The Secret Language of Comics

Sunday Sketch 5: Triptych

Photos taken by Kyle Yang

This Sunday Sketch was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. Telling a full story with only three images and a few words seems like such a difficult task, but for some reason, I immediately thought to use this particular set of photos. In our senior year of high school, my friends and I were doing a photoshoot right before homecoming. For one of our poses, my friends lifted me up, and the photographer just so happened to capture the moment my friends dropped me. There is actually an entire succession of photos that details that moment, but to create this triptych, I picked the three photos that I thought could depict the entire event. I decided I wanted to make my comic strip humorous, so I employed the wordplay of the phrase “lift you up” at the end.

Checking My Balance

A combination of a photo of my legs and a photo of my wardrobe handles, both taken by me

For this Sunday Sketch, I knew I wanted to take the photos myself, so I started the search in my dorm room for things I could take photos of. The first objects to catch my eye were the handles on my wardrobe closet; they looked like balancing beams. After snapping a picture of the handles, I proceeded to take a picture of my legs. Using PicsArt, I combined the two photos to make it look like I was balancing on one of the wardrobe handles. PicsArt really made it easy to combine the two photos because there was a feature that automatically removed the background from my legs photo. I believe the finished result perfectly embodies what I am doing right now—trying to balance on the beam that is college life.

Visual Note Taking

Notes on the Mechanisms for Stereospecific Alkene Additions by me (Young Lin)

This assignment introduced me to a productive way to take notes. I found that being able to connect images to concepts helped me in better understanding the content of Module 2A of my CHEM 203Z Advanced Reactivity course. For example, I sketched two Super Saiyans from Dragon Ball doing the Fusion Dance to represent two p-orbitals in-phase. Like the energy increasing between the two Super Saiyans, the electron density increases between the two p-orbitals. I also found that visual note-taking forces me to actively engage with the course material. I spent a good amount of time brainstorming what I wanted to draw for each of the concepts. Through this kind of engagement, I believe I really familiarized myself with the content that I needed to learn. I will likely start incorporating visual note-taking in my other courses.

Literacy Narrative Reflection

Writing my literacy narrative was certainly an enlightening experience. Prior to this, I had never taken the time to ponder about the experiences that shaped me into the reader and writer I am today. The freewriting exercises really helped me in identifying the most memorable events from my life relating to reading and writing. With those memories in mind, I explored the origins leading to the birth of my view that reading and writing are a chore, an unpleasant task. I also examined the more recent discovery of my love for rhetoric.

Normally, I am not too self-conscious when I am writing, but this particular assignment made me realize that I have a bad habit of revising and editing as I write. I say bad because it really interrupted my thinking process. My mind would get stuck on one sentence or one paragraph, trying to perfect the diction and syntax. By the time I was done editing, I had already forgotten what I wanted to say next, so I had to waste more time re-brainstorming my ideas.

Looking back at my narrative, I believe the most eye-catching sentence is “Reading and writing are a chore.” I personally have never heard someone call reading and writing a chore, so I think a bold statement like this would certainly pique a reader’s interest.

Naughty but Knife

For some reason, my creativity was on full throttle for this Sunday Sketch. After reading the instructions, I immediately grabbed an item—a plastic knife I got from lunch—off my desk. I then ran through a list of pun ideas using the word “knife,” eventually selecting the phrase “naughty but knife” (“naughty but nice”). With that pun in mind, I started orienting the knife in different positions on my paper. I quickly noticed that the knife’s white serrated blade looked kind of like wings.

What has wings? I asked myself. Birds, bugs, dragons, angels….ANGELS ARE NICE.

Within 5 minutes, I had sketched out an angel with the plastic knife as one of its wings. That, however, was only half of the pun. I still had to think of something for “naughty.” Luckily for me, the opposite of angels are devils, which happen to be something naughty. Within the next 5 minutes, my angel had become an angel devil hybrid, the perfect embodiment of “naughty but knife.”


Sunday Sketch 1: Avatar

This assignment will be easy. I have the perfect avatar idea!

Those were my thoughts when I first started this task of creating an avatar to represent myself and my website. I had initially wanted to use a panel from my favorite manga (One-Punch Man) as the foundation for my avatar; I would have then edited my name into one of the speech bubbles. This idea would have been perfect if it had not been for that pesky thing called copyright. After extensive searches on Flickr and Google, I could not find a single CC-licensed image of the manga panel I wanted. I, a sane man who would never dare to risk copyright infringement, bowed down to the power of copyright laws and resorted to the next best option: using an image from my phone’s camera roll.

This was the photo I settled on.

Four-year-old me shooting imaginary Power Rangers blasters is a perfect reflection of who I am today—a child at heart. Children thrive on having fun, and one cannot have fun without a vivid imagination. I believe adults also thrive on having fun, and that is why I never let my vivid imagination die out. To this day, no matter how dull and bleak some days might be, I continue using my child-like imagination to have fun however and whenever I can. I continue to shoot those imaginary Power Rangers blasters.