The Secret Language of Comics

Sunday Sketch 9

In order to figure out what scene to replicate for this sketch, I thought of movies. that I have seen recently. One of which was Superbad, which is a comedy about high school students trying to get into a party. One of my favorite moments of the movie was when Fogel was fake being arrested by the police. This is the scene that I tried to replicate here. In the scene, he was wearing a white shirt and black pants, which I had in my wardrobe. Besides the outfit, the other critical part of this picture was finding people to serve as the police. Luckily, my friends were available and served as the cops. As seen above, they are restraining me by holding my arms, which is accurate to the scene.

Halfa Kucha Reflection

Formulating my argument for my Halfa Kucha was not that different than forming an argument from an essay. First, I made a list of all the books we have read this semester, and I defined what I thought the trauma was in each work. After analyzing my notes, I noticed that there were many similarities between Teddy from Sabrina and David from Stitches. I then specifically found images in which Teddy and David are similar in coping with their trauma. I then checked the end of the works to compare their healing processes. I structured my presentation pretty similarly to how I would write an essay for this topic. I discussed each work on its own and then analyzed the differences and similarities between the two. If I was to make my presentation into a written work, I would not change to the format/organization too much. I thought my presentation resembled an essay in that I made a claim in the beginning followed by evidence and a short conclusion.

I wanted to choose visuals from each Sabrina and Stitches that would support my stated argument. For example, I found images in both Sabrina and Stitches in which Teddy and David, respectively, express their anger. For a majority of my presentation, I knew roughly what I wanted to say and found corresponding images. In some cases, the images would give more ideas, which in some cases made me change/condense some aspects of my argument. An example of this at the beginning of my presentation was when I commented on the facial expressions of both Teddy and David. Commenting on these facial expressions helped me develop my argument further to say that David was more poised to recover.

By giving this type of presentation, I learned that effective presentations do not have to be excessively long. In some instances, being perfectly concise can perhaps be as effective as giving several examples to support your argument. Something that I saw from other presentations was the inclusion of quotes. Although the medium calls for having a picture on each slide, I thought that the inclusion of a power quote on a slide was rather effective. If the presenter has the quote on screen, it is definitely more effective that way than just reading it. I think I will use this presentation technique in the future.  

Data viz of Excitement and Productivity

For this Sunday Sketch, on a scale of 1-10, I decided to track the five categories: Productivity, Creativity, Excitement, Zen, and Fun. The main reason why I chose these categories is because I wanted to see how my emotions impacted my ability to complete work. I chose to display my data as line graph was to see if there was any correlation between any of the categories. I found that there are some relationships. One example would be the relationship between excitement and fun. On 3/18 and 3/19 I had excitement levels of 8 and 9, respectively, because I was excited to see someone I had not seen in a long time. I saw that person on 3/20, and we did many fun things. That was why my fun level for the day was a 9. Another interesting relationship is between excitement/fun and Zen. 3/22 was a Monday, and I have four classes on Monday, which is definitely a cause of stress. Therefore, on Mondays, I rarely feel calm and my zen level was rather low.

From this ten-day trial, I believe that my emotional state does not have a strong impact on my productivity and creativity. I believe this because there is no correlation between any emotionally based category (excitement, Zen, and fun) and productivity related category (productivity and creativity). If I were to do this project again, I would not change much. If I were to change something, I maybe would be stricter on how I ranked each category each day to give the data more variance. The data for each day will never be perfect because there are so many extra variables to take in account. One example is the amount of work I actually have each day. If I only have one assignment to complete, and I completed then I would think I was rather productive. However, if I have multiple assignments and fail to complete one, I would not consider my day as productive even though I probably did more work.   A change I would make to the data gathering would be to make it even more strict. I think if I had more variance in the data, I would be able to see more defined relationships between the categories. I thought this assignment was especially useful tool because able to analyze trends that are occurring in my life. I am happy to know that my excitement and fun levels are not affecting my productivity.

Literacy Narrative Part 3 Reflection

The literacy narrative project has definitely helped me meet some of the learning objectives for this class. By portraying my literacy journey in both written and comic form, I expressed the same story in different mediums. Before creating the comic, I read multiple essays by Hillary Chute and Scott McCloud and synthesized their ideas to make my own comic. Additionally, by writing two versions of my written narrative, I effectively edited and revised my written narrative.

