Master’s Thesis

The title of my thesis is Comics: The (Not Only) Visual Medium.

ABSTRACT

Comics studies tends to privilege the visual, and some scholars, like Scott McCloud believe that comics are solely visual. However, as Ian Hague has noted, the idea that comics are a solely visual medium is not only incomplete but does not align with what the sciences of perception and embodied cognition tell us. This paper seeks to build upon Hague’s work by calling attention to and analyzing comics which exist without or with little visual imagery. These comics can be sorted into two primary categories, audiocomics and tactile comics. As these comics were created for people who have partial or no sight, existing guidelines and standards for creating aural and tactile imagery for people with partial or no sight are used to analyze the comics’ success in achieving an experience that is easy to understand and also utilizes the medium’s strengths. The comics are then analyzed as a whole in order to determine areas for improvement and additional experimentation.

If you would like to know more about my thesis, please contact me.

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Creative Communities Initiative

CCI_logoThe Creative Communities Initiative is a research group at MIT led by Ian Condry and T.L. Taylor. The group uses ethnography and other qualitative research methods to study subjects like, esports, livestreaming, music and inequality, anime and manga, and more.

During my time as a research assistant for the CCI, I did the following:

  • conducted ethnographic research, interviews, and focus groups
  • led meetings, book discussions, and brought in guest speakers
  • wrote a white paper about the social media practices of new mothers
  • transcribed interviews
  • organized secondary resources
  • gave feedback on articles and ideas

Additionally, I assisted in rebranding the research group by creating a new logo (pictured above) and a new website and monthly newsletter (pictured below). All of these can be found in action at http://ccimit.mit.edu. The archive of the newsletter can be found here.

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Website
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Newsletter

“Flying While Fat”

Flying While Fat is my first attempt at a web comic. I created it for a course at MIT on women in comics and cognitive dissonance. This comic utilizes simple drawing techniques to represent a short narrative about the complexities, peculiarities, and misery of flying as a fat person.

If you would like a sample from this comic, please contact me.

 

 

Damaged Goods: A Little Messed Up, and a Tiny Bit Broken

DamagedGoods_InvictusVol3_CoverDamaged Goods:  A Little Messed Up, and a Tiny Bit Broken is the product of the third incarnation of The Invictus Writers. The Invictus Writers is a writing group created by Brad King in which students work together for a semester to write a short memoir for publication and for the Digital Story Awards competition by the Creatavist.

As a member of Invictus 3, I wrote and published a short memoir titled “It’s Like the Weather” in which I examine my relationship with  my mother and my decision to leave my small town. I also designed the book, including the layout and the cover. The book is available in print and electronic versions. If you would like to read my story or purchase the book, please visit http://theinvictuswriters.com.

Transmedia Star Wars

Photo Dec 05, 10 43 39 PMTransmedia Star Wars was an immersive learning project at Ball State University. A group of students from different disciplines created a tablet application to accompany the Science of Star Wars exhibition at the Indiana State Museum. The app, intended to inform and educate, featured six groups of Hoosiers who were inspired by the Star Wars films to create something in their fields. A variety of groups were represented, ranging from filmmakers to prosthetic experts.

I was the writer for the filmmaker’s portion of the app. I also assisted in the planning for our section, and I participated in usability evaluations and prototyping for the app as a whole.

Below are some screenshots from the app.