The Secret Language of Comics: Visual Thinking and Writing

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.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Then Rage Quit

This was probably the Sunday Sketch that took me the longest to figure out what I was going to do for it, but it is definitely my favorite. I decided to make my true story, five paged comic about the current video game that I’m playing. When I have free time on weekends I tend to play Sekiro and it is one of the hardest, most rewarding games that I have played in years. I figured since I’ve played it so much that there would have to be at least one funny moment. I chose the final boss fight that I have been stuck on for a few weeks now. One time I got so mad that I’m surprised my controller is still in one piece. There was a lot happening within the boss fight so I just made sure to put the important parts of the fight starting, me getting killed, and then my rage quit. Making this comic a true story was hard just because I couldn’t think of anything interesting at first and then this idea just hit me while I was eating breakfast one morning.

My First Wedding Gig! (Sunday Sketch #10)

The process for telling this story came very naturally. With the slow increase in number of panels I was at first concerned that I would have trouble finding a five beat story, but when I wrote out a “shot list” I found that they all sort of fell into place. The story could have ended with the third panel, or even the fourth, which makes the last panel not super necessary but I think it still adds enough to justify the entire piece being five panels. I also allowed myself to not care as much about the artistic style for this one. This is in part due to me doing this project late, but also I think due to how one needs to start their style in a small panel which slowly evolves into a much bigger panel. If the style got much more detailed with the bigger pictures it would have felt disconjointed, especially given how on this website they are all the same size.

Thanksgiving Drama

The hardest part of this Sunday sketch was finding the inspiration. I knew I wanted to depict a conversation, however I couldn’t think of anything with significance or true meaning. I left early for thanksgiving break as I had to travel to Alaska, where a majority of my cousins live. I knew I still needed to complete this Sunday Sketch, and as a result continued to look for inspiration. Finally, late on Thursday night I was in the kitchen when I overheard my parents talking with my dads cousin and his wife. They were in the living room talking about one of my relatives who refuses to come to thanksgiving because of an incidence over 5 years ago. It was interesting only being able to use 5 panels however considering the length of the conversion I didn’t have much trouble. I did struggle with making each panel more exciting, considering it was a stationary conversation however I think I did a good job.

Thanksgiving Football: Sawyer Steinmiller

I am going to preface this by saying that I did this assignment late because I left extremely early for Thanksgiving break. I knew that I wanted my comic to be about something that happened on my trip back home. I knew that writing about my Thanksgiving football game would be the best idea because it was just about the only thing that I did besides taking care of family. Honestly, telling the story was not as hard as I thought it would be. This format of a comic was super easy and fun to use. I think the most important choice that I made when making this comic was how I revealed information through the size of the panel. The first couple panels set the scene, showing a football game. The next two panels reveal that its a high stakes play in a high stakes game with the scoreboard and crowd, and the fifth and final panel reveals that the whole scenario is in my mothers head, while she watches me face plant when trying to make a catch.

Here is a link to the rubric!


This assignment for me was about pushing the bounderies of a sunday sketch and exploring different concepts I’ve learned throughout the semester. The first aspect of this comic that I focused on was the idea of a cool medium. I believe that the intention of this comic was to increase the content of the panels as the size of the page increased. In understanding this task I decided to do the opposite and make the content stay the same and even decrease as the panel size increased. This was very intentional in keeping the content of the panel simple because I wanted to draw the readers eyes to immense blank space of the comic.

The second element I decided to incorporate into this comic was the idea of a loop. I was first introduced to this concept in one of Isaac’s first posts and I’d been waiting for an oppourtunity to try it out with my own spin. The loop in this comic is that the size of the stick figure in the last panel is the exact same size as the size of the figure in the first panel. This is really to drive home the idea that “no matter how big I get, I’ll always feel small on the inside.

This comic for me was personal in that I dealt with feelings that I’ve felt for a while. Overtime they have gotten better which has directly been a product of the positive people and environment I’ve surrounded myself with at Emory. The difficulty with this comic was finding which story to tell. Which also had to do with the fact that I’ve already done this assignment for a previous post. Overall I’m very proud of what I was able to do with this comic and the creativity that I incroporated into it.


I underwent the same writing process for this assignment as I did for the previous assignments. The set of constraints allowed me to narrow down my options and focus on what I want to showcase. Arriving at my destination, I realize that my comic could potentially be more than what it currently is, but at the same time if I were to be given the freedom to construct my comic in my way than I wouldn’t be exactly sure in what I was trying to accomplish.

I chose my story to be a conversation I had with my friend, Cole, about the choice I made in wearing a Deadpool hoodie. We talked about how society impedes us with constrictions and that our choices shouldn’t be determined by society. It was slightly problematic excluding a few moments from the conversation I wanted to show on my 5-panel comic.

the link to the assignment can be found here.

True War Story

The constraints given with this Sunday Sketch actually aided me in finding a story which I really liked. Because this was meant to be a true story that hooked the reader from the start, I immediately started thinking of true stories that were so rare that it seemed like it couldn’t be true. Soon I realized that my life did not contain anything like that so I turned to stories which I could manipulate to seem that way and arrived at this. It starts off with an image of a hand on the ground in a pool of blood with a caption “I died once”. Right off the bat, the reader is forced to think that this cannot be a true story as I was very much alive to actually create the story. This was exactly the kind of hook that I was looking for. From there it was smooth sailing as all of the scenes I wanted to portray came to me quickly. The only difficulty I reached was that because I added much detail to the smaller drawing on the first page, I was forced to remain consistent and add similar amounts of detail even as the page continually increased in size. Overall, the assignment was a fun and interesting one to do.

Sk:10 Love Story

I wasn’t sure what to write about for this project but I decided to write about how I fell in love with my boyfriend over the summer because it’s a pretty unconventional story that I felt could draw the reader in. The process involved thinking back to the week I was trying to encapsulate and trying to remember the details of how everything went down. Then I decided what I wanted to be the first panel that would make the reader want to open the folded paper. I knew what I wanted the next panel to be and what I wanted to end on so the rest of the process was just filling in the time between those panels to tell the story of how we fell in love. Because of the large size of many of the panels, I found that it was not hard to find enough space to fit all the details I wanted to. In fact I found that the fourth and fifth pages had almost too much space, and I wasn’t sure how to fill it all. The most important choice I made was that I didn’t stick to telling my story chronologically; instead I began with the “ending” and then flashed back to a few days before on the next page to start the narrative. I think this made the comic more exciting as the reader knows from the beginning that it’s a love story, but doesn’t know how it’s going to unfold.