The Secret Language of Comics

True story of my Lullwater walk

This True Story was actually a lot of fun to make. I recalled a walk I went on with my friends last Friday. The first picture, also the smallest, shows the group of us entering Lullwater. We all met at the top and began walking. We walked until we saw a big, abandoned structure (picture two). One of our friends – Nick – made the impulsive decision to climb the structure. In reality, the structure is at least 20 feet in the air and was just not a smart thing to do. After, he was scared about getting down seen in the fourth picture. He was stuck for a minute. Eventually, after that climactic event, we began walking back and found a large, unsteady bridge which we walked across. All in all, it was a fun time.

Creating the comic itself was a fun process as I the paper was too small at the beginning to accurately draw what I wanted. However, at the end, the paper was too big so it was hard to fill in the spaces.


The choice of putting a sunflower on top of a motorcyclist was obviously a random decision, but I promise, there is a reason. In the 80’s my dad had this same exact motorcycle. As a kid, I heard a lot of stories about my dad’s endeavors involving his different car treks. My favorite story of his was when he drove through the Copal House farm’s sunflower fields. For some reason, the story stuck and this was the immediate idea that popped into my head. Overall, it was fun to tinker around with photoshop and create this combo image.

Sketch 8: Data Viz

For Sunday Sketch eight, I tracked five different, random categories from my everyday life. I tracked how happy I was with my previous night’s sleep, the happiness I felt towards my lunch, how satisfied I was with my lift, how satisfied I was with my social life in that day, and, lastly, how I feel mentally during the day. The graph shows some cool trends, when I sleep and eat well, my lift is better. Likewise, when I don’t have the best social interactions, my mental health decreases. This was the reason I chose what I did: I wanted to track things that were somewhat related, but very different at the same time.

The most evident trend is the correlation between sleep and my lift. I tend to workout in the morning, so, if I am not well rested, the lift will see the repercussions. Although this is a somewhat obvious relationship, I didn’t actually comprehend it until I saw it visually on the graph. Another evident relationship is between my lunch and how I feel mentally. This is less obvious to me as I didn’t think that my lunch had that much correlation on my mental state. That being said, there is a pretty clear relationship between the two. The outlier here is day 7(April 2). April 2 was a Friday which explains several things. First, it shows the lack of lunch. I have no class on Friday so I was able to sleep in late… very late. I missed lunch that day, but my mental health was still great. This is definitely related to the great sleep I had – seen on the graph – and the average satisfaction with my social life. Because I was asleep most of the day, I didn’t have the opportunity to hang out with my friends as much or participate in classes as I had none.

In conclusion, I learned how many factors in my everyday life are correlated. Although some were more obvious, it was not evident until I was able to see it visually.

Not again…

The comic above shows a man pondering whether or not he should bet on sports games. At the beginning, he clearly is leaning away. In the middle, it is revealed that he owes a lot of money, but, in the end, the amount he owes only increases, showing he ended up betting. The challenging aspect of the comic was doing something comedic. I feel like it is easier to do something serious or ironic. Because of that, I wanted to challenge myself to make a joke that my friends will like. I did end up showing the comic to them and they did laugh and enjoy it. Having the middle stretch two panels was weird, but once executed it was easy. The first panel had no dialogue so it acted as a buffer until the character said what he needed to. I told this story to relate to my friends and make fun of them a bit. A lot of my older brother’s friends sports bet and this is a common occurrence.

Whats in my Bag?

My Bag is filled with a lot of random stuff. From pens to Siracha, my backpack carries really anything I need. I don’t use my backpack a lot which can explain why it seems to serve as a storage drawer rather than my academic backpack. That being said, I feel as if the backpack, in a way, reflects who I am. It is random yet useful and somehow manages to get the job done. I believe I am random yet still manage to complete what I need to get done. When creating the image, I thought the best layout was backpack in middle and all of its contents surrounding it. I also poured the contents out so thats why the bigger, heavier items are on the top. I believe this is not a form of writing, but an accurate way of seeing who a person is. For example, one can probably assume I am not organized based on the single picture above. Then again, they can also assume I am a hard worker based on the variety of pens and highlighters above.


