For my research, I read the first two chapters of the book Understanding Comics during yesterday’s work block. So far, it’s a really interesting read, and it made me think a lot about art and writing in the same form. I’ve always appreciated art, and enjoyed going to museums, but the idea of putting comics in a museum is kind of appalling. But comics have been around for thousands of years. The book defines them as juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence. Therefore, the ancient Egyptians’ paintings were also a form of comic. The books usage of comic mechanics to tell the story makes it even more effective in helping the reader understand comics. It also introduced different forms of abstraction. I’ll continue reading this book even as I start storyboarding for my final project.

In this block, I also finished two storyboards, and I wanted to put them in this blog post as well as the character designs I was doing. Since I am a bit behind schedule, I’ll work really hard in the upcoming days to finish the first few pages of my graphic novel rather than writing the whole thing.

So these are the character designs! The storyboard might be linked on my blog, but since it’s pretty rough, probably not. I had a lot of fun with it though.

360 degree Leadership

Throughout our lessons with John Maxwell about 360 degree leadership, I can say that I’ve learned a lot of challenges leaders face, and myths those in the middle believe. The challenge which stuck out to me was the Ego challenge, because being in TALONS with so many talented people means that it’s easy to get buried under everyone else’s ingenuity. But applying the techniques described by John Maxwell, I can still lead to the best of my ability. I can lead consistently within my leadership project and guide the 9s to success. I should focus on my own duties, which is to help make our vision a reality, and mentor the 9s so that they can continue this event and teach it to the new grade 9s, and so on, and so forth. I will also appreciate the value of my position: I am able to talk with the other 10s as well as act as a mentoring figure towards the 9s. Like this, I think that through my leadership project, I will be able to overcome the Ego challenge.

ZIP log #1

Today I did some basic research on the features of graphic novels, and read a graphic novel for reference. The book I read is called Noragami, or Stray God in translation, and it is a comedy with the basis being the old Japanese concept of there being millions of gods. However, the story is based around the lowest-ranking god who does odd jobs at the price of 5 yen. It is a very interesting example of a graphic novel, and it exemplifies many key components of graphic novels, such as an effective use of the gutter and emanata to show their disgust at Yato, the protagonist. My reading tied in with the different features I had researched at the beginning of the block. This was where I got the basic research from. I also took some notes to help me keep these things in mind. 

Components of a graphic novel

  • Voice overs
  • Borderless panels
  • Emanata
    • Tear drops, sweatdrops, or motion lines used to portray emotion
  • Splashes
    • A panel which is the width of the page
    • If it runs entirely off the page it is called a “bleed”
  • Speech bubbles
  • Icon
  • Panels
    • The framed image
  • Gutters
    • The space between panels
    • Readers need to infer what happens between the panels
  • Style
  • Narration
  • Colour
  • Graphic Weight
  • Time
  • Foreground
  • Midground
  • Background
  • Camera Angle
  • Transitions


Noragami (Stray God)

  • Comedy interspersed between seriousness and action
  • Action to action, subject to subject, scene to scene (transitions)
  • Based on the old concept of there being millions of gods
  • Modern day fantasy setting
  • Concept of the nearshore and farshore, the line between death and life
  • Exposition: sets the scene showing how Yato operates. Introduces a side character before the main character

ZIP take two


Inquiry question: What are the main components that make a graphic novel effective?

Big Idea: Creative writers are observant of the world

I love to draw, I love to read, and I love to write. When I think of these things, graphic novels are the first thing to come to mind. I kind of hate to admit it, but I have been an avid reader of Japanese-style manga ever since middle school. I may have even had the ridiculous dream of becoming a mangaka when I grew up… which is why I wrote my own graphic novel in collaboration with a friend of mine. I wanted to take another crack at it sometime, then ZIP presented the perfect opportunity for me. 

Through ZIP I want to gain a better understanding of the graphic novels as literature, and find out what makes them so unique.  I find pleasure when I’m reading, so I’ve never really thought about the difficult things like themes when I read. I already have a good understanding of literary analysis, so I’m sure that this will help me when I take apart the novels and find what makes them effective.

By the end of our 3 weeks, I hope to be able to pen a successful graphic novel, understand the components of a graphic novel, and analyze works which are not conventional literature. I know that if I need any help with this assignment, I can ask Mr. Morris any questions that I have. As well, Phia is doing something related, so I could always find her for advice. I plan on using graphic novels across different genres as my resources, and definitely any online resources.I plan on presenting my learning in the form of a graphic novel, and probably some time-lapsed videos of my work alongside the finished product. I’ll probably describe the process that I went through to acquire these skills as well.

Plan which I really hope will work:

Dec 11: Finish analyzing (at least) 5 different graphic novels (coming up with thematic statements?)

Dec 11: Begin Storyboarding

Dec 15: Begin writing/drawing

Dec 22/during winter break: Finish the novel!

I’m so excited to get a second chance to do this, though I feel really nerdy and lame when I think about what I’m going to make my graphic novel about. But I’ll definitely have fun with this project!


Goodbye Monet- Eminent Reflection

Eminent this year was every bit as bittersweet as I had thought it would be. I can still remember when I finished Night of the Notables last year and was filled with expectations for myself to do better next year. I wonder if the past me’s expectations were met?

I’d love to say that I’m incredibly proud of myself and am satisfied with the work I’ve done, but as the eternal perfectionist, I see only the flaws in my work. This is one trait which I share with my eminent person– he was never happy with his water lilies and kept holding on to them until his eventual death. Even as I worked on my painting for the Night of the Notables, I was constantly sighing and I thought the flowers looked like simple blobs or that the sea looked like squirming caterpillars. Even as I wrote and rewrote my speech, I kept worrying.

But on the actual night of, as we got more and more pumped up, I began to feel the energy as well. It was our last time doing this– might as well enjoy it, right? But when I got on stage, my breath hitched and I actually mixed up several lines of my speech, and I could feel myself losing my grasp on something that I had already drilled into my mind. But instead of panicking, I continued on and wove the lines I had forgotten earlier back into my speech. But in doing so, my speech lost some of the emotion and sounded more rushed because of how nervous I was. Even though I feel I outdid myself from last year, I know that when I look back on this night, I’ll only think of how I forgot the lines in the middle of my speech and feel regret and shame.

As for my learning center, I think that it was an excellent improvement from last year as well. I probably put in the most hours of our whole class just working on the Garden at Sainte-Andresse. I felt so frustrated at the painting so many times that I wanted to cry. I spent much of the time painting rambling and raving, and generally being very turbulent and mildly aggressive. Thank goodness Celine (she was at Bamfield and came to in-depth last year) was there to help me through all that craziness. When I finally brought it to school, a lot of people were really impressed, and I felt like an artist for once. Being angry, unhappy, and borderline psycho where all things that Monet had also lived through while painting. But besides the painting, my focal point, my learning center had other interesting components as well.

I really wanted to make my center like Monet’s famous garden in Giverny, though I think my rendition fell a little short. I put in flowers but they were obscured by other things. Most people who stopped simply commented on the superb job I had done on my painting. I was really happy, but I felt like something was lacking. Not a lot of people participated in my interactive part as well, which was to try painting the water lilies in Monet’s style. But this is the full (hopefully immersive) tour of my learning center.

I tend to be a pessimist and focus on the negative, but there are several moments where I was so truly happy to be a part of this program. When we were backstage right before our speeches, getting pumped up, and practically yelling, there was a strong sense of community and the bond which ties all of us together. We took the time to encourage and reassure each other, all while getting ourselves hyped and ready to have the best Eminent night ever.

I’m pretty sad to see the project go– the good, the bad, and the ugly. Unlike last year, I can’t say that “I’ll improve next year!” But at the same time, with all that stress, maybe I’m a little glad to see it go… or not. I’ll enjoy Eminent from the alumni side of things next year!

Annotated Biblography

I have plenty of links which I used for Eminent research, but it’s probably best to limit myself. That being said, this is my annotated biblography! Feel free to peruse these resources if you ever find yourself wondering about art history or just curious about Monet.

King, R. (2017, November 18) phone interview

I interviewed the author of Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet’s Water Lilies and learned a lot about Monet’s life and relationships. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy of Mr. King’s book as he provided me with very extensive information on my eminent.

Probably my main resource/inspiration for my speech. The panels he offered to the State are housed in this museum and they inspired the circular layout in other museums as well. This offers good background information on Monet’s feelings towards his Lilies.

I took a cursory glance at Monet’s Wikipedia page as is customary at the beginning of every project. Not the best resource to be used, but definitely one that’s worth looking at at the start of any project if you want good background information.


I also used the information from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibit to get an overview of Monet’s life and some more in-depth information on certain works and periods of his long and illustrious life. The chronology and Giverny section were particularly helpful to me.

I also took a look at what the MoMA had to say about Monet’s water lilies seeing as that was the first place where I had seen them in person. It provides rather minimal information but the installation views are really cool to look at.

I referenced this page as well to learn more about all the Water Lily panels and a few of their names. Being his most famous series there was actually quite a bit of information.

The Monet foundation provides a lot of information on his home in Giverny and his gardens and studio. They work hard year-round to maintain his lovely gardens and estate and shed some light on what his life was like.


Reading up on Impressionism also proves to be helpful, as it shows what were the ideals of that time period. This site is rather brief, but it definitely captures the essence of the period.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also houses many works of Monet and other Impressionists, and provides an excellent description for what Impressionism is and was like at the time.

This provides an excellent overview of many important points of Monet’s life, from the rejections of his work by the Salon to his life in Giverny and the Water Lily ponds. It’s a quick read but an important one.