After creating my comic, returning to my written narrative was definitely unsettling because I decided to change some of key elements of my story. Perhaps, the biggest alteration was when I decided to change the opening my narrative. Initially, in Literary narrative part 1, I started my literacy journey in 8th grade when I struggled to read To Kill a Mockingbird. However, in my comic, I decided to scrap that idea and start in 6th grade when I failed a pop reading quiz. The main reason why I decided to make this change was because failing my pop quiz was a single event, which, therefore, was more story like. I thought this change would favor the visual format. Additionally, I thought this memory was more resonant in my mind, and more accurately showed my past sentiment pertaining to reading and writing. After creating my comic, I realized that my story was truly unique to me, and I needed to reflect that in my writing. Therefore, throughout the whole piece, I tried to more explicitly show my thoughts.

When first turning my narrative into a visual comic, my goal was to take key events of my comic and accurately portray them with images. In other words, my thinking process was one of showing not telling. When making some illustrations from memory, I had thought of some details that I did not even think to put in my writing. For example, while making my comic, I remembered what my Indian Camp essay was about. I first illustrated base of my essay in my comic and then decided to include it in my revised version of my written narrative. As a whole, when rewriting my narrative, I wanted my writing to more represent my comic than be a simple revision. Therefore, upon editing, I tried to make my narrative more story-like and personal. By analyzing my own comic, I believe I effectively did this.

Literacy Narrative Pt. 3

Literacy Narrative Pt.2 Reflection

This assignment was definitely very different from any essay or narrative that I have written before. Due to the visual nature of medium, creating my narrative comic was rather challenging because I purely had to show not tell. In other words, I had to not only identify the most important elements of my written narrative but also effectively illustrate them. The two resources that helped me the most during this process was Scott McCloud’s Making Comics and Hillary Chute’s Comics for Grown-ups. Scott McCloud’s work introduced me to several fundamental concepts of comic illustrating such as moment, frame, and image. These concepts helped me recognize what makes a comic successful in storytelling. Specifically, I used these concepts in the beginning of my comic when I establish the setting as my middle school. In the first sequence of panels, the images go from general to more specific. The first panel of the comic is an outside image of my school, and the last panel of the sequence is the door of my classroom.

 Hillary Chute’s Comics for Grown-ups was also useful. By reading Chute’s work, I realized that comics can be poetic in a certain sense. Panels not only show the constant passing of time, but the author can choose to make illusions or perhaps give the reader a rather unique intended direction of reading. Furthermore, Chute’s work gave me the liberty to be more experimental and creative with my comic. By applying the principles of these two works to my comic, I successfully synthesized and evaluated ideas scholarly sources and applied them to my own work.

My literacy narrative was quite different as a comic than as a standard piece of writing. In my comic, I wanted the illustrations within the panels to do a majority of the story telling. Therefore, I had to turn my written narrative into a more comprehensive story, so that it could fit the medium. I could not simply state retrospectively that my attitude towards reading changed. Instead, I had to show how it changed through experiences and memories. One example of me doing this, is on page 4 of my comic. In my written narrative, I simply stated that I struggled to read Romeo and Juliet during freshman year of high school. However, I wanted to elaborate upon my reading struggles, so I illustrated multiple books alongside pictures of myself being confused. By doing this, I think my comic is more effective in showing my struggles firsthand, than my written narrative. Once I finished my comic, I realized that my written narrative lacked emotion and personality. My written work was effective in telling a story, but I think my comic would connect better with an audience because I am truly shared my thoughts and past life experiences.

Given that I am not an amazing artist, I wanted the drawing style of my comic to be pretty simple. Going into the comic, I knew my limits as artist and tried to work around them. That is why there is never any dialogue within the panels themselves. However, with a simple art style, I made sure to vary the format of each page as well as the size of the panels. I do not think that my illustrative style hindered my comic too much. I think a professional illustrative would aid my work but improving my drawings would have no impact on the story I am trying to tell.

