Writing Digitally: A Comic About Connections

I had this urge to create this comic as a sort of reflection point, drawing in connections that have me pushing my own ideas about what it means to be a writer in this digital age. Think of it as a token of gratitude for all those who are helping me along on this journey. I created the comic (making up representative characters for my friends: Simon, Terry, Anna, and Maha) in Bitstrips for Schools, and then moved it into a flipbook creator.

Read — Digital Writing: An Ongoing Exploration

Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

When a Comic Idea Goes Meta

MetaComic1

Maybe I’ve been watching too many Christopher Nolan movies but I had this idea for a comic in which the lens pulls back further each time, where each character thinks they are looking at other characters. Sort of like those mirrors facing mirrors in which your reflection forever.

But in a comic …

MetaComic2

So I played around with perspective a bit, adding myself into the middle comic and then pulling back again in the end. I don’t know if it worked exactly how I wanted it to work but it was neat to try to make it work.

MetaComic3

Peace (in the metaworld),
Kevin

Comic Book Review: xkcd volume 0

Talk about context. There were many comics in this xkcd collection by Randall Munroe that were so over my head with the math and physics and programming ideas that my brain was spinning just to see if I could find a reference point. Sometimes, yes. Sometimes (often), no.

But that never stopped me from enjoying Monroe’s comedic flare for poking fun at things, and even when the scientific/mathematical concept was beyond my grasp, I still had fun reading his comics (which, he notes, are still freely available online if you don’t want to pony up for his book). His quirky takes on technology amuse me, and I like the simplicity of his drawings (although he can do more with a stick figure head to show emotion than anyone I know).

For example, all the notes and codes in the margins of the book? It’s beyond me, but I suspect some readers are having a blast deciphering the numbers and programming codes. I kept looking at them thinking, this is a whole other world that I know nothing about. It’s very humbling. Then I’d start laughing at a joke that I did get, and that was satisfying.

(One note for teachers: this ain’t a classroom-friendly book, although pieces of it would be fine to share with older students. There are plenty of funny sex and profanity references.)

Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

My Emoji Bio

My Bio as Emoji
Over at the Digital Writing Month launch site, there is an emerging “roster” of folks who are participating in activities this month. I decided to play around with mine a bit, by using an app that turns text into emoji and making my biography very visual. It was interesting, trying to represent some ideas with icons and it reminded me of how visual composing can sometimes coincide nicely with written composing, but not always.

I decided to deconstruct the biography a bit, noting some of my thinking as I was putting it together.
Deconstructing my emoji

What would yours look like?

Peace (in the image),
Kevin

 

And Now … #DigiWriMo

digiwrimo comics
November means .. Digital Writing Month. I went back to see some of the comics that I did for a previous #DigiWriMo year. Digital Writing Month is a time when folks explore all month the ways that technology is influencing and shaping the ways in which we write (while others are engaged in #NaNoWriMo, writing a novel in a single month … and last year, at Digital Writing Month, we collaboratively created our own novel … in two days).

Check out my Digital Writing Month comics.

I have no real plan for this year in #DigiWriMo, other than to be open to possiblities. While the Connected Courses is still underway, I’m making a transition, keeping a foot planted on both. I’m also giving myself permission to step back if I need to. And of course, to have fun, be engaged and reflect on the possibilities for my students as writers in the digital age.


See Vine directly ..

Peace (in the fun),
Kevin

 

A Comic About Access, Equity and Diversity

Plant seeds of change #ccourses

I’m not sure if this comic works as I wanted it to work, but I was trying to represent the ideas around access, equity and diversity in a positive light, as seeds for change. Or maybe I had Terry’s offer to mail off flower seeds to anyone on my mind.
Peace (in the frame),
Kevin

#writemycommunity: Two Paths Diverged (I Took Both)

Untitled
This is a comic for the National Day on Writing, as we think about communities that we are part of as writers and teachers. I was thinking of my online communities and my offline communities, and how there is not an either/or when it comes to connections — it can be both.

Peace (in the midst),
Kevin

Lifting the Veil to Reveal the Code

Inside the code #CCourses

The other day, I had a chat with one of my sixth graders about websites. He’s interested in technology, mostly in terms of app development and mobile devices, but he was wondering about how the Web works. I pulled up the source code on our classroom website, and showed him what is really behind the magic of what we see.

He was transfixed. It was the first time anyone had ever shown him how to lift the veil of the Web and see the actual invisible infrastructure of the language that makes the Web run as we see it, as something we take for granted is a visual experience. I liken it to some magical experience. What we see is not necessarily what the reality is. It was this shift, via Netscape, into the graphic nature of the Internet that changed everything, right?

And someone, or more likely a collective somebody, has worked to make this experience of using the Web what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. There’s obviously a long line of innovative people — from Tim Berners-Lee, to Marc Andreesson, to countless others — who have radically changed the way we interact with information via the Internet. Seeing the source code of a website is an eye-opening experience for people, like me, who don’t often think or consider why this blog works the way it works. A look below the hood makes you appreciate the complexity of the code, even if it feels like a foreign language to most of us.

Give it a try. Check out your own source code (mostly, you can do that by right-clicking on a webpage and using the “source code” option). What do you notice about your site? We’re examining with the Web in Connected Courses, so this is a good time. Go deeper. What do you see?

Peace (behind the visual),
Kevin

How to Get Caught in the Web

I am excited about the next phase of the Connected Courses, as the topic is Web Literacies and Web Design and all things Webby (but not Spiderman, as far as I know). This comic idea was kicking around in my head. It’s a bit more negative, from the time-suck stance, than I feel about the work and learning we do when we are on the Web.

Ways to get caught in the Web #ccourses

But, hopefully, it gives a chuckle.

Peace (in getting unstuck),
Kevin

Bad Comic/Lost Idea/Good Duck

Bad comic
I’m not beating myself up on this, but an attempt at a comic inspired by a tweet the other day by one of my Simon friends had even me scratching my head when I was done. It was one of those times when I went into a comic with an idea and completely lost the thread by the end, and even now, I am not sure what I was thinking.

That said, the comic still works on one level — of what different people bring to the table. But I was aiming for something different, and I am not sure now that the comic meshes with the quote’s original meaning. Perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much.

And the Google/Duck Duck Go gag sort of fell apart on me. I was thinking of the accidental visitor, and had privacy on my mind. Maha wondered if I were referencing the duck mascot from the upcoming Digital Writing Month, but no … unless I was doing it without thinking about it (which is possible).

In the end, I like the Meta-Comic better than the original comic.

Peace (in frames),
Kevin