The Secret Language of Comics

Literacy Narrative Pt.3 – Reflection

The literacy narrative project has been a very useful assignment for understanding how to story-tell through the use of multiple modes. I especially found it helpful that we utilized comics as a step in the revision process because it allows me to think of my writing in a way that I normally don’t, and it really helped me refine what my narrative was actually about. In the first two parts of the literacy narrative project, my conclusion seemed very sudden and kind of slapped on. I realize that I was trying to wrap up my essay in a pretty way that would leave the reader satisfied, but prioritizing that had the opposite effect, and made my conclusion seem very surface-level and glossed over. This project was a great example of how writing is a process and the importance of both revision and reflection on that process. Having to write reflections on each side part of the literacy narrative project has forced me to really think about the differences between each draft. This helped me to figure out the specifics of what I liked and wanted to keep in the next draft, and what I disliked and needed to change. Though this project didn’t boost my confidence regarding my artistic ability, it did help me to understand the different aspects and thought processes that go into creating a comic, especially regarding the balance of text and illustration and how they support each other on the page.

When turning my initial text narrative into a visual narrative it both condensed and spread out my ideas in ways I hadn’t thought of doing it before. I enjoy being able to experiment with the passing of time specifically when introducing setting in the comic format. Also, creating the comic helped me realize what was missing from the narrative, to begin with, as I felt like I didn’t have enough material to make the comic with the narrative as it was because my narrative felt incomplete. A major detail that I noticed in my original narrative draft after creating the comic was that my original narrative focused on the different portals in my life rather than why the portals were actually important in my life. Making this realization made the revision process much easier for me because I had a clear goal for what I wanted the story to emphasize.

Literacy Narrative Pt.3
Literacy Narrative Pt.3 “The Game” Revision

Literary Narrative Pt.2 – Comic Reflection

I found the creation of my comic very difficult compared to crafting the written narrative. I struggled to allow the images and words to work together to tell a story, and I often found myself narrating the panel with the caption which is something that I was trying to avoid. My goal was to create a comic where the images and words play a supporting role for one another to create a more cohesive story. I think I did this successfully at the beginning of the comic but as I got closer to the conclusion I found it harder and harder to balance. This may be because as I neared the end of the comic I found the topics being discussed harder to illustrate. I also am not a talented artist and I find putting my thoughts into words much easier than illustrating them. With writing, I can be really colorful and descriptive in a way that I can’t be with art simply because I lack artistic ability. Also, in this short comic format, I had to use much fewer words and they had to be more straightforward. 

The creation of the comic took much more planning and brainstorming than the creation of my essay. I started by deciding how I would divide the different parts of the essay across four pages, and then I sketched a few layouts and chose the one that allowed me to tell the story in the clearest way. Playing around with spacing and the distribution of captions throughout my comic was an interesting way to manipulate timing while telling my story. When I started constructing the comic, I really enjoyed making the beginning, especially the way I got to describe the setting without using words. I used a smaller scale method of the zooming-in method that David Small used at the beginning of Stitches to introduce Aptos, and I think it created a nice introduction to the comic. In the beginning, I also got to show small aspects of my life that I mentioned in the essay in a series of three panels.

Throughout the comic, I tried to play around with frame sizes and placements, and one of my favorite page layouts ended up being page two, specifically the panel with the tree and the four panels that are stacked along the side of it. I find the last two panels of page two, where my siblings and I are depicted swirling into a new world, really fun, and think they portray the light mood that I was trying to capture in this part of the comic. The ending, where I connected my story back to my history with English, seems slightly rushed, but I struggled to condense the narrative into just four pages. If I were to do this project again I would dedicate a few more panels to the ending so it doesn’t seem so sudden.

Literacy Narrative pt. 2
Literacy Narrative Pt.2 – “The Game” Comic

The Perfect Recipe

English 101 Learning Objectives

I used a sandwich-making instruction model to showcase all the learning objectives I learned throughout my in “The Secret Language of Comics” class. Instead of choosing to actually recreate a step-by-step how-to, I chose to do it in a similar fashion that commercials create it to advertise the multiple ingredients they use, particularly in hamburgers. This would be a much simpler and less confusing way of going about it in my opinion.

