The Secret Language of Comics

Sketch 10: Mix Tape

The playlist that I created focuses on songs that I listened to when I was younger. I decided to pick this genre of music as well as this time frame because it reminds me of a simpler time when the music that I listened to was a true source of fun and entertainment. This presented the issue for me of finding songs that I not only enjoyed as a child but still would like to listen to now. I think that it is hard to gage how a person’s music taste may change as they grow up but there is a strong power that is given to songs that establish feelings of nostalgia. Once there is an outlet for reminiscing, it is clear that a person can gain a certain level of creativity and happiness from this place. Overall, I found this assignment to be very fun and enjoyable.

Link to Playlist:

Halfa Kucha Reflection

When creating this presentation, it was incredibly difficult to find panels and information in general that was worthy of fitting into this short time frame. When gathering the pictures of panels, I tried to look for scenes that were accurate examples of the ways in which the main character’s support systems were actively influencing their actions and emotions. This demonstrates the differences in constructing the presentation versus an essay because in an essay it takes time to write out an argument and form your own thoughts. Whereas, in this presentation, we had to base the majority of our argument on scenes as well as direct examples from the books. When structuring my argument I decided to focus on the influence that a support system and family can have on trauma and the process of healing. It is difficult to pin point every character that played a role in the recovery process but by highlighting the ways in which the main characters were influenced by the people around them, it is clear that outsiders play a big role in the healing process. I decided to organize my presentation with every other slide because I introduced an idea that applied to both stories and then I discussed the ways in which the ideas were different between the two books. I think that I would use this method in my written work because it ensures that both stories are discussed equally and all ideas are explored thoroughly.

When giving this type of presentation I learned the importance of being concise and specific when discussing main ideas. It is very easy to get sidetracked or stutter because of nerves, but in this presentation there is no time that can be allotted to this. I found it very difficult to accurately present what I had prepared because I became nervous when I had to stand in front of the class as well as knowing I had a time limit. I tried to focus a little less on the actual visuals themselves and more on the ideas that they represented. I think that this was a little different than what my classmates did and I am not sure if this is a good or a bad thing. I think in the future I would draw on the way my classmates had both books on one slide versus every other slide. I think that this was an interesting way to construct the information given as the viewer can actively look from side to side to see the two ideas play out in each visual. I can’t say that I enjoyed this mode of presentation more than the classic style of presentation, but I do think that I learned a lot about being precise and to the point with what I wish to present. Overall, I think that there are some things that I would change if I were to do a Half Kucha again in the future but I am happy with what I presented.

Sunday Sketch: Recreate a Movie Scene

Although this is not a perfect match, I love this scene in Home Alone when Kevin screams. I somehow do not own a red shirt and I could not get the facial expression quite right. I found this assignment to be very fun and in a way challenging. There were so many different scenes from different movies that I could have chosen, but I liked this one the best.

Sketch 8: Data Visualization

For the data visualization activity I decided to measure my productivity levels while listening to different genres of music. I decided to rate my feelings on the questions I wrote before tracking the data on a scale of 1-10, one being very little agreement and 10 being a strong level of agreement. When creating the chart I took the averages of each answer to the question and created a bar graph. I believe that I was able to answer my original question of which genre of music was the most effective in helping my productivity levels. I was able to conclude that when doing work and listening to music, it helps if I enjoy the type that I am listening to. When I did not know the words or the artist of a song, I felt that I was more distracted and fixated on trying to listen and see if I liked the song. I was able to conclude that I work best when listening to R&B music. Also, I realized for some types of work such as reading a textbook or an article, it was harder to process the words I was reading as I was listening. Hearing something while reading another thing hindered my ability to effectively complete my homework.

I decided to visualize my data in this way because I have always tried to change up what type of music I listen to while doing different activities. I decided to measure how it influenced my productivity levels because I am always looks for new ways to be more efficient when doing my work. I feel like I can be easily distracted so I think that this activity helped me process what I should and should not be doing when completing certain homework. I think that if I were to do this activity again in the future I would be sure to include how working around others while listening to music influences my productivity as well. One thing I regret not including was how productive I felt when listening to no music at all. I think that I sometimes need the headphones to help focus in on what I am doing and other times I use the music was an excuse to go on my phone. Overall, I believe that this activity was a valuable tool for self analysis and I would be interested to see the other things I could potentially measure in my life in the future.

Sketch 7: Quadriptych

When composing my quadriptych I tried to think of something that was on the simpler side but also creative. One thing that was challenging was trying to think of an idea what would be easy to draw but still interesting to read. This is relatively similar to the triptych because there is the same level of creativeness that is required but the comic storyline spans for a longer amount of time. This in a way was difficult because there had to be more to the actual story of the comic. The span of the two middle panels versus one made the climax of the comic span on for longer but it did not make it any more difficult. I told this story because I thought of this out of nowhere and I think it is a cute idea. I think I could have added more detail but overall I like how my quadriptych turned out.

Tracing Pages Reflection

After completing my tracing pages assignment, I can say that I learned a lot about the process of writing an unconventional essay. By beginning with the tracing assignment I was able to view the text that I was going to be writing about in a different light. Not only did actually tracing the pages help me draft ideas for my essay, so did writing the annotations and really taking the time to understand the intentions of the two authors. I was definitely surprised to see that we were expected to have our thesis statement at the end of the essay. This was never something that I had done before but I thought it was interesting how the whole essay works up to that point of clarity and final explanation of what you had been writing about. I feel like I understand both books better as well as the internal thoughts of each author as they were crafting their comics. The single biggest insight that I gained about the two books would be how difficult it must have been to format and create a narrative that accurately explains what each author experienced as a child. Overall, I found this assignment to be very unique, interesting, and eye-opening.

My thesis for this essay is: The comics Stitches by David Small and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel focus on the complicated relationship between a child and their emotionally distraught parent but each story is separated by the families’ struggles as well as concerns, therefore, highlighting the individuality and complexity of one’s connection to their parents. In my essay I focus on the differences between Small and Bechdel’s relationship with their parents and how their households differed.