Graphic Novels

I’ve been reading some graphic novels lately and I can’t help thinking to myself I can create one, too. And when I say graphic novels I don’t mean the superheroes kind, I mean the kind that’s like a novel but drawn in a graphical style.

One particular graphical novel called Perfect Example by John Porcellino taught me that you don’t have to be good at drawing to create a graphic novel. It’s more about the storytelling.

I also reread one of my favorite graphic novels, Blankets by Craig Thompson. Not only was the drawings really good, the storyline was excellent. Additionally, I reread The Quitter by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel. The story is more autobiographical than Blankets. Another autobiographical graphic novel I read was Kampung Boy by LAT. So I realized it’s better to write about something I know.

Yesterday and today I tried to draw something. I was not happy with the results. I think I’m too hard on myself and I need to realize that perfection is the enemy of good. Better to get something done than have it being perfect. But the blank paper is daunting.

I also think I need more preparation before I start actually creating a graphic novel. I don’t even have a basic storyline. I listed a book called Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud on’s wish list. Once I get the book I can dive deeper into creating graphic novels. Maybe by then I would have thought up some story ideas.

Adding a goal for next year: by the end of 2017, I want to create a graphic novel.

Install Raspbian Jessie on Raspberry Pi 3

I just bought the newest Raspberry Pi 3 and I’m excited to install an operating system on it. So this post is my instruction on how to install Raspbian Jessie. My instructions are based on the official instruction for a Mac at I just want to add more detail to theirs since I’m relatively new to the command line. Hopefully this will help some other newbies who are experimenting with the Pi.

The instructions are the following:

  • Download Raspbian Jessie (not the Lite version since it doesn’t have the GUI) at download page and save it on the Desktop.
  • Connect the SD card reader with the SD card inside. Note that it must be formatted as FAT32.
  • From the Apple menu, choose “About This Mac”, then click on “More info…”; if you are using Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion or newer, then click on “System Report”.
  • Click on “USB” (or “Card Reader” if using a built-in SD card reader) then search for your SD card in the upper-right section of the window. Click on it, then search for the BSD name in the lower-right section; it will look something like diskn where n is a number (for example, disk4). Make sure you take a note of this number.
  • Unmount the partition so that you will be allowed to overwrite the disk. To do this, open Disk Utility and unmount it; do not eject it, or you will have to reconnect it. Note that on Mac OS X 10.8.x Mountain Lion, “Verify Disk” (before unmounting) will display the BSD name as /dev/disk1s1 or similar, allowing you to skip the previous two steps.
  • From the terminal, run the following command:
    sudo dd bs=1m if=path_of_your_image.img of=/dev/rdiskn

    Remember to replace n with the number that you noted before! The path_of_your_image can be found by using the ls command to see a list of items in the current folder, then use the cd command to change the directory to where the image is. For example, if the image is on your Desktop then after opening the Terminal, type cd Desktop/, then type ls to see if the image is there. Lastly, type

    sudo dd bs=1m if=2016-05-27-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/rdiskn

    where n is the number mentioned previously.

  • If this command fails, try using disk instead of rdisk:
    sudo dd bs=1m if=path_of_your_image.img of=/dev/diskn
  • The install will take a few minutes, depending on the image file size. You can check the progress by sending a SIGINFO signal (press Ctrl+T, not Cmd+T).

All you have to do now is to eject the SD card from your computer and insert it into the Raspberry Pi 3 SD card slot. Assuming you have connected a keyboard, a mouse, a monitor, and the power supply, the operating system should boot automatically on the screen.

The login is pi and the default password is raspberry. Type startx to enter the desktop environment. You can also type raspi-config for further setup such as expanding the file system.

Final Project

Six weeks has gone fast. The third and last project was a giant leap from the previous one. We went from designing the circulation of a room to designing a library in South Boston.

The site of the proposed library is between a less-than-ideal residential neighborhood and an industrial area. After doing ten study models, I chose a strip-type architecture for the library.

The library has to include a bunch of programs, such as a library storage area, lobby, gallery, cafe, digital workshops, group reading rooms, storage vault, conservation lab, and administration offices.

My thesis, or parti, is to blur the boundary between the public and the private. Consequently, I made the build roof tops as accessible parks. And the exterior facade is glass so people can peek into the library when they are on the ramps or on outside platforms.

During the final review, one of the main comments was that I should have more architectural rules regarding the degree of the ramps and the size of each section.

Today is the last day of Career Discovery. The past six weeks has been a great learning experience. Definitely a great introduction to the study of architecture. In the studio, we did all the things by hand, these include the drawings, diagrams, and models. I wish we had time to learn some computer programs such as Rhino, SketchUp, and AutoCAD. That would be one thing I would change. But given the six weeks I think it would be hard to fit all that in. I especially enjoyed the morning lectures presented by varies practitioners and the field trips to to architectural sites and architecture firms. Overall, a wonderful experience and I really enjoyed meeting some great people!