The Perfect Recipe

English 101 Learning Objectives

I used a sandwich-making instruction model to showcase all the learning objectives I learned throughout my in “The Secret Language of Comics” class. Instead of choosing to actually recreate a step-by-step how-to, I chose to do it in a similar fashion that commercials create it to advertise the multiple ingredients they use, particularly in hamburgers. This would be a much simpler and less confusing way of going about it in my opinion.

Reflection Letter

Luis Ciriaco

Professor Morgen


6 May 2022

The Joys of Writing I Learned In A Semester

What always intrigued me about writing was the idea of writing with a purpose. An interesting aspect of writing is how influential words come together to form a sentence that can provide a powerful message, providing underlying tone that is not explicitly stated but the audience detect it, or tell a story that could range from fiction or describing a certain point in time in the form of a story. Another key aspect of what makes the idea of writing unique are the many different forms of  writing that are applied to everyday scenarios. For example, one person can write an idea that can help project sales in a specific industry, or another person can write an informal piece to try to persuade the audience to side on an opinion. The many formalities and techniques on what brings writing alive reflect on the person who is writing whatever. What separates writing from many core subjects is the idea of learning something new as you progress as a writer. The idea of mastering writing is not that it is impossible, no, it is just that there is always something new that is being implemented to the craft. 

Before commencing my ENGRD 101 class, my ideas of writing were, in a sense, superficial, only grasping what made sense to me and what was accepted at a high school level. But, the more I participated in class discussion, the wide variety of graphic memoirs/comics read and interpreted, and the assignments I worked on opened me to a wide variety of ideas and concepts I never knew existed with writing. The class made me realize one crucial concept that will linger with me through college and beyond: The joys I learned in writing throughout the semester.

When  I commenced my writing endeavors, I was just barely understanding the basics of writing: whether it was constructing sentences or different types of essays, I couldn’t fully grasp the main construct on why I was writing. In other words, I felt as if I was just writing to write in order to fulfill a general education requirement. I even believed that my writing had no room for improvement and what was left of my comprehension was what was gained. As I started to progress more as a writer throughout high school, however,  I started to gain more insight on writing. Being able to construct five paragraph essays analyzing specific text was just the beginning of improving my writing capabilities. It wasn’t until I had enrolled in my first-year writing class (ENGRD 101) that helped solidify my writing capabilities as well as acknowledge a shift in my writing craft.

In my first-year writing, the learning objectives were to improve and develop your writing, critical thinking, and communication skills, as well as go in depth with rhetorics and utilizing the idea of images and words to express a certain aspect of writing. One assignment that embodied all of the criteria was the Halfa Kucha. The idea of a Halfa Kucha derives from Pecha Kucha, in which the spin is that my classmates and I perform a presentation that compares and contrasts two pieces of the text we read using 10 slides and each transition being 20 seconds. What was really intriguing about this assignment, at least in my perspective, was being able to generate ideas and topics to discuss all while trying to manage your time as efficiently as possible. Additionally, trying to think of other things to incorporate in your presentation, made me wonder the following: “Additionally, trying to think of nine central topics as well as the accompanying images took time and made me rethink many things such as ‘how could this topic shift to the next topic, and how are they related,’” (Reflection on Halfa Kucha). When reflecting on this aspect, I found it tedious as I wanted to cover different central ideas that support the prompt. Additionally, the transition from one slide to another had to be effective and smooth, allowing for the audience to grasp what you are saying. This part of the presentation put my creative abilities to the test. When it came time to present, being able to voice out your analysis clearly and showcasing your thoughts and concepts to your peers under a time constraint required practice and efficiency. This presentation showcased the idea of getting your ideas across in a concise and presentable manner, and it made me understand better the fundamentals of this course: being able to spark your creativity and improving your analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. 

