The Secret Language of Comics

Scene Recreations

I decided to recreate the Life of Pi scene with some toys around room. I’ve always had a fondness for little toys and knickknacks so it was fun setting them up for this. I also had a similar assignment about a year ago which I decided to share just for fun. It was fun working with my lovely model Allie and if I was back home I’m sure she would of…”volunteered” for this assignment as well.

Halfa Kutcha

I have been half dreading this assignment all semester, I don’t know what happened to me in quarantine but last semester I started to get stage fright for the first time in my life. All through out high school I just never really cared about my peers watching me but something about zooms makes it all the more dreadful. Writing for this was much different than the essay’s, I have the comfort of editing during the writing process when I am working on a essay but doing this I only had my thoughts and my flash cards. While practicing for my presentation alone I found my brain running faster than my mouth and I would trip over words and start to stutter.

Organizing my slide show was a lot easier. I liked the idea of focusing on each of the three stages of recovery so I decided to make each section color coordinated to make it easier for both me and my audience to follow. Without doing anything outwardly visual I don’t know how I would translate that into writing other than just breaking my sections up into paragraphs. I don’t think my analytical process what any different in the making of this. I think the manor helped shaped the final product, such as me not using as complex sentences structure and having a an actually visual tp point out instead of trying to portray whatever I was talking about in the text.

I thought the timing was a really interesting part of this process. When it comes to academic situations I tend to be a pretty concise person. However I still found myself racing against the time limit on some slides. I really liked everyone else’s slides, if I were to do this again I would try and make an effect to make mine more visually appealing instead of just having a page from the comic I am referencing.

Data Reflection

Recently, I have been dreaming a lot more often, and a lot more vividly. I don’t exactly know why, but going back on melatonin supplements might be to blame.Either way I have always been a pretty vivid dreamer. I remember my dreams most of the time and they tend to be rather interesting. Since we’re getting towards the end of the semester a lot of my classes have ramped up and I wanted to see how my varying day to day stresses affected how stressed out I was in my dreams. Coming up with my “hypothesis” I expected my results to be, pretty one to one. It makes sense, after all it is speculated that dreams are a way of brains dumping everything not needed out. However when I recorded my finding there wasn’t much correlation, and what little there is seems to be negative.

I pondered why this might be. I came to a couple conclusions. One is that I might not of been entirely honest with myself when judging my stress levels. Dreams are pretty easy since I wake up and can tell what I felt instantly from the dream, but it’s hard putting an entire 15 hour day in a single number. I probably am more stress than I care to admit. It could also be that since dreams are a way of your brain deleting everything you don’t need, it would make since that if you’re not stress your brain would dump out stressful things and vice versa. The one that really stuck out to me was Wednesday. I don’t want to detail the dream but it was truly upsetting and woke me up way before I needed to be awake. I think it just formed from a cumulation of stress gathered over the past year just washing up all the sudden.

Literacy Narrative 3 Reflection

This project definitely did help me a lot in understanding of the goals for this class. Before this class “comics” and “books” held entirely different spots in my head but now I realize more than ever how visualizing a text can help someone come to understand it. It was fun being on the other side of the page and trying to figure out how to express what I had in mind and how exactly to format it. 

Having to draw what I had already written was an interesting experience. I had to condense down what I was trying to convey, since with comics you just don’t have as many words. Looking between my first and final written draft it’s pretty clear that my final is more concise and focused than the first. My first draft I felt compelled to tell my entire life story and how I had struggled with writing. It focused a lot on my experience with my fourth grade class. When it came time to actually draw it as a comic though, I found that having 2/4 pages be just the fourth grade was well, boring. So I kept it briefed and moved on. I think that really helped a lot going back to literacy narrative since I was able to focus more on how it affected me rather than why it affected me.

Comic Reflection

I mentioned this in class but it was a challenge determining how to layout my comic, since with essay’s the only things writers really have to worry about is where to break off a paragraph. It was also fun to choose how to visually represent certain things, such as my repeated failures in 4th grade or the “FCAT” taking the forum of a pure black cat with judgemental eyes. Another difference was, for my comic, a lot of stuff I liked in my literacy narrative had to be left out. I wanted to explain why I struggled so much as a kid in school but I realized that the reason why I struggled didn’t matter as much as the effect it had on me and what I had to do to overcome the fear I gained from the FCAT. This did help be to see my story in a different way. It is so easy to be mad at that situation but writing it out then drawing it made me realize how little that event really was in comparison to the impact it had on me.I had to think more about how this event actually changed me. In the future whenever I have to analyze writing I can’t just focus on any single part, events that happen on just page one of a book can have effects lasting all the way to the final paragraph. 

