Friday, April 16, 2010

august 2008

Wow. These early ones are embarrassing. I decided to try using a real pen and a pot of ink for my first attempt, which was probably not the smartest thing I could have done. These are really sloppy, but hopefully that will just make the more recent comics look that much better by comparison.
By the way, the rest of the company still finds the comic division perplexing, especially now that we've been paired with the sci-fi group and relocated to a different floor... You think that was intentional?

august 2008 afterwords

Each month, the Yen Plus staff delivers a short message to our readers. Most of the time, our afterwords are absolutely pointless, but creating the caricatures of my coworkers is always a fun part of the magazine. When JuYoun first asked me to draw "chibi" versions of the crew, I don't think I quite understood... But after a couple months, they start looking more natural and consistent, or so I'd like to think...

the first time it happened.

In early 2008, I had just come on as "Editorial Intern" for Yen Press, a comic publisher in New York City. I had always been sort of interested in the medium because I love the idea of a story told visually in conjunction with text (or sometimes with no text at all). Unfortunately I hadn't actually read much in the way of manga or graphic novels, but I was eager to learn whatever I could. At the time I enjoyed drawing but had never really produced any "finished" pieces. Mostly I just doodled during classes and my part-time job back at home. But when my editor JuYoun saw one of these scrawlings carelessly left in view on on my desk at Yen Press, she asked me if I wanted to do a little one-page strip comic for our upcoming monthly manga anthology, Yen Plus. Since there were only six regular Yen Press members at the time, she thought it would be nice for us to introduce ourselves and the inner workings of the comic industry to our readers. I jumped at the offer, but to be honest, even I was surprised when it actually panned out... Guess it just goes to show, you never know...

We've been at it for nearly two years now. I know I have an awfully long...long way to go, but I'm pleased to see my progress to this point. And now that I've resolved to maintain this blog, my friends who've been harassing me to post Shrimp Art for the last two years will be able to see it too. No rotten tomatoes, please.

the beginning.

The afternoon of New Year's Eve, I met with my dear friend N over pie and cribbage to discuss our resolutions for 2010. The coming of the new year generally means very little to me, so I could only come up with a couple of things I really wanted to tidy up in my life. "No, no," he told me. "You need at least ten resolutions. That way even if you flake out on a few, you still have some to fall back on." Now, it seemed foolish to me to resolve to do something, knowing from the start you wouldn't follow through on it, but given the unhappy, hectic state of my life at the time, I took his words to heart. Surely there must be ten things I can do in 2010 to make myself happier, healthier, etc. etc. And so, number ten on that list is this blog. I do a little one-page comic called "Shrimp Art" for the monthly comic magazine my company publishes, which my friends from home home have been asking to see since I began drawing it almost two years ago. But without regular computer access at my apartment, it seemed silly to start a blog. So at long last, here it is. Yes, it took me four months to get around to it, but by my theory of New Year's resolutions, you have all twelve months of the new year to accomplish your goals. Just because I got out of the starting gate a bit slow doesn't mean I've failed. Yet.