The Secret Language of Comics

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

Halfa Kucha Reflection

This assignment was very different compared to other assignments that I have done in this class. I thought a presentation would help me express my thoughts more clearly because I tend to struggle to express my ideas while writing an essay. I chose to do my Halfa Kucha on “Stitches” and “Kindred” because I saw the process of trauma and healing through both of them. I realized that just like I structured my presentation to help my audience understand the process of trauma and then a road to recovery, I should do the same with my essays to help the reader understand my thought process. My slides were mostly focused on certain images that I wanted to highlight and things that held meaning to me. I struggled with the format of this assignment because there were some slides where I had more to talk about and some slides where I did not have enough information. I realized that time management is extremely important while presenting to an audience and being precise so that they understand the purpose of your content. Something I could have done better in my presentation is be a little more confident in my content because I ended up stuttering which disrupted the flow of the argument.

Link to Halfa Kucha

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.

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

Benjamin Meyer Halfa Kucha Reflection

I found writing my halfa kucha argument difficult because of the medium’s streamlined nature. I ended up cutting 3/4 of what I had written down initially on my brainstorming document. Although I thought the oral component of my presentation was solid, I think it was slightly muddled by the fact that I was trying to deliver an argument that might have necessitated several more pages of substance to be fully fleshed out. Perhaps I should have opted to form a more concise argument or restructured the one I had already conceived of.

I feel the visual aspect of my presentation was strong. I carefully constructed each of my slides using scans of panels and images from Fun Home and Sabrina. I then assembled them into collages that represented the central themes of my argument. I typically become obsessive over art projects such as this one. I take pride in constructing visually appealing slide shows. My final product for this project was intentionally simplistic, though if I had started creating the slides earlier, I am fully convinced I would have tricked myself into creating a slideshow that rivals installations at MoMA.

Halfa Kucha Reflection

As a person who prefers to talk and present verbally to people than in writing, I expected this assignment to be much easier to talk about the analysis I made. Selecting the books wasn’t a big deal when preparing for the presentation. The general structure of choosing the pages to analyze, create a plan, and write the essay/script was the same. However, the difference was the details. The issue that I had was choosing a limited number of scenes from each book. While some people might say that the presentation was easier for them because the outline and the script were a maximum of 2 pages long, it wasn’t for me. This was because I wanted to spend more time on the pages that I selected and provide a detailed analysis of the use of symbolism, the intention of the author, and the stylistic devices used. If the assignment had given me more time for each scene and a longer presentation time, I would have been able to talk more about it. As there was a time limit for each slide, I had to make my analysis as precise and concise as possible. This challenged me to choose the most exciting scenes from Stitches and Kindred and make the presentation convincing. 

When deciding what kind of trauma I would like to focus on, I decided to look at the trauma between an individual and society. I chose Stitches and Kindred because I thought that the two would be the perfect example of representing an individual’s and society’s trauma. Here the individual was David, and the society was the African American community, which Dana represented. 

When creating the presentation, I used a minimalist approach. Instead of having lengthy words on the slides, I just had the scenes on the slide on a black background. I used such an approach in order for the audience to listen to my voice instead of reading the text on the PowerPoint. I also used the black background to create a dark atmosphere, reminding the audience of trauma. The last slide was an image of a person walking out of the cave and towards the light. This slide was intended to show how David and Dana went through healing from their trauma and overcame it.

When giving this type of presentation, I’ve learned the importance and significance of being concise and precise at the same time. The limited amount of time per slide pushed me to select the essential parts of the comics and analyze them. After giving my presentation and watching my peers, I felt that I could have focused on a single scene through 2 slides by talking about the symbolism in the first slide and the stylistic device on the second slide. 

Halfa Kucha Reflection

Link (if embedding isn’t working)

I chose to compare Stitches and Gender Queer inspired by Judith Hermann’s dialectic on trauma: there are both the will to proclaim and the will to not do so, and only the former will leads to recovery. I searched the comics read in the semester and spotted that these two works are distinct in artistic cues yet similar in the lens of Judith’s theory. Then, I parsed the contradiction in David’s situation and contrasted it with the quicker recovery of Maya, along with a detailed visual analysis accompanying theoretical framing.

I drew visual symbols for my arguments on visual analysis, which to me represents the spirit of this class – “draw to win”. I believed the main characteristics and shining aspects of images could be abstracted into symbols that are still recognizable, so I drew white blocks in the black ground to signify “blocks of time”. Employing visual devices for visual argument is fun, and that only happens when the medium of the rhetorical act is presentation, not writing. Hence, writing is different from multi-medium, live presentation in terms of the means of argument; I would definitely use more meticulous phrases – rather than images – to convey my point if I were to write an essay. 

On great potential improvement is to present in a more natural language, then recite the script. In this project, I wrote the script before everything as if it’s an academic essay, then I found I couldn’t recite it. However, almost everybody on the first day presented naturally without reading the script, which would be more attractive than mine. In addition, Ali’s presentation related comics to our daily experience (of support systems), which invoked our relation to comic figures, rather than analyzing and observing them as objects – a great point I could pick up in future presentations.

Halfa Kucha Reflection

Making my presentation was an easy task. However, I think I did not really consider the time limit, as I thought that if I spoke faster than usual it would be okay. When presenting, I had a hard time expressing my thoughts in 20 seconds for each slide since I tend to forget my thoughts often, so I speak slow. Besides this, I enjoyed the fast pace of the Halfa Kucha.

I decided to structure my presentation based on Judith Hermans categories that I took from the quotes in the directions page. I think that it really helped bring a storyline to the trauma in Sabrina and Kindred. Looking back on others presentations, I think that I could work on presenting in a more informative way. I think that I didn’t really get my argument in the way I intended to.

Presentation’s Reflection

Given my lack of exposure to such presentations, it was hard for me to fully explain my ideas in the presentation. When it comes to what was different compared to writing an essay, I would say the limitation when it comes to time and facing the audience makes presenting a bit more harder. My process was obviously different since I have to adjust to the time and the style of the presentation, which is not the case with essays.

Being more detailed is what I got from others’ presentations. I did not think I would have been able to fully expand my argument within my timeframe, so I limited myself to what I mentioned. I believe that I learned a lot from the process, so while the presentation did not reflect my understanding of the material, I am still grateful for the way in which I learned from my peers.