The Secret Language of Comics

Sketch 11: Assemblies

A Well-Established Literacy Is Like A Stone Pagoda.

To best describe my achievement in ENGRD101 this semester, I must allude it to a stone pagoda. Step by step, I learned and added new layers of literary knowledge like upbuilding each story of the tower. Like anonymous writers/journalists who are identified with their pen names, making my blog and avatar was the first step that, in some ways, introduced me to the literary world and have appropriate Digital Citizenship. Then, chronologically, I was able to learn Visual Thinking through Sunday Sketches, Writing as Process through the 3 parts of Literacy Narrative, and Critical Thinking through Halfa Kucha. As a tall tower that can only be built with a solid foundation, acquiring the aforementioned outcomes helped me achieve the final goal of Rhetorical Composition.

Sketch 10: Mix Tape

Gloomy Night, Gloomy Song

To be honest, I hardly listened to the newest music recently and am unaware of the current hit songs. About 2 years ago, when I listened to music the most, I did follow the trend, knew various popular songs, and discovered even some Sound-Cloud songs from the underground singers/rappers, but not anymore.

However, from the time when I started listening to music, I had made about 5 playlists of which the first 2 mainly consisted of exciting songs and sad songs, which I listen to at the gym and on my bed at night, respectively. I remember I was listening to the second one for the majority of the time in the last two years in high school. As I became 12th grade, the academic expectations around me skyrocketed, and I was not able to play sports like before. Listening to sad emotional songs after finishing my work at night was one of the small ways I relieved my stress. Now, a year later from the time, I again often feel void and become emotional after finishing my work at night.

Hence, in today’s playlist, I picked from the previous playlists and composed it with songs that would comfort one’s gloomy night. The rhetorical situation is people’s gloom due to various reasons such as death, breaking up, unrequited loving, and many others that can be all consoled with this playlist.

The picture for the album cover is the view of the daybreak from my room which I took myself. I actually had used it as a background picture in sharing songs before. The dark buildings, orange border, and navy sky pointed by the wire still make me be lost in thought. Also, I thought the picture looked ambiguous, being either from dawn or from dusk, which also gives an mysterious impression of the time.

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.

Sketch 6: What’s in your bag?

Productivity and Comfortability are What Matters

  • Laptop: for essay writing, researching, zoom classes, and gaming.
  • Ipad: for note taking, drawing, self-testing, and even with the laptop as a second screen
  • Mouse: for laptop and ipad
  • Type C – Chargers: for charging the computer and phone
  • Wireless earphone: for listening to musics, videos, and zoom classes
  • Wallet: for carrying student ID card
  • Water: for hydration

This collection of goods is what I actually have in my everyday backpack. Before the activity, I have not really thought about the connection between what I carried and who I am. However, once I took out my belongings from the bag and listed them, I now see that the collection explains/reflects who I am to an extent.

I hate wasting my efforts on unnecessary things, and my collection well represents my focus on productivity and comfortability.

I prefer digital over analog. After multiple experiences of accidentally ripping, spilling, and losing papers – regardless of whether they were notes, textbooks, or class materials – I no longer use physical materials. Instead, I mainly use my laptop and iPad. It is much faster to type than to write. It is much more comfortable to carry a laptop than to carry heavy notes and textbooks. For iPad, it is the same. Famous notetaking apps make the activity more productive. Images can easily be retrieved when understanding complex ideas. The wide choice of colors facilitates emphasizing important sentences.

Furthermore, digitalized files can be saved on the cloud and accessed whenever with any device I have. Whether it is a long academic essay that I have written through a laptop or whether it is a sketch/drawing I did with my iPad, or whether it was a quick picture that I took with my phone, I can access them with other devices.

The focus on productivity and comfortability continues with my mouse, earphone, and chargers. My mouse and earphone are wireless, which eliminates the stress of untieing the cable whenever I try to use them. The below picture well shows the annoyance that we all experienced once in our life. Finally, for chargers, I have bought devices that had USB-type C charging options from the start. Especially for my laptop, I bought one with a PD-charging port. So, rather than carrying a 2kg laptop charger, I use the GaN 45w charger which is even smaller than (4cm)^3 cube.

a meme and a triptych that shows how annoying untieing cables are


  • Left Meme from user ‘Funny’ – retrieved from ‘9GAG
  • Right Triptych from user ‘Full_Ben’ – retrieved from ‘JoyReactor

The task was not extremely challenging. In fact, it was quite easy as each of my belongings had a reason to initially be in the bag. I believe such a collection of my belongings do represent who I am. However, I do not think that such representation could be categorized as writing. It would be an overstatement to say that the picture itself is writing. Nonetheless, it is true that writing facilitates a more accurate understanding of who I am when used together with the picture.

Sketch 5: Triptych

Borrowing the ideas from the webcomic A Softer World, I wanted my triptych to address a heavy topic. Thus, I chose to talk about death. I recently learned that the death of a close acquaintance was something that could not be prepared both mentally and physically. The death of someone was something that should not be mentioned in ease. However, I felt pity that many elementary/middle school students use it to curse others’ parents in their daily lives.

Hoping to raise awareness of their actions, I created a triptych that briefly shows what may happen, in fact, what is highly likely to happen. The plot starts with a mischievous child teasing two orphans about their parents, while the narrative sets a tone by juxtaposing the child’s action against the phrase “Do not make fun of others”. Then narration asks to think about the situation from others’ perspectives. After, time passes. The mischievous child becomes an adult, and the day comes – the inevitable day that one’s parents die. The narration ends with a warning that no one knows how life will turn out. This highlights that one can end up in the same situation as others that he previously made fun of. Also, the phrase ‘life is unknown and so is how it will unravel’ can be connected to the last scene where friends who were hurt in the past came to comfort the protagonist at the funeral. This makes the audience imagine how sorry they will be if such really happened, and ultimately raises awareness of their behavior regarding death.

The 5th Sunday Sketch was closest to my 2nd Sunday Sketch as it both has drawings that embody stories. However, it was challenging as I had to summarize the plot into specifically 3 scenes, unlike the previous sketches. If the plot was too complex, many scenes would have been omitted, hindering the natural flow of the story. Thus, it was difficult to find the appropriate point.

Sketch 4: Combophoto

When the concept of combophoto was first introduced to me, I wanted to make an art piece that conveys a public interest. Then I remembered the article about the 1992 LA Rodney King Riots that I read the other day. The idea of using firearms in riots was extremely scary and nonsensical to me who came from South Korea, where personal possession of guns is banned. It was so terrible how such murder weapons were bound to be a means to an end for people: especially in the contemporary era, where it is believed that vote is the ultimate medium to make a voice. Today, I am not trying to make any judgments about the past incident in LA, neither about the police officers nor the rioters. What I am trying to say is that as much as I respect the culture and history of the US and the 2nd amendment I care about the people who have been wrongly sacrificed by gunshots. One definite thing is that guns are undoubtedly violent weapon that is capable of ending one’s life. From such a perspective, I suddenly felt the strong urge to tie the barrel so that it could not be shot. Hence, I combined a gun barrel with a tied rope. After doing so, the tied rope also seemed like the potential life of a shooter and victim. Also, I thought it could also resemble the social problem itself that we must untangle.


  • “pistol png PNG image with transparent background” from Luis Bell. Retrieved from “toppng
  • “Rope with tied knot on transparent background PNG” from Ra20Ga. Retrieved from “SimilarPNG

Sketch 3: Visual Note Taking

For the assignment, I organized the notes from POLS 110. It contains basic principles of international relationships. Three valid theories in explaining the world interaction – Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism – is concisely addressed according to the three framework that was introduced – Interest, Institution, and Interaction. Different levels of analysis – International, Domestic, and Transnational – and 2 major types of interaction – Bargaining and Cooperation – were given. To make the note more visually appealing and easier to understand what I chose to use was illustration.

Different Levels of Analysis

I drew a map for different levels of analysis. Color was used to differentiate the countries. To simplify, the countries that I wanted to emphasize were colored green. At the ‘domestic level’, I wanted to show one country, so I only colored the US in green. For ‘transnational’ all countries were colored green to show uniformity, and for ‘international’, North American countries were colored differently. Moreover, except the countries that I wanted to give emphasize were all colored gray.

The Framework

For expressing the framework – ‘interest’, ‘institution’ and ‘interaction’ – I tried to use pictograms. I wanted it to be simple, but plausible enough. The dartboard demonstrates a goal, the ultimate outcome an actor wants from its political decisions. For the institution, I focused on the aspect of it being established. Similarly, I thought a building was something that is equally definite and certain. Also, I wanted to show the authority that the institution holds, and thus tried to hommage the Korean Houses of Parliament (the picture down below). Finally, for interaction, I drew 3 people as a pictogram and connected each with different colored lines to display the multilateral characteristic of interaction in Political Science.

대한민국, 국회, 국회의사당, 건물, 여의도, 대한민국 국회


This task was not only a mere opportunity to make POLS class notes, but also an opportunity to organize what I learned again. Also, the process of thinking about what visual elements to add or subtract was a valuable experience. When drawing maps, I was able to think a lot about the usage of colors, and when drawing 3 types of frameworks as pictograms, I was able to learn about omitting and simplifying them. I was able to connect this with the part about leaving panels out in “WHY COMICS?”. Reminding myself of the book, I tried to make each element of the pictogram count.