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Lesson Plan | Ray Yoshida: Digital Comic Collages – MMoCA


AAIEEE!, 1996, collage on paper


Visual Art, Language Arts


Andrea Maxworthy O’Brien, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

Essential Questions

How are words used in art? How does knowing the contexts, histories, and traditions of art forms help us create works of art and design? Why do artists follow or break from established traditions? How do artists determine what resources and criteria are needed to formulate artistic investigations? How do images influence our view of the world? 

Grade Level

6th–12th grades


  • Students will consider examples of onomatopoeia and the use of onomatopoeia in comic strips. Students will create a digital comic using onomatopoeia with digital software.


After viewing and discussing AAIEEE! students will consider examples of onomatopoeia and comic strips with onomatopoeia. Students will collect two to five comic strip examples of onomatopoeia to assist in planning their comic strip using a storyboard. Following a tutorial of digital comic software, students will create their own comic using onomatopoeia with digital software.

Enduring Understanding
Artists and designers shape artistic investigations, following or breaking with traditions in pursuit of creative artmaking goals.

Discussion Questions

  1. What similarities does AAIEEE! share with a comic book or comic strips? How is Ray Yoshida’s art different from a comic?
  2. What qualities of the comics attract people’s interest?
  3. How do the words in this image contribute to the meaning of Yoshida’s work?
  4. If you look closely, what words or phrases do you recognize? (Examples: urp, whee, yaah, KAA-Blam, Grr!, Gurk?)
  5. What difference might the particular style or appearance of words make to the meaning of an artwork?
  6. How do the words and images work together to create meaning in the work of art?


Introduce AAIEEE! by Ray Yoshida, and onomatopoeia. Ray Yoshida was a collector, a pack rat, who collected objects from junk shops, second hand stores, and flea markets. These ordinary objects influenced his art. (See YouTube video of Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values

Define onomatopoeia (a word that imitates the sound it describes like “buzz” or “tick-tock”) by sharing examples.

Show students examples of comic strips containing onomatopoeia (note: search online using the key words “onomatopoeia comics.” Good examples are Garfield, Batman). Teacher and students brainstorm additional list of onomatopoeia words (see

Suggestions for Digital Software
Teacher chooses software depending on availability and budget

Pixton quick look overview
Pixton tutorial how to
Appropriate for grades 6-8

Storyboard That
Storyboard That, Tell Your Story in Style
Appropriate for grades 6-8

Comic Life
Comic Life Tutorials
Appropriate for grades 9-12


An Artist’s Strangely Compelling 1960’s Scrapbook of Comic Book Art

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution: Newspaper Comic Clippings, Ray Yoshida’s Scrapbook of Comic Book Clippings, Ray Yoshida Scrapbook of Advertisement Clippings

You Tube video Ray Yoshida’s Museum of Extraordinary Values

Examples of onomatopoeia

Buzz! Thwack! How sounds become words activity

Top 10 best comic book making software
Comic Life 2 free download, Final Draft 8, Pixton, Motion Artist, Poser Pro 10, Comic creator, Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio 5

Concluding Discussion
How do the words and images in their comic work together to create meaning?


onomatopoeia, frame, storyboard, collage


Language Arts, Social Studies


National Core Arts Standards

Common Core State Standards

English and Language Arts: CCSS.ELA.W.8.3 / CCSS.ELA.W.11-12.3 / CCSS.ELA.L.8.4

Wisconsin State Standards

Art and Design: B.8.5, B.12.5 / C.8.3, C.12.3, C.8.7, C.12.8 / G.8.4, G.12.4 / J.8.10, J.12.10; Language Arts: A.8.3, A.12.3 / B.8.1, B.12.1 / C.8.3, C.12.3 / D.8.1, D.12.1

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