One of our prominent assignments was to write a literacy narrative on past experiences that shaped the way we interpret reading and writing. I decided to write about how a high school essay was able to evolve my sense of writing to what it was (key word “was”) today. I turned it in and received feedback: professor Morgen state that it was a well constructed narrative, but didn’t expound enough on the prompt as it was focusing more on the narrative rather than the reflection such as the ending point that was left off on the interest of writing in Hip-Hop/Rap. Receiving the feedback made me ponder on what was stated, and then it hit me: when writing, you have to be concise in your narrative and focus on the crucial aspects that will strengthen your narrative. I later worked on my second narrative, which was to expound more upon your fort narrative, and when writing I was able to express my purpose of writing more clearly. I was thinking about my audience and the prompt given and how these two concepts go hand and hand. Reflecting upon my first narrative and what could have been improved, I started to expound upon how Hip-Hop/Rap has indulged itself as a writing technique, as well as how my passion for writing grew: “writing has been a passionate hobby that has grown on me in a matter of years. Writing has allowed me to express myself through essays, emotions, and music,” (Luis Narrative II). Writing throughout my years has been an uphill going forward, with my craft slowly improving, and learning new material and tactics to better my writing.  

Another integral part of this class was the weekly Sunday Sketches we had to complete. These sketches range from different prompts but circulated around the same concept: creating your own piece. From recreating a movie scene, to creating a three panel comic, each Sunday Sketch provided an opportunity to open up your creative side and do what you want with your assignment all while following the guidelines provided. Additionally, a reflection detailing on how the process came to be for a certain Sunday Sketch was necessary. One of the assignments that stood out to me was using an everyday object of some sort to create a drawing. I was thinking of many things, and I noticed that my friend was using a right triangle tool and I thought of the idea of a race car … but in space ! I was able to draw it floating in outer space and reflecting upon the assignment it made me realize something: how your mind can perceive many things utilizing the shapes given around you. For example, the fact that I was able to see a race car through a right triangle tool used for architectural work is interesting. The fact I was able to visualize that helped me realize the creativity that was able to spark. It made me look at things at different angles, allowing me to interpret and analyze things through different lenses. Attached below is the image I drew: 

Throughout my first-year writing, I was able to experience the many virtues of writing. What I enjoyed about this course is how well I was able to express the class outcomes in each assignment that was given. Going back to my first narrative, there was room for improvement that could have been done. Going into the second narrative, I analyzed the feedback that was given to me and was able to sculpt a more in depth essay that answered the prompt. What I realized throughout the process of writing my second narrative was how much I improved from my first writing to my second: being able to explore how I came to enjoy writing, learning more about concession, and being able to express many ideas with an essay all came together in the construction of my second narrative. This narrative essay provided insight on how I was going to construct my analytical essay on two graphics that we read in class. Being able to implement techniques and other aspects of writings I learned in the beginning of the class allowed me to visualize how I will be able to implement them in future English classes. Furthermore, the creative and communication skills that were explored will allow me to present more future projects or assignments at a more concise and clear point. Being enrolled in this class made me realize how much I enjoyed reading and writing all over again. The idea of integrating comics to sharpen our skills all while making the class engaging helped pave the ebay of how I see things from different perspectives. What sets English apart from other core subjects is that there is always something that can be improved or learned, and that is how I started to understand the joy of learning.

Assembly of Rap

For this sketch I decided to detail the process on how to make a rap song ! This is the process I do (minus the record and releasing the song) in order to create a rap. What I like about this is how I am able to incorporate how I write in a form of a song. Writing has been more enjoyable due to me freewriting raps whenever I have time, or even freestyling with my good friend Caleb Sharkey. Being able to construct a rap, telling a story all while rhyming is amazing, thus why I wanted to detail the process of creating your own !

When working on this assignment, I couldn’t really think of many concepts that could be assembled into one the main component. I had the idea of incorporating writing into the sketch, but didn’t know what. I started to ponder while listening to rap music and then that is when I made the realization: I write raps of my own, why don’t I just make an assembly of creating a rap ! I was able to detail the process and using images really helped bring the sketch come alive. Overall, I really enjoyed creating this sketch as it made me think critical about possible concepts that could be explored and implemented !

Lights, Camera, Action (or Dance) !

For this assignment, the prompt was to recreate a movie scene and when first reading the prompt, I thought of many of my favorite movies I would like to recreate. I then landed on Guardians of the Galaxy, my favorite Marvel movie of time. When thinking of what scene could be best recreated, I thought about one of the most iconic scenes: the dancing ones. I am not a dancer myself but I was able to just hold a pose of what Peter Quill is doing. I used my AirPod case as the rat Peter Quill is holding and my friend’s jacket to resemble the jacket he always wears.

What gave me the idea to use this specific movie scene was just realizing how exhilarating the scene was when he was dancing and such. I really enjoyed that scene when first watching the movie, and being able to recreate it was great ! The process behind it was just trying to not be camera shy but other than that everything was straight forward !

Mix For An Epic Boss Battle

The title of the page is also the title for the playlist I generated and below will be the track name and the artist that performed the song:

  1. Energy by Drake (Album: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late)
  2. Goin Bad by Meek Mill ft Drake (Album: Champions)
  3. As Real As It Gets by Lil Baby ft EST Gee (Single)
  4. Doja by $NOT ft A$AP Rocky (Single)
  5. STATS by Baby Keem (Album: DIE FOR MY BITCH)
  6. m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar ft MC Eiht (Album: good kid, m.A.A.d city)
  7. Runnin by 21 Savage and Metro Boomin (Album: Savage Mode II)
  8. R.I.P. by Playboi Carti (Album: Die Lit)
  9. 2 Hot 4 U by Fat Nick ft $uicideboy$ (Album: When The Lean Runs Out)
  10. 1000 Rounds by Pouya ft Ghostemane (Single)
  11. #IMSIPPINTEAINYOHOOD by XXXTentacion (Single)
  12. Money so big by Yeat (Album: Up 2 Me)
  13. Mannequin by Pop Smoke ft Lil TJay (Meet the Woo 2)
  14. Grabba Remix by Ron Suno ft DUSTY LOCANE (Single)
  15. EA by Yung Nudy ft 21 Savage (Album: SlimeBall 2)
  16. Mase in ’97 by Carnage and Lil Yachty (SIngle)
  17. Nuketown by Ski Mask the Slump God ft Juice WRLD (Album STOKELY)
  18. Champion by Kanye West (Album: Graduation)

When first approaching this assignment, I thought it was going to be easy cause I know hundreds of songs and the only thing I would have to think about is the topic or concept of the mixtape. I would refer back to the movie Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol II (my favorite Marvel movies of all time) and I started to think back to the soundtrack, or in this case, as it was titled, Awesome Mix Vol. I. It was all music from the 60s and 70s, and although the movie setting was in the future, it was able to flow so well with the premise of the movie.

When creating this paylist, I had so many mind blocks because I was trying to not use the same artist twice (if they are featured in the song it does not count) all while trying to convey that similar tone/ sound the beat of the song has. I was thinking (if I were to be in a boss battle, how would it be ? What certain sings would I want to play) and the first genre I looked into was Hip-Hop/Rap. That specific genre has a lot of upbeat, intricate melodics that can for sure fill the mood of the playlist. I started of thinking of songs that sound aggressive and such. Thus, all the tracks in the playlist have to be rap. Although the last song is not as hype and aggressive compared to the others, the song Champion by Kanye West is what I imagined would be playing once the final boss has been defeated !

For the playlist cover, I decided to use a picture of my friends and I “posted up” on a BMW i8 because that picture fills the mood of the playlist in my opinion. It is Hip-Hop eccentric and a great photo overall.

Here is the link to the playlist and I apologize for the amount of inappropriate language within these songs ! But I hope you all enjoy it !

Reflection on Halfa Kucha

When working on my Halfa Kucha, my first impression was that it was going to be tedious considering the fact that I was only going to be displaying images that correlate with the prompt and then explaining the images. As I commenced working on my presentation, however, it was not as complicated as I first envisioned. With each image, I was able to visualize what I wanted to say and try to get my point across.

Although there have been some points that were easy to do, there were some aspects of the presentation that was tedious. Well for starters, I finished a 20 minute presentation that I was going to present the day before my Halfa Kucha and the transition from one presentation to another was just too much. Additionally, trying to think of nine central topics as well as the accompanying images took time and made me rethink many things such as “how could this topic shift to the next topic, and how are they related.”

What I really enjoyed about creating and presenting the presentation was how well organized it made things be. Having the time constraint of explaining a slide in twenty seconds prooved to be an easy or chalnging task because there will be times in where I would be able to meet the time or be a few seconds short. The presentation helped me utilize my creative skills, as well as my communication skills to present as confident as possible. Overall, I really enjoyed this Halfa Kucha project a lot.

Down below will be the link attached to my Halfa Kucha presentation !

ENGRD 101 Presentation.pptx