The Secret Language of Comics

Literacy Narrative Comic Reflection

This step in the literacy narrative project process has by far been my favorite. It definitely took me the longest to finish but working to put it together the way I wanted was well worth it. I took great inspiration from the works we’ve read so far to guide my moment, image, flow, etc. It was difficult to summarize and transform my alphabetic literacy narrative into a comic. I struggled when choosing which moments to use and how to jump through time. I settled on having the first page with the most panels dedicated to the main memory in my narrative, my dad reading me stories. I attempted to use the full page to show a hidden music note created across the panels. It was relatively successful, and I am happy with how the majority of my comic turned out.

I drew my first draft on loose leaf paper as a very, very rough sketch. After seeing how Small, and Walden go through time with their images, I realized I could convey a large amount of my literacy narrative in each page without needing the comic to be pages and pages long. A part of thinking about my narrative in terms of images made more sense in my head because that is how I see these memories, as images. My analytical process was not much different from writing the essay. I decided to use words to reveal my analysis on the last page. I struggled to think of a way to convey the message using more images, however, I think it makes the most sense this way.  

My second page speeds through time to get to my second important memory, senior year Frankenstein project. This is similar to my essay narrative because I followed the story very closely. The main difference in crafting the comic was that I was able to depict these moments as if they were happening in the present. My third page includes the moment I realized I could tailor reading and writing to something I enjoyed. I slowed down time in the first four panels to emphasize this turning point in my life. I tried to have the two panels of just my head up close show the wheels turning when my teacher says I can choose how to present the project. I have myself look up from writing to show she caught my attention. I then switch back to a line or narration and finish the page with a panel from my point of view, like the first panel of the page. I tried to vary the frame and image many times throughout the comic. It was difficult not to have every image look similar, so I did some revising.

This project has gone through multiple steps of drafting and revision which helped me immensely. Starting with the literacy narrative workshop allowed me to get ideas down without even thinking about writing the story. Then, after having the essay done, drafting the comic was crucial because I had to move and change panels/pages to improve flow and include the creative elements of comics. If I had more time and resources, I would definitely make my handwritten text neater and more uniform, such as putting boxes around all the narration like the second page. Otherwise, I think the whole process allowed me to produce my comic successfully.

Literacy Narrative Comic Reflection

Now that you’ve completed your Literacy Narrative Comic, publish a reflective blog post of about 500 words about the writing process, paying special attention to how the work you have done has helped you to meet the Learning Outcomes for this class. That post should link to the page with your literacy comic.

Some other questions you might respond to: How was it different to write your literacy narrative as a comic? How did you think differently once the visual component was added? How did that help you to see the story you were trying to tell in different terms? Was your analytical thinking process any different? How have your thoughts about your alphabetic literacy narrative changed in the process of transforming it into a comic?

I’d also like you to discuss choices you made in creating your comic and to explain why you chose the way you did. Especially if there’s something you were really trying to do in your comic which you felt you couldn’t realize as perfectly as you would if you had a lot more time, more resources, or if you could have hired an illustrator to turn your vision into exactly what you wanted. If there are aspects of your comic where you have a clear sense of what you were trying to accomplish and how you would have done so if some things were different, then explain that in your reflection. Doing so allows you to demonstrate that you have the knowledge you need about this sort of writing even if you have not yet developed all the skills necessary to make that knowledge visible in the final artifact you’ve produced