The Secret Language of Comics

A Visualization of Visual Learning

The process of creating this cumulative ENGRD learning chart was fairly tedious. At first, I didn’t even know where to begin: what format or images I wanted to use. I tried drafting a few hand-drawn sketches but eventually decided to go the digital route and use pixlr. I used a blank comic format for obvious reasons, and over an hour, I assembled a few photos that I thought represented the learning goals for this class.

Ethan’s Portfolio Assemblies

In this portfolio analysis, I compartmentalized the three main writing course goals and compared their intersections with one another, using diagrams and class assignments as evidence. In my final portfolio letter, I will expand upon these backbone claims with quotes and evidence from these given assignments.

For Night Vibes-Mix Tape

As a person who listens to many songs, I have various playlists for different situations. There are playlists that I listen to when I work out, study, and relax. For this playlist, the rhetorical situation I am engaging with is the emotions I have at night, and I’ll never get tired of. Usually, at night people tend to get emotional. During this time, I like to listen to this playlist, remain rational, and stay motivated. In order for the songs to be part of this playlist, they should contain catchy and meaningful lyrics. 

The album cover is a picture of a view from my house, which has a beautiful skyline at night. Even though it’s not the best photo to represent “night,” I chose to use it as the cover of my playlist as it is one of my favorite photos and represents the colors of my songs being dark but also bright. 

The full version of the playlist is about 2 hours, but I had to cut it down as half of it contained Korean songs. 

Halfa Kucha Reflection

The start of the Halfa Kucha project was similar to that of an essay. First, I chose two books: that being Stitches and Sabrina. Then, I organized the analysis points that I wanted to address in my planning document.

However, it did not take long until I realized that each of my points was too long to squiz in 20 seconds and too few to make 10 slides. Then I reformated it so that it would have 1 starting slide, 4 slides of why or how characters obtained trauma, and 5 slides of how characters recovered from it.

After I finalized the outline, I had to select pages of the book that corresponded to the points. It was possible to write points first and select the pages as I remembered the content of the books pretty well.

With specific points and pages for each slide, I was able to write a script. This was relatively easiest and took the shortest. However, as I started to record myself, I had to dedicate much in summarizing the content. All of the words in the script seemed meaningful to me, so the process of eliminating some of them was a painful backbreaker. I believe this was the main difference between the Halfa Kucha and a normal essay.

In terms of the design for the slides, I did not feel much need to dedicate much as the photos from the comic decorated them. Rather, for slides that I used many photos, I tried to make them seem uniform.

Although the specific format of Halfa Kucha – 20sec per slide and 10 slides total – was new to me, sometimes being uncomfortable and unfamiliar in doing the project, I believe it had some advantages after all. It helped me make a concise argument without any euphuistic phrases. As each point generally ended in one slide, I believe it was easier to understand for the audience too.

Adventure Seeking Mix Tape

Spotify Playlist: A Mix For My Good Friend Who Wants to Live in the Woods

I accumulated songs into a playlist that I thought would convey a sense of adventure. There are Irish musical ensembles, various folk music, songs dating back to the 1600s, songs from The Hobbit, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones are all found within the playlist. There are thirteen songs in total amounting to 46 minutes and 31 seconds. Creating this playlist was a very enjoyable task for me. I am always looking forward to creating playlists for specific purposes in life:

  1. playlists for study sessions before exams
  2. playlists for when exams go downhill
  3. playlists for when you walk without a destination
  4. playlists for music that reminds me of home

“Here’s Johnny!”

The Shining (1980) Here’s Johnny Scene Recreation

Recreating this movie scene was easy and efficient. It required the participation of only one person and low equipment needed (a door frame and door). In an iconic movie scene from the evolutionary psychology thriller written by Stephen King and directed by Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholson’s face covers the entirety of the camera frame as he descends more and more into madness.

Halfa Kucha Reflection Post


Writing the Halfa Kucha was a challenging process, but I wrote mine in a similar fashion as I would an essay. I grouped scenes between “Kindred” by Octavia E. Butler and “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel which would be the main points I would want to present. I also scripted what I would say on each slide in order to back up the several claims I made. The title and end slide would serve as an introduction and conclusion slide.


The presentation was the most difficult part of the project. A common problem I believe we all had was condensing the information into a 20-second per slide, 10-slide presentation. Timing and practice were key when presenting. A personal problem I have is slight stuttering when flustered. I noticed that I could present the beginning slides well until I lost my train of thought, became flustered, and consequently started stuttering slightly. The embarrassment fueled this cycle until I found my groove once again.

Link To Presentation

My Ultimate Mixtape – Ethan Cohen

For this playlist, I decided to find songs that struck some of the deepest chords within me, in a positive, beautiful way. However, in order for a song to have a significantly deep affect on me personally, it needs to have pensive undertones of confusing sadness. These songs are so beautiful that they are positive, yet so beautiful that they could make one contemplate in a brutally honest way: these songs shed light on the sorrows that one hides under the surface in a distracted world. They are colorful, poetic expressions of emotions, of a auditorily-captured unleashing into ones’ unapologetically shameless soul. This playlist is comprised in a chronologically progressively more intense and emotional ordering. It starts off in a subtle, magical melodic epic, then ventures into simplicity, then the spark of the fire lights up, honesty comes pouring, until an intense climax, ending on a positive optimism to wrap up the playlist. I found this playlist to be an almost circular rollercoaster of relating songs that lead to a seamless transition of emotive listening.