My Comic

Sketch 7 – Quadriptych

When thinking of an idea for my quadriptych, I initially had trouble. I was trying to make a story from scratch, and I could not think of anything. Then I started to think about my past memories, and I thought of this idea. As an older brother to multiple siblings, I have seen my parents grow more soft over the years. In other words, they always avoid trouble and get what they want from my parents. Hence, the concept of the comic. In the comic, a boy asks his mom if he could have a gum ball. The mom says no, but the little boy starts crying. After the boy cries, the mom feels bad and buys the gum ball.

Overall, I thought the quadriptych was easier to make than the triptych because the extra panel allowed for more creativity and the opportunity to develop more of a plot. If I would make this comic a triptych, I would not have included the close up of the boys face with the tear. Without the inclusion of this panel, the meaning of the comic would be quite different.

Tracing Stitches and Spinning Reflection

The thesis of my paper is that both Tillie Walden and David Small both slow down time and disorient the intended direction of reading to emphasize their respective emotional climaxes. I identified each of these climaxes as David realizing that his mother doesn’t love him, and Tillie underperforming at worlds, which eventually leads to her crashing her car.

Before choosing a page from both Spinning and Stitches, I knew that I wanted the pages to relate somehow. Something that we talked in class about both works was Tillie’s and David’s emotional climaxes. Therefore, I took a page from each comic that I interpreted as each character’s emotional climax. I felt that annotating and tracing the pages was very useful. It was almost like a forced pre-writing assignment since it helped me brainstorm ideas. By analyzing and annotating my tracings, I applied the concepts in Chute’s essays and began to notice the similarities and differences between the works.

The writing of this essay did not change my writing process too much. I still brainstormed ideas before and lightly outlined my essay. If anything, this essay was quicker to write because it is acceptable to immediately to start analyzing the evidence. There is no need to write and wordsmith an introduction.

After doing this assignment, I do feel that I understand “the secret language of comics” better. When initially reading both of these works, I did not notice any of the patterns I discussed in my essay. During my first read of both Stitches and Spinning, I was more reading for plot rather than examining the author’s images intricacies. Tracing and annotating really opened my eyes to how each author poetically elaborated about key plot elements. For instance, by tracing the page in Stitches, I realized that all the panels showed no signs of life, which emphasizes David’s loneliness. In my essay, I make further analysis like this. Therefore, I feel like I do understand Stitches and Spinning more after writing this essay. By tracing and annotating, I know realize why creating a certain page or panel may take weeks for an author to illustrate. In Chute’s essay, Art Spegielman says that he sometimes spends weeks on certain panels in pages. I initially thought that he did to make his art high quality and implement simple illusions. However, after writing this essay, I know realize that authors must draw their images at a high quality, but also they must decide, which poetic patterns they will use to highlight certain messages or plot points.



Sketch #6 Whats in your Bag?

Contents: Emory Binder, Lab Manual, Lab Notebook, Macbook pro, USB C Charging Cord, Emory Planner, Sunglasses, Airpods, Pen

Overall, I did not find this sketch assignment too difficult. Given that we are living in a pandemic, I only use my backpack only a couple times a week. When I do, I usually have most of my Chemistry supplies because my Chemistry class and lab are in-person. Therefore, I use the binder for all the worksheets that I receive during Chem lecture and use the lab manual and notebook during lab. Also, I use my computer to complete several assignments for my classes, and I use a planner to keep track of my work for the week. As for sunglasses and airpods, I use those on an impromptu basis given the environment around me. After looking at what is inside my bag, I feel like it is very representative of me as a student because I am quite minimal on the resources that I typically use.

Sunday Sketch 5 – Triptych

Image: Landscape near Border of Utah and Arizona

To find inspiration for this sketch, I decided to scroll through the trending images on Flickr. I noticed that there was an abundance of landscape images. Something I like to do in my free time is to relax outside and just think. However, after while that tends to get boring, and I crave human interaction. For me, at least a balance between the two makes me happy. Hence, the line of thinking of my comic. This landscape caught my eye because I thought it was pretty magnificent. I also chose this specific landscape because the environment looked particularly dry, which means its only bearable for so long. After I decided on this image, I used the Pixlr online photo editor to insert the frames and the text boxes.

The most challenging part of this experience was summarizing an idea within three panels. This is quite different from my personal literary narrative comic because I had no creative boundaries. In this case, on the other hand, I had to make my idea fit into three frames, which requires the utmost conciseness.