For the Triptych I wanted to do something relevant to today. I chose to write about a covid denier, using the same words: “Covid isn’t real.” The story progresses in three stages. First, the figure is watching the News, seeing record Covid cases. In the middle, he is still going out to a social gathering, ignoring the information about covid. Finally, he is in the hospital still denying covid is real. Finding the inspiration was not hard as it is a real problem.

Visual Note Taking

My visual note taking process obviously started with me taking real notes first. In my ISOM class, we learned about something called the “simple decision tree.” This is used to find the optimal decision in terms of spending money for profit. For example, renting or not renting an umbrella for a hotdog stand everyday in Seattle is a common situation that would occur. How much more would one make if they rented it every day? Is it worth renting? Will the profits be higher or lower if you rent? A real decision tree is similar to a visual table, with different lines emerging depending on the decision one makes. Making it into a literal tree makes a lot of sense. Each branch represents a certain decision. The shortest being the worst while the longest is the optimal. Visualizing the tree into a real tree actually helped with my understanding of what each branch does. Obviously, the one I drew would be super simple, but as they get more complicated there would be more branches.

Literacy Narrative reflection


The free write was definitely helpful as a start for the essay. I have not done a lot of writing since the end of last semester, so writing about something personal and interesting was a great way to get back into it. The writing process for the two were similar. In my head, I planned out the style I was going to use and came up with a few ideas. After, It easily translated to paper. Before this assignment, I didn’t realize how much knowing the grammar rules improved my writing. It is obvious, but I never really gave it any thought. Nothing about either writing assignment surprised me. I think about those memories frequently. The most interesting sentence would probably be the last sentence, when I am talking about my brother. The sentence reads “How, under water, he is the same as anyone else, and, above water, he is just trying to be understood.” This is impactful and the heart of what I wrote about; therefore, I think it is the key takeaway point.

Literacy Narrative Reflection

I had been dreading this day, but finally, it came: the day I start my Common App Personal Statement. I stared at my computer screen thinking, trying to put something on the blank page, but nothing came. I truly had no clue where to begin. I didn’t want to write about my involvement in sports or my love for marine biology, they were too cliché; I had to write about something unique to me. Then it hit me: write about my brother.

Prior to junior year, writing had never been my strong suit. I was creative but could not put pen to paper in a transparent way. My old essays are filled with misplaced “howevers,” bad transitions, and very choppy sentences. That all changed junior year with a combination of ACT prep and a brutally hard English class. For me, junior year was a writing bootcamp.

I credit my mechanical improvement to my tutor Mikey. The Berkeley graduate spent hours working with me, forcing me to memorize the various grammar rules for the English section of the test. Slowly, throughout the first semester of junior year, I picked them up. I was able to work through the English section with relative ease. I was proud of myself for improving this much. I went from below average to near perfect on the section, it was clear my mechanics had improved. What I had not realized, though, is how it transferred over to my writing.

Ms. Everett is notorious at my high school for having the hardest class. At the end of the semester, kids come finish smiling with a C. So, going into her class I was obviously worried about the potential to have my GPA crippled. And, after the first week, I was well on track. My first quiz came back an 8%. It was a pop-quiz on the syllabus I had not read, but still, I was scared. The fact that there was a pop-quiz on the second day of school meant I had to always be prepared. Regardless of how prepared I was, it didn’t stop me from getting a C on the quiz the following day. There was little feedback on my short answer questions, so I scheduled a meeting with her. Even though this was the first one-on-one conversation I had with her, she treated me like I was an old student of hers – she got straight to the point. She told me my mechanics are off, that I change tenses, I can’t transition among other things. I knew I had to put in work if I wanted to succeed, and that is exactly what I did.

I spent countless lunch periods and after school sessions meeting with her. After every assignment, I was in her room asking for feedback. As the semester continued, it was clear my writing was improving. The combination between Mikey’s ACT prep and Ms. Everett’s one-on-one sessions, I began to feel confident in my ability to write.

Once it hit me, to write about my brother, I Instantly began to type all ideas I could on the page.  My brother has autism, but I knew writing about just that was not enough. I didn’t want it to be a pity, sob story, but I wanted to write so other people were able to understand what it was like having an autistic sibling. I ended up writing about my experience’s scuba diving with him, showcasing how under water his nervous ticks and visible anxiety disappear. How, under water, he is the same as anyone else, and, above water, he is just trying to be understood.