The Secret Language of Comics: Visual Thinking and Writing

Smooth Sailing Through English 181

For the final Sunday Sketch I wanted to choose something that allows you to go from the beginning of a journey to an end which is why I decided to use an airplane. In order for me to do well in the course I need to incorporate multiple methods of learning and writing. Just as a plane can’t function correctly if a piece is broken or missing, I would not have been able to perform in an optimal condition in this course. I feel that as a writer and as a person I have learned that I have an easier time visualizing my learning with diagrams and pictures as opposed to staring at ink on a page.

Link back to original assignment:

A Thanksgiving Miscommunication

I knew that the perfect moment to “Tell a True Story” was on Thanksgiving Day when I awoke to my a series of frantic text messages from my friend that someone had thrown our food into the trash. Once I had gotten to the kitchen my friends and I all decided to confront the person that did it;however, when we did we realized we were speaking to the wrong person. So then we had to apologize and then proceeded to go confront the right person. Luckily, our food was still in sealed containers and we were still able to cook it without any other mishaps. It was difficult to tell a true story in a comic format mainly for the fact that I wanted an event to occur which was worthy of being memorable of being told in a comic. Once that occurred it was smooth sailing from there and I was able to create the comic. The most important choices I made during creating the comic was censoring everyone’s name that was involved with a pseudo name so that they retained their privacy.

Reflection on Literacy Narrative Part 3

The entire literacy narrative project has allowed me the opportunity to compose the same text in a variety of fashions written as my rough draft, then composed as a hand drawn comic and uploaded unto my website as a digital comic, and finally revisited with a final draft of my updated literacy comic.  When writing the third part of my literacy narrative, I had to focus on the shortcomings of my initial write-up, and look at the improvements that I created in my comic, and see how I could once again write the same story with improved focus on the aspects and processes that shaped me into the writer and reader I am today. After receiving feedback on my comic from classmates and suggestions to my alphabetic text from Professor.Morgen, I proceeded to rewrite my literacy narrative with a set of fresh eyes. One edit that was helpful in bringing context to what I was referring to in my narrative was breaking down the various acronyms that I used throughout in order to open up my story to a larger audience. Since most of my audience reading the narrative will most likely not be from Texas and understand what I mean by TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills), I had to break down the acronym and expound on the impact that this test had on my future as a student. As I was revisiting my alphabetic text, I also decided to cut out and revise a section that was confusing in my original writing as it was slowing down the comprehension and flow of my narrative. Now that I got to this final product in my literacy narrative I am proud of the end result because it has allowed me to look back at a point in time when I felt vulnerable and insufficient and now I get to reminisce and see the end result of constant studying. After examining my comic, 

I also decided to revisit and emphasize in greater detail the emotional and psychological feelings that I experienced throughout the various points in my journey to English proficiency. As a result, I added some more descriptive imagery in order to place the reader back into that time period and experience the same emotions that I did as a child.

Link To my Literacy Narrative Part 3

Reflection of Literacy Narrative Part 2

Transforming my literacy narrative from a set of words, into a comic which combines the elements of words and pictures to tell a story was more difficult than I had originally anticipated it to be. Throughout the creative process of my comic I had to place myself back into a time period where I was vulnerable and felt like I was inadequate. I attempted to demonstrate the vulnerability and feelings of hopelessness in my comic utilizing the power of framing to zoom in on specific facial expressions to denote a clear juxtaposition of when a person was happy versus when they were sad. I also included the addition of dates in the top right corner of each panel in order to show the passage and flow of time throughout my narrative. This inclusion of a date in most panels also helps to organize the flow of my narrative and provide a sense of direction as to where the story is taking the reader. In order to create the final product that was produced I first had to create a rough sketch/idea of the pictures I wanted to draw that would eventually embody and capture those moments of my past. During a class period we were placed in groups and through the process of peer review and editing I was able to gain effective feedback about my comic that would eventually be incorporated into the final product such as more close up shots and dates in my panels. When I was writing the comic version of my literacy narrative, I focused more on the big events that were written throughout the narrative as opposed to a picture play by play of everything that occurred within the written version. This allowed me to focus in on specific events and do a close reading of my own writing to determine what were the key points and messages I was trying to convey. If I was capable of hiring an illustrator to bring narrative to live I would make them focus on drawing the characters with a lot of emotion so as to distinguish when I was feeling happy or sad, or to simply add a breath of color and life into my drawings. My initial alphabetic literacy narrative gave a general explanation of my process into learning the English language, while in my comic version I honed in on the exact methods and reasons that I was able to succeed. My analytical thinking process for the comic version of my literacy narrative was different from my alphabetic text analysis because after doing the Tracing Pages assignment, I saw what was needed in order to construct and formulate an effective comic. Elements of framing, background/foreground, and differentiating between captions and speech bubbles were necessary in order to convey the story in pictures which I included in my comic.

