The Secret Language of Comics

A Symbiotic Story

While creating my comic I struggled to come up with an idea at first. I’m a very wordy person and most of my stories tend to run long, so writing a short one with only three panels was really difficult for me. I ended up creating a comic about a clownfish trying to escape a shark by hiding in the tentacles of a sea anemone, thus beginning a symbiotic relationship with the creature. With the idea for the story in mind, the composition wasn’t very hard to figure out. Because I only had three panels to tell the story, the composition had to be very straightforward in order to fit all the important details. The first panel introduces the conflict of the story: a clownfish is being hunted by a shark. The second panel shows the middle: the clownfish finds a solution to his problem and asks the sea anemone for help. Then finally the third panel is the conclusion: The shark lost the clownfish and the clownfish and sea anemone become partners.

This assignment was different than most writing I do because I had to incorporate pictures in my storytelling in a way I normally don’t. Especially because we had so few panels, the images had to be the primary storytelling elements. This, unlike most writing assignments, forced me to extremely minimize my word usage. I tend to write long, detailed stories and for this assignment, I had to pick and choose which details to include in order to efficiently use the space while still getting the same impact. Overall I found the triptych comic challenging, but enjoyable.

The Typical Love Story

When crafting my narrative, I decided to come up with something that I can depict in only three panels which lead me to think about the love stories that are corny and show a non-realistic way of how people fall in love. It was challenging to think of the details that I should include to make sure the reader was able to easily follow and understand. Crafting this comic was different from my other work because it required me to put different aspects together such as the flower show and the typical walking off in the sunset so my story made sense. Also it was different having to add text so the pictures didn’t just speak for themselves.

Workload

I came up with this comic based on an event that happened in my classroom. There was someone who was not willing to do the work but our group decided to do our respective parts and leave it up to him to complete the project. This was an interesting assignment because it allowed me to actually draw a comic firsthand which was a new experience for me. This post also gave me a chance to see what it’s like to portray a story in the form of a comic even if it was only three panels long. I am more used to writing in an essay format so it was fun to illustrate and show a story through illustration.

From Cradle To Grave

Tryptich

This triptych was very fun to create. Adding some dark humor made this activity enjoyable. The three panels are not so much in the traditional comic style, however, the three panels have a clear storyline and are in my opinion, relatively easy to follow. The story of two slices of bread from their acceptance of their fate, to their reminescence of their origins, ending with their death and union afterward is a comic well titled “From Cradle To Crave”.

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.

A Bad Apple

After spending about two hours brainstorming ideas, I decided to just let go and start drawing whatever comes to mind. I drew a cage in which a prisoner is being held. Since the execution was horrible even though I spent much time on it, I stopped for a while to brainstorm ideas again. Suddenly, proverbs started to pop in my head. First, I tried to draw something that explains ”the grass is always greener on the other side.” Knowing that this might be difficult, and after an additional hour trying to get the drawing done, I decided to think about other proverbs.

“One bad apple spoils the bushel,” a proverb I have been hearing from my teachers since elementary school quickly came to mind. This assignment, although took more time to finish, was to me unique in how it led me to draw and think about things which I have not thought about before.

Sunset or Sunrise

When looking at the instructions of this week’s sketch, I immediately thought of the picture that I took back when I was in high school. My high school was located on Jeju, an island at the south end of South Korea with beautiful skies. I wanted to talk about the beautiful sunset view, which usually means that the day is ending, but I chose to question people if they think it’s a sunset or sunrise. The message that I wanted to send throughout this triptych was that whether the picture is a sunrise or sunset is not what is essential, it is about what people think of it. If some consider it as a sunset, it would mean that they are willing to take a break, while a sunrise would mean that they’re ready to start an afresh journey and step up.

Crafting this sort of comix strip was different from other writings I’ve done this semester in using images (or drawings) when delivering the message I want. Also, I needed to make the text short and precise because there wasn’t as much space for me to write down further explanations about what I intended to say, as I was used to doing for the writings I’ve done this semester. However, this activity had similarities with my previous works in trying to deliver the message that I wanted to say clearly. Overall, I enjoyed this activity and am looking forward to taking such an experiment when creating my comic. 

Sunset or Sunrise

When looking at the instructions of this week’s sketch, I immediately thought of the picture that I took back when I was in high school. My high school was located on Jeju, an island at the south end of South Korea with beautiful skies. I wanted to talk about the beautiful sunset view, which usually means that the day is ending, but I chose to question people if they think it’s a sunset or sunrise. The message that I wanted to send throughout this triptych was that whether the picture is a sunrise or sunset is not what is essential, it is about what people think of it. If some consider it as a sunset, it would mean that they are willing to take a break, while a sunrise would mean that they’re ready to start an afresh journey and step up.

Crafting this sort of comix strip was different from other writings I’ve done this semester in using images (or drawings) when delivering the message I want. Also, I needed to make the text short and precise because there wasn’t as much space for me to write down further explanations about what I intended to say, as I was used to doing for the writings I’ve done this semester. However, this activity had similarities with my previous works in trying to deliver the message that I wanted to say clearly. Overall, I enjoyed this activity and am looking forward to taking such an experiment when creating my comic. 

Sketch 5: Triptych

I found this assignment to be very fun and enjoyable. I liked having the freedom to express myself playfully through the form of the triptych. One thing I found to be very difficult was the process of actually picking an idea and sticking to it. I am not the best artist so I found myself eliminating ideas that I didn’t think I would be able to draw. Although I am not sure I was able to have a witty or overly creative idea, I think that my triptych was a fun way to incorporate animals and people together as well as including dialogue. Also, I was conflicted on whether to use colored pencils or regular pencils and I think that I like the pencil with this. Since the triptychs have so little writing and still have to fit a lot into the panels, I think that the pencil made it less busy and easier to process. This assignment was very different from what we have done previously this semester because we had to craft more of a narrative in our comics but in a small amount of space. Overall, I enjoyed this assignment and I found it to be a great way to express a more creative side of myself.

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