The Secret Language of Comics

Combophoto – Childhood Memories


On the corner next to my elementary school in New York City, there was a small ramen shop called, “Meijin Ramen”. After school, I would go with my friends and our mothers or babysitters to Meijin for a snack before going to play in the park. These memories are a staple when I remember my time in elementary school. In college, my friends and I often are hungry and resort to whatever restaurants are available on Door Dash or Ubereats. Whenever we coincidentally order ramen, I recollect on my nine year old self running on the sidewalk in excitement. I wanted to create my combophoto on this topic because it brings to life a memory I had never considered as special until recently.


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 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.

24-Hair Ring

Rambutan is one of the most delectable fruits found in Indonesia—it has a sweet, juicy center hidden in a red shell with soft spines, or hairs, sticking out. I used to wake up early and excitedly head to street markets in search of a pound of fresh, aromatic rambutan. Then, I would devour the 50 of these tiny, hairy, heavenly fruits in one day, and then complain at night that we ran out of rambutans. In the midst of my longing to go back home after more than a year of being away from my family, I wanted to incorporate some of my culture for this sunday sketch. After ruminating between exotic fruits, fried street snacks, and praying women at the mosque, I decided on rambutan, my favorite fruit. I struggled with finding the second image that would fit nicely with a rambutan. However, the inspiration was right in front of me: rings. I love rings, and I collect a numerous array of vintage rings. I found the image on Flickr, and this ring had an every similarly to the one I’m wearing on my left index finger. The second struggle came about when the editing websites wouldn’t work on my iPad. I wasn’t sure why, but I downloaded Photoshop Express as a result. But then, there was no precise cropping tool, and as you can see in the image, the cropping of the ring is… rough around the edges. The final image conveys my wish to go back home, compounded with a touch of my personality. Even though Jakarta is my home, I don’t feel like I fit in there after leaving when I was 15. In a way, this fusion of rambutan and a ring expresses my desire to create a new normal where I can exist. Honestly, if I saw a ring like this, I’d buy it instantly. It’s quite a statement piece.


Ice Cream Lite

Coming up with an idea for the combo photo was actually very difficult, but after staring at the ceiling for a while, I noticed that the dangling lights kind of look like a tall glass with a stem flipped upside down. This lead me to thinking about ice cream, because I haven’t had it in a while. This where the idea for this sketch came from. This image looks like scooping ice cream from a glass, but at the same time it almost looks like a candle. The spoon and ice cream look almost like a wick and the light looks like an illuminated candle holder. This is where the name Ice Cream Lite comes from. Once the idea was generated, the cropping of images together was rather simple.

“Nahaufnahme von hausgemachter Schlagsahne auf einem Löffel” by marcoverch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image of the light was taken by my friend Javier Trujillo

Sketch 4: Combophoto

My combophoto was inspired by Stephen Mcmennamy’s combophoto of “cauliflower and poodle”. I wanted to use an animal’s body and replace the head with another picture. The animal I used was a bald eagle and initially, I wanted to replace the bald eagle’s head with a human head, kind of the same concept of the reverse of the the ancient Egyptian god, Anubis. It’s the reverse because Anubis has a human body but animal head while I wanted to create a combophoto of an animal body and a human head. However, it was really hard finding a human head with the same white color of the neck of the bald eagle so instead I used a baseball.

When it Rains…

Rain cloud photo and confetti photo

For my combophoto I choose to make it look like it was raining confetti. I used a cloud photo and a picture of falling confetti and edited them to make it look like the clouds were raining heart shaped confetti. When I was trying to make my combophoto it was difficult to find the pictures I wanted at the right angles. Due to my limited knowledge of photo editing I needed to find pictures that required less complex editing processes. I got to manipulate different photos to make an image I wanted and got to learn more about photo editing through this assignment.

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.

Socratic Tunnel

Img Creds: Tunnel, Socrates, Car

At first, I had trouble coming up with the idea of this week’s Sunday sketch. I was looking around my room for the mere semblance of an idea. I decided to direct my focus to things that I am passionate about, thinking that would give me an idea. Since I had my violin near me, I thought incorporate a violin into my sketch. However, I did not like any of the ideas I came up with, so I shifted gears to some of my textbooks. I took a class about Socrates last semester, and that is where the idea of this sketch was born. I decided to merge Socrates’s face with a highway tunnel. I went into the class last semester intimidated not knowing anything about Socrates, which represents the darkness of the tunnel. Additionally, the class was about determining whether Socrates was innocent or guilty based on his charges. In the beginning, I found Socrates’s trial to be full of mystery, which is also why I think these two images pair well together.

Dessert Combophoto

While browsing through photos on Google, I was searching for photos relating to food and a specific color. I initially was going to combine a photo of Almond Joy and a glacier, but I decided not to because I couldn’t find a good glacier photo. Then, I came up with the idea of powdered sugar being dusted on a dessert mountain. It took me a bit to delete the unnecessary part of the hand photo because it was a little meticulous. The lighting of the hand and the mountain was off, so I had to play around with filters to make it as close as possible. The final image is a mountain being dusted with powdered sugar.

I used the mountain photo from Flickr by Yoann JEZEQUEL The photo of the dusted powder sugar is by ShutterStock