In my comic I had to take a, well let’s call it a “minimalist” style. I had to sacrifice backgrounds for the sake of time (and sanity). If I had more time or artist skill I would have loved to add in backgrounds, seeing the school background slowly progress from elementary to middle to high school would have been a nice effect. I’m also pretty lousy at drawing still, especially real people. I simplified faces a lot just so I could save time and I didn’t have to look up 800 references. It would of also been nice to just make it longer, there was a lot of stuff that’s important to me that I had to leave out. It’s hard to tell my entire 19 year long journey in writing in just 4 pages, and I didn’t even get the chance to touch on my experiences with reading and the burnout I felt at the end of highschool. 

Sketch 4: Quadriptych

I was excepting my triptych and my quadriptych to be very similar going into this, however that turned out not to be the case. I wanted to continue Cat, Rat, and Bat but I couldn’t think of a way to fit them into a four panel comic. I was lost for ideas listening to Spotify when Touch-Tone Telephone but Lemon Demon came on and I got the urge to illustrate some of the lyrics. I still wanted to tell a story with the song so I tried to portray the narrative the writer was trying to tell with it. I also wanted to do more angles, since I had more space to tell a full and complete narrative. It’s not a comedic cartoon al well, which while different then writing for comedy, was still fun to write.

Tracing Reflection

Analysing text has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I know I have issues with taking things from text too literally, or looking over small details in the process of picturing the scene in my mind. Thankfully with comics, I feel like I am a bit better at analysis. Being able to see all the components of the scene at once instead of having to skim the text over and over again is easier for me and I pick up on details more. Tracing also helped me to pick up details that I hadn’t noticed before like the lamp in Stitches. 

Writing a thesis at the end was tricky for me. I’ve always been taught to start out with the thesis and usually during the essay I will keep on referring back to it to make sure I don’t get too off topic. Of course I had the thesis in mind when I wrote the essay but I didn’t actually have it written out. I was afraid my essay sounded too ramble-ly in my essay but I think with enough editing I avoided it ok. 

I feel like this assignment did help me to unlock the “secret language”. I am a fast reader, much to the detriment of my reading comprehension. Taking the time to trace these pages and really get to know them helped me realize that no detail is put on the page without reason. Until I did this analysis I didn’t get quite how they were different. I knew they were different of course, but until I did I couldn’t say what exact elements made them stand out from each other (Like the shading in each book).

Original Assignment Post

My Analysis

What’s in my bag?

At school, I don’t usually carry a bag with me. I don’t have strong object permanence, so when I can attach something to myself (via pockets and lanyards), I do. But when I work I do tend to take a bag with me since I usually can’t tie a lot of stuff down to me while I’m on the sales floor. My work bag usually consists of:

  1. The bag itself, a 8 dollar EarthBound canvas tote. (Lots of space, cheap, compact)
  2. My lunch. (Food in the mall I work at is expensive, so I just get something on the way and save it)
  3. Whatever crochet project I am currently working on. (despite me not having time to crochet at work)
  4. Crochet hook (For said project I never work on)
  5. Yarn (Good for getting tangled in my bag)
  6. Scissors (For the crochet project but also just extremely useful in life.)
  7. Some trash I threw in there randomly (Because I couldn’t be bothered to find a can)

The picture in kinda cramped bc the only way to get good light in my room is to stuff all the contents in my small photo both. However, in a way I feel like this helps paint a better picture of myself. I am an extremely disorganized person, this messy cramped space helps to illustrate this.


I mentions in class that I used to draw little comics in middle school, this is a continuation of said comic. The characters, (Cat, Rat, and Bat) were self inserts of me and my two best friends at the time with Rat representing myself. They all had very simple designs and while I didn’t make many strips, they’d often end up in the margins of my homework. For this comic I decided to draw what happens to me and many others during the weekend.