The Secret Language of Comics


For my Avatar I wanted to create an image that would reflect what I like, what does comics mean to me, and what I hope to achieve through this class. I used my own pictures of my uncle’s cat and the plants I grew at home as the basis, and I also searched up a few mushroom pictures on Pinterest as references.

The focal point of this image is a black cat playing classical guitar, which basically represents me. I’m particularly fond of black cats’ bright yellow eyes that seem to secretly observe and keep a record of everything, and their sleeky furs which look like silk. And my uncle’s black cat Boby is just one of my best friends and I’ve been using its photo as my social media profile picture for years. In terms of classical guitar, I’ve been playing it since high school, and even though I’m still bad at it, it’s one of my favorite leisure activities. The music notes float in and out of the door, symbolizing that music allows me to temporarily detach from the real world.

The door at the back of the cat represents the boundary between the real world and the illusory land of imagination, dream, and art. It also represents how I feel when I’m reading or creating something of my own — which is what I’ll be doing in this class. Here the imaginary world is overgrown with giant plants and fungi. Even though I’m a terrible gardener, botany has been my favorite drawing subject.

Except for the pale green color in the background, I only used black and white in this image since I particularly like illustrations that look complex and a bit out of order at first glance, and the easiest way to achieve it is through delineating details through fine lines. I usually add more layers of shadow, but for this assignment, I want to keep it simple and retain a relaxed free-hand-doodle quality.


Link to pics for reference:


This avatar represents a large aspect of what I consider to be part of my identity. Since young, I have always held an interest in cooking: during summers I would enroll in cooking classes at the local community college, I would volunteer for bake sales at the local church, and I would burn through several hours under the tutelage of my maternal grandmother. Although different cultural foods interest me, what truly captivates me is the savory Mexican cuisine I grew up with and continue to expand on.

Throughout the process of creating my avatar, I had trouble with the measurements and navigating my way through pixlr. After spending some time on the site, however, it became much easier to understand. The image was cropped into a perfect square, the lines looked smoother, and the shading more saturated. I feel that with enough practice in this site, the task of uploading images into WordPress will be done in a more timely manner.


My avatar’s motivation came from my most beloved British Shorthair cat. He’s a British shorthair, so I decided to use gray and black color. Additionally, I believe in the “less is more” principle in Chinese traditional painting when it comes to drawing, so I want my avatar to consist of simple textures and figures. That being said, I utilized “monoline” and “floral pencil” brush to approximate the impressionist and simplistic stroke while preserving the character’s countenance and character. The big ears were the only part I combined two strokes because I intended to emphasize it as the cat’s defining characteristic.

My greatest difficulty was that I don’t know how to even start, because this is literally my first try in almost 8 years. For some technical reason I couldn’t use procreate for free so I tried three different applications. However, I guess I could build on this style further in this class.


I decided to keep my avatar simple because that is how I would describe myself. I used darkish toned colors in majority of the image, so I decided to keep the background white. I created the image of myself by using an app called Sketchbook, in which I outlined a picture I chose of myself. I chose to place my name vertically and in a way that it, hopefully, looks like its hiding behind the drawing of myself. I drew a turtle reading a book because I find animals amusing in how many there are and that they are different from one another. I made it read a book to incorporate the class, which is based on reading and analyzing comics. Overall, this task was a lot of work because drawing is not something I do often. I think that drawing on an eletronic device made it a lot more difficult since it was my first time. I did enjoy drawing and hope to improve during this class.

Sketch 1: Avatar

For this assignment I wanted to create an image that represented me as well as what would be happening in this class. I decided to draw myself reading a book and I wrote my name at the top of the image. Although it might be mundane, this took me a long time to draw because I am not the best artist. I had a hard time trying to make the proportions of the face accurate and I struggled the most while trying to create the eyes. I still think that they are not very even, but nothing is ever perfect. I did not use any outside sources for this drawing. I decided to sketch something that was similar to how I have seen a person drawn in the past and add features that mirror my own. I added the same color hair and eyes and I even tried to replicate my eyebrow shape. Even though this image is just myself and a book, I wanted to create something that was simple to demonstrate that I have yet to experience this class and been able to grow. I think it would be interesting to redo this drawing at the end of the semester and decorate the space around me with things I have learned. I could even change the book that I am reading to my favorite book that we will have read in this class. Even though I found this drawing to be difficult in some ways, I enjoyed the activity and I think it allowed me to use a different part of my brain than what is expected for typical college assignments.


I created this image for my avatar because it represents me in a variety of ways. Overall, my main objective with this piece was to try to establish a sense of happiness every time I see it. The pink in the background showcases my favorite color, evoking calm and bright feelings like the sunset or a strawberry milkshake. The letters and my pixelated face evokes a sense of pleasing nostalgia for me: my face reminding me of retro video games and the lettering reminds me of music posters in the 1970s. Additionally, the style of the letters and colors is indicative of what I find appealing in art, such as vibrant colors and an active jazzy nature, reminiscent of works such as Stuart Davis and Keith Haring. Lastly, I chose the large letters and colors for a practical reason so even in a small icon on my website, it would be vibrant enough to be legible at a small size.


Hi! My name is Anirudh Seshadri. I am a Freshman at Emory University in Georgia Atlanta. The image above is a mashup drawing I made of me and my favorite anime character Levi Ackerman. I was drawn to him due to his stoic attitude and ability to handle pressure well. I try to emulate these characteristics as much as possible and thought it would only be appropriate to combine the two of us for my website avatar.

The toughest part about drawing my avatar was the self-reflection. There have been very few times in my life that I have had to describe myself or look at myself and draw something. It was tough to point out distinguishing features about myself and add them onto the drawing because I never notice anything remarkable (Staring at one’s face everyday for over 18 years does make it a difficult task).