Link to Comic version of Literacy Narrative:

Fire in your Eyes

his torch

in his memory’s eye

with the rumbling beach and the rising tide and the freshening stars in front and above

was to stand for the redoubled thrust of flame and would make combustion sure

This assignment at first seemed like a daunting task because I had to make my own story out of a set of predetermined sentences; however once I decided to look past that and just allow myself to be free with my drawing and poem it turned out to be a therapeutic event in the midst of hardcore studying and testing.

Link back to this assignment:

How Great is my Life Going?

Days with Score Above 15: Very Good Day
Days with Score Between 8-15 : Average Day
Days With Score Less than 8: Bad Day

I wanted to track the amount of times that I was performing actions that gave me a sense of comfort. These actions were to be indicative of how well the course of my week was going. Every time I would have a low count day I noticed that it was correlated to events that were making me stressed out and/or anxious. I noticed right away that the more fun or less stressed out I was, the “happier” I perceived my day to be going. I also noticed that although I wasn’t having any problems on Monday I had a low score simply for the fact that the “Monday” energy was hitting me. My “weekend” days Friday- Sunday were notably higher because I knew that I wouldn’t have to be concerned with quizzes, tests, or work.

If I were to continue this project I would have looked to make sure that even if I had personal issues during the week, I would not let them impact my mood for the day. I found this tool to be valuable for me because generally I think that most of my days are pretty terrible but being able to quantify my day with numbers helped me see that my days weren’t as bleak as I had originally anticipated. Being able to see my life as a set of bars on a graph helped me to see that I am capable of controlling how to navigate my issues, and not let them have as big of an impact on my life or of those around me.

Assignment Link:

Alarming Messages

This week’s sketch was a comic that had to stretch across 4 panels which made me anxious because I have never been exposed to writing a comic. When I was trying to come up with my idea for my topic I knew I wanted to talk about an incident last week in which my teacher cancelled class and I showed up to class in a frantic run thinking that I was late. This style of comic felt different because the triptych had a clear beginning, middle, and ending section while the quadriptych had to have a 2 panel middle section. Having the middle act stretch across 2 panels allowed me to add more elements to my comic and have it run in a more fluid fashion. I told a comedic story because I needed a break from being serious and philosophical in my posts.

Link back to assignment is here:

My Bag of Tricks

  • Solo New York Backpack- I chose this backpack because it has a lot of storage space and I can use it in 3 different ways: as a suitcase, an over the shoulder bag, and a regular backpack.
  • HP Envy X360 Laptop– I needed a laptop for college and so I saved up my money from my summer job to get it.
  • Chem150L Notebook– I have chemistry lab on Wednesday, but I kept it in this long because I like to work on my post lab assessments throughout the course of the week.
  • TI-84 Plus CE Calculator– I usually have to do calculations for my chemistry and math courses, so a calculator is an efficient way to do all of the math involved.
  • 3 Subject Notebook– Instead of having to purchase individual spirals and folders, I decided to invest in a 5 star 3 subject notebook for convenience and space usage. It has pockets which act like folders and paper which is sectioned off into 3 parts.
  • Health Textbook- I was studying for my Health quiz and completely forgotten to take it out after I had finished the class for the week.
  • Blistex– I don’t want to have chapped lips now that the weather is changing and so I decided to purchase some chap-stick to prevent that from occurring.
  • Water, Nature Valley Bar, and utensils– I usually have to get a quick breakfast in before class so the water and granola bars are a go-to staple, and the utensils are for when I have to take my lunch on the go before I have to get to work at 2 P.M.
  • Phone Portable Charger– Sometimes when I have been on my phone for too long I like to use my portable charger so that I am able to stay connected to the web longer.

I feel like this photograph is very representative of me because I like to have supplies for convenience more than having them to show their value. They are also indicative of my constant on the go mindset, where any chance I can to do work or do something productive I will. I chose to put the things that had more usage for me on the forefront of the photo while the things I used least often towards the back. This assignment felt by far the easiest that we have had so far because I only had to explain the reasons for having certain items in my backpack. Yes, representing myself through the items in my bag is a type of personal writing because I get to reflect on why it is I need something and how it will aid me in my daily endeavors.
Link Back to the assignment Prompt:

Don’t Stop Retrieven

When I was crafting my comic I wanted to do something that was visually humorous, but also a philosophy that everyone should follow. Therefore, I chose the image of a dog chasing after a ball and another 3D image of a dog looking away to show someone being afraid or ignoring an opportunity that was presented to them. The challenge I faced in this assignment was trying to find a topic to base my comic off of. This is different from other writings that I’ve done because this time was forced to make one image tell a story in 3 scenes.

Sunday Sketch Assignment: