The Secret Language of Comics

Literary Narrative: Part 3 Reflection

The Literary Narrative from part 1 to part 3 was the longest project that I have done in class this semester. At large, I believe it helped me meet 2 learning outcomes in general; Practice writing as a process, recursively implementing strategies of research, drafting, revision, editing, and reflection; Use technology rhetorically and appropriately, and engage responsibly in online spaces. From the x page pre-writing to the Literacy Narrative: Part 3, the process of finishing literary narrative always included returning to the previous stage. As I learned new things and opened my eyes in different perspectives (mainly in Part2), I had to go back and apply the new ideas in my mind. My draft constantly changed through continuous editing until the end of the completion. For the second outcome, I think it was an opportunity to lower my reluctance in using technology. For example, I never had a experience using iPad to draw. However, as I was pushed a make a output and as I did not want to compromise the quality, there was no choice but to get used to using technologies. Not to mention the individual blogs I had to make and google the functions that I wanted to additionally use.

In part 3, I had to go back to literary narrative part 1 and apply with the ideas that I had while working on part 2. Frankly speaking, I think part 3 was somewhat done before part 2 in my head or at least was done spontaneously. As making comics directly involve visualizing the images, I wanted my story to have more imergery in part 3. Also, after finishing part 2, I thought my previous work had a scene of recollection which gives an unnecessary twist in time. In the part 3, I changed it to reflect the actual chronological order.

If my previous work was more like giving tips through how I learned my language (although I never intended it), I believe it is more like an coming of age story of me where I realize the truth about life. I think it has more depth compared to the previous work which only focused on my acquisition of languages.

Literacy Comic Reflection

Literacy Narrative Comic <The Railway Journey> was the first assignment that I lost the track of time this semester. It was not because it was boring or seemed endless. Rather, it was because I was immersed in drawing. In fact, one day, I went to the library at sunrise and came out at sunset while being unaware that such a long time has passed.

However, at first, I worried about the pages and numbers of the drawings I had to do. I never have drawn for more than 5 hours since I was really young, and did not know that I was able to make such a piece. However, after starting drawing and finishing the first page, I gained confidence that I would be able to finish the whole comic while the panels represent the scene that I wanted to show. I think it was even more interesting as it was about my own story. I was able to reconfirm my burning desire for creation which I haven’t felt for a long time.

In the beginning, I had to summarize my story from Literacy part 1. I chose what to focus in each page and divided the summarized story into 4. Then, I determined how many panels of what shape to use and the angle of perspective(choice of frame) for some specific panels that came into my mind. After, I started drawing as aforementioned.

When the drawing was complete, I used my summarized story which was divided into 4, and started writing text. I sometimes used inside-panel text boxes, to separate from the normal texts and to give emphasis. Also, there is a speech bubble that invades two panels. It was a visual representation of the ear-splitting noise my cousin made at the time. Also, the panel – full of an enlarged page of a book and the highlighted words with their corresponding Korean meaning – was partially inspired by Fun Home.

After finishing 4 pages, I felt that the ending was too weak with no lasting meanings. I wanted it to have something metaphorical like in the ending of Stitches. However, I was not able to find a satisfying method. After a few days, while talking with a friend about a totally different topic, I said something like “effort does not always fairly pay off. Although we think it does, after achieving something, although we think we have been always going straight, we all took a detour to some extent at some point. At least for me, it was.” On the way back to my room, what I said resonated within my mind. From then, it did not take long for me to take the idea and metaphorically combine it with the train rail which has twists and turns however we think we are going straight while riding a train.

If I were to work on a similar assignment in the future, I would like to put more time into paint colors and include light and shade. I believe it would facilitate a more vivid delivery of the story. Also, I would use more variety of panels. After finishing it, the shape of the panels in the first two pages looked too monotonous.

Overall, it was a very exciting assignment. I was able to actually apply the concepts of comics that I read and discussed in class. I believe it was very different from the previous activities which focused on analyzing the given comic. It was an opportunity to be in the shoes of the author, which may help me understand the author’s motives and even the comic itself when reading them in the future.