The Secret Language of Comics

Yousef’s Badge

I chose this image because it represnts myself in three words: city life, my hometown (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), and the fact that I took it myself. The quality of the picture took a bad turn due to changing the dimensions. My lack of experience did not help either.

My Avatar

I chose this image of a lion as my avatar as I feel like it resonates with me on a deeper level. My last name “Sher” means lion in the Urdu Language. Moreover, I believe lions are one of the most fearless animals in the jungle and they are not afraid to venture out on their own willing to take risks. I aim to be more like this animal, ready to take on challenges like a leader. I also look forward to working in a team but subsequently being able to work on my own.

My Avatar

Have you ever seen a transformation between a human to a wolf in a werewolf movie where during the transformation the character kind of just flips back and forth really quickly between each skin? A less violent version of that concept is what I was going for when making my design. I have different faces for different situations and environments, and I live my life constantly switching between them. My brain works similarly, always bouncing back and forth between ideas and concepts. My thoughts are never really still so I wanted to create an image that also showcased movement of some kind. To achieve this, I layered three images of myself to represent both how it feels inside my head and how I am constantly changing. I also tried to incorporate a lot of colors because I’m a very colorful person and I enjoy bright, happy things.

This assignment was challenging for me because my initial plans started in a completely different direction than my end result (which is very similar to how I visualize my brain working). Originally, I intended to draw my icon, but I’m not very artistically talented when it comes to getting what is in my brain onto paper. I started out by brainstorming all the things I enjoy doing and then sketching those things in a fun arrangement. I ended up hating this first sketch for 2 main reasons: 1) My interests are constantly changing and therefore very random. I go through very short phases of being obsessed with something for a couple of weeks before moving on to another interest, so I have a lot of very small interests, but none of them really seem significant to my life nor do they seem to accurately represent who I am as a person. 2) Because of the randomness of my interests, the drawing seemed to lack connection or flow, but instead looked like a bunch of random images that were simply thrown together on the page. I didn’t like this because I like organization and my sketch was the opposite of that. So, in my final icon, instead of including literal symbols of my hobbies, I decided to represent them by including boxes of divided color to demonstrate how my hobbies are random, yet still somewhat overlap between different categories. Next, I attempted to draw myself, but this went even worse than the first sketch (who knew trying to recreate a picture of yourself could be such a toxic activity), so I decided to edit an image of myself using pixlr which brought along a new batch of difficulties due to my inexperience with editing. Besides the technological difficulties, I’m excessively anal about unimportant details, and therefore having too many choices really distracts and stresses me out, so as minor as it seems, figuring out the correct font and color for my name was very difficult for me and I probably spent an excessive amount of time on that one detail. Despite these challenges, I am very happy with the end result.

Sketch 1: Avatar

One of the reasons I chose this avatar was the increase in the use of technology every year. Considering this trend, I wanted to use technology to create an avatar with my characteristics. As a result, I used Samsung’s ‘AR Emoji,’ a program that makes a 3D animated version of a photo taken of me. When I created my avatar, I chose this typical hairstyle, a famous hairstyle in Korea, to show my nationality. The energetic gesture of my avatar indicates that I am interested in learning new things and that I am excited to learn more about comics throughout this course, which is a field that I have never explored before. I inserted my name in an autograph to appeal to myself as a professional in this area. I didn’t have much difficulty making my avatar, but I expected it to take longer to sketch it on paper because I am not a good artist.
I am looking forward to doing some drawing in the future and listening to feedback that would eventually improve my skills in critical thinking.

Avatar Design

For my avatar, I decided to draw a panda for numerous reasons. For starters, it is one of my favorite animals as they are adorable and just lovely creatures. The other reason is because in Chinese culture, the panda represents peace and friendship- one of the two things I cherish deeply. As a child, I tend to be the student and person to really care about people and their feelings. As I grew older, so did my values towards friendship and peace. I would try to assist my friends in thinks they need, as well as give them advice or try to cheer them up when they were in need of it.

The panda helps represent a series of beliefs and ideology that correspond with my life. Everything mentioned helped shape the character I am, a character in a book that is still being written. I know I am still growing in terms of mentality components, but I am glad to have been shaped to my present self.

  • Luigic14

The Albino Lion

I choose this image of a albino make lion because it presents a rare, powerful animal that is well known but still overlooked. My astrological sign is a Leo which is represented by a Lion and are known for being arrogant along with overly confident, which is why I choose this badge. As a Leo, it feels good to always be seen as confident but a lot of times no one sees the struggle that comes with wanting to always look your best self such as always worry about not only how you perceive yourself but also how others perceive you. But when you are able to overcome this self pressure, it feels good to always been seen as powerful and strong. #sk1 #lion #kingofthejungle



I have lived in Chicago my entire life; the city was the backdrop to my upbringing. As a result, I fell in love with Chicago’s regal architecture from a young age. The building in my avatar is the Chicago Board of Trade building, my favorite example of art-deco architecture. I selected it to symbolize the influence Chicago has had on me. I think it captures the sense of unbridled energy that is endemic to downtown Chicago. I selected it because it represents everything that I love about Chicago.

I am not particularly fluent in technology. The most difficult part of the avatar creation process was navigating pixlr. The text function especially gave me trouble, as I felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of fonts that were available. Pixlr also froze up and crashed twice before I was able to successfully download my finished avatar.


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: