. This realization came after looking at my old comic and the feedbacks. I thought about how my comic would look from an outsider’s perspective, and some of the panels simply did not make sense. Also, I tried to make the comic all the same colour except for important details or events. I made everything black, with occasional usage of red to emphasize certain moments or details. I also added some panels with only words in them. This gave my comic a sectional feel, and it is easier for the readers to follow along my journey that I described. Overall, I think I used some writing techniques when composing my comic, which I learned from other assignments that I competed this semester. 

Comic can also be found here


The composition of my four-panel comic is very similar to that of the triptych. I started brainstorming an idea that I want to express, and I narrowed that idea down for it to be expressed in a story that is short enough for a quadriptych to convey. The challenging aspect about this assignment is the story plot creating part. Once I established the main idea of the story, I can start being creative and tell the story in a funny way, which is not that hard. The middle act is longer than that of a triptych, which allowed more room for me to tell the story, and, in my opinion, made the story easier to understand.

My story is about an individual who lost his phone, and then decided that he lost everything he knew about this world, which prompted him to move far away. His friend, who was standing on the dock, is confused because in his opinion, a phone is not that important. This story is exaggerating the reliance that some people have on their phones in this modern era. I have personally met some individuals who feels empty, or lost without their phone in their pockets. I think as great as technology is, people need to not rely their everyday lives on technology, but instead focus more on the world around them.

Tracing Stitches and Spinning Reflection

The thesis of my essay is: having similar flow while describing similar experiences with their crushes, the authors are able to help their readers relate to the comics through their own imagination. Because both authors used similar techniques describing their similar experiences, their comic help the readers relate to the content in a similar way. The readers will either relate to the story through their own experience, or their imagination.

Before writing my essay, I traced the pages of Stitches and Spinning, and annotated them with my own notes. This process helped me understand the panels better since I was essentially the author drawing the comics. I noticed more details about the panels, such as the length of the descriptions and that the panels do not follow an order for the readers to read, which I included in my annotations. Looking at the whole page, I felt like I understood the comic better, and also understood some of the techniques that the authors used to help the readers relate to their comic. This helped the writing process of my essay.

To address the assignment of writing an inductive essay, I did not change my writing process drastically. I was never truly conformed to writing one specific structure of essay, especially during my high school years. My high school teachers never taught me that the five-paragraph essay is the only way to write essays, instead they assigned me similar essays to this inductive essay, and sometimes even allowed me to create my own structure. Therefore, I did not feel clueless when I was assigned an inductive essay. I just learned the structure of the inductive essay and went on with it.

Overall, I think this assignment helped me understand the “secret language of comics” better. I noticed more details in the comics that a normal reader would sometimes glance over, and realized that some of those details are not random but techniques that the author used to help the readers understand and relate to the content. One insight about the two books that I did not notice before it how similar they are. The main characters in the books, who are the authors in reality, describe multiple stories that are very similar to each other in almost the same way. The two pages that I have selected for my essay is only one example, but after trying to find 2 pages from each book, I noticed a significant amount of similarities between the books.

Assignment prompt

Analysis essay

What’s in my bag?

This image represents me as a person very well. I am a very minimal and concise person and I hate making things more complicated than they actually are. This is shown very well in the image above as all the items in my bag are necessary to me in my every-day life. I do not carry around useless items as they add more weight in my bag, and I try my best to prevent accidents from happening that require additional items that are not always in my bag. The challenging aspect about this assignment is that I do not carry around a backpack with me every day. Most of the time I study in my own room, so there is no purpose packing a bag every morning. Therefore, I thought about what I would bring on a regular college school day, attending all my classes in person. I think representing myself in a catalog of the stuff in my bag can be considered a type of writing, but more towards the visual side. A person can be represented by the items in his/her bag, and the viewer of the image can imagine or assume certain things about the person just by looking at certain items. The process of interpreting the items in someone’s bag is similar to the process of reading a book and interpreting the meaning behind certain plots.


When I first started brainstorming ideas for the triptych, I was not sure what I should think about. There were a variety of topics that I can create triptych about, but I ended up focusing on some of my personal stories. Some of my personal memories were difficult to think back on, and I wanted to switch a topic multiple times during my creative process. I think that was the most difficult part about creating my triptych, and as I gradually overcame some of my emotions, I was certain that I wanted to create a triptych about this specific piece of memory. Creating this sort of three panelled strip was difficult because each panel had to have a purpose. There is no space left to waste and each panel has to push the story forward. Therefore, deciding what to put on the panels was also difficult. The concise nature of the triptych is also the main difference between it and the other writings I have done this semester. There is space for error in the other types of writings, but for this, there is really no space for error.