Annotation (Part Two of Four): the Comix Connection


It’s week two of #digiwrimo and we are ready, as the newsletter says, for “a push into the visual”. For me that can only mean comics in general and WittyComics in particular.

This is an arena where a beginner can quickly become a small ball lost in the tall grass. Witty Comics to the rescue. It is a classic, “low bar to entry” tool for mashing up digital and visual elements. By using comic- generating tools like this, it is easy to get the visceral feel for the connection between text and image that is the grammar of comix. I have had so much fun this past summer playing about with this writing tool it ought to be illegal.

Here’s one I did in response to a post during the #rhizo15 MOOC this past winter.

umop episdn

(Extra credit if you ‘get’ the phrase “umop apisdn”.)

Prompt Week #2: Use Comics to Translate a Post/Tweet/Text into a Digital Writing

I use Witty Comics do this “translation”. It is dead easy to succeed with your first try (at least in one’s own eyes). Plus, it is embeddable and shareable everywhere if you grab it with a screencapture tool like SnagIt.


I created this comic in response to a post by Simon Ensor and in a way is an annotation of it, but I also tried to make it stand alone as a critique of privilege in academe. This tool is easy to use, but flexible enough to make “serious” fun. The number of elements under your control are few. You can change the characters, the header text, the background. I wanted a robot devil for the last panel so I cheated a little by using a screencapture tool to grab the whole comic and then layered my demon in, but otherwise I only used the tools available in Witty Comics. The limits of the tool are like the limits of a sonnet or a haiku. They are constraints that empower.

Here are a few more places you can go to create comics: Sundry Comics Generation Tools (a Pearltrees collection), a comics intro from Shelly Terrell’s Teacher Reboot Camp. More ambitious? Try ComicMaster. How about the tried and true, Bitstrips (desktop, mobile, everywhere). Or go can go digital hog wild! Looking for something a bit off the bubble? Try Seventh Sanctum. (Click on “generator types” at top of page, not quite a comic generator, but interesting.)

Let me know how I can help or let me learn from you. Comix rock when we all play together.