Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Inktober 2015 archives

Hello! I recently finished the complete roughs for Rema book 1, so I have a bit of time and am finally taking care of things I've been putting off forever. One of them was to have all my Inktober sketches from 2015 in one post (click "read more" for all the images, and click images to see larger versions). Doing these drawings really reminded me how much I loved to draw, so I'm glad to archive them at last.

We're still in the middle of Inktober 2016, but I'll post all of those here as well, once we're finished. In the mean time, you can follow my posts on Twitter, as always. Hope you all are well and taking care of yourselves!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rema: The Graphic Novel Series

Hello! It’s been a long time since I blogged, but I might as well get right to it...

I’m so happy to announce Rema will be a YA graphic novel series put out by Scholastic Graphix, starting in 2019! I am directly adapting the novel I serialized online a few years ago, art and all, and I’m so proud of the work I’ve put into it so far.

Some quick facts: The series is currently untitled, and I only use REMA as a work-in-progress title. The book is planned to be in color, but I will not color it. Colorist is to be announced. The first prose novel, for those few who read it, is being divided into two parts. I’m about halfway through the roughs and can say for the first time in a decade it truly feels Rema is in its destined final form. As an author, it is such an amazing relief!!! Every page drawn is like “yes! Finally!!” Is anyone really surprised Rema is ending up being a GN series, given my history? Well, I guess I am a bit surprised, but here I am!
The journey to complete this puzzling story is far from over, but many micro steps were taken to get Rema here, pulled along by many friendly forces. I’m compelled to give some thanks! 

First, I have so much gratitude to my agent Judy Hansen, whose patience with me knows no bounds. Many thanks also to the wise, talented editors who gently rejected the novel version so I could find my way to THIS version, and to my colleagues, friends, and family who always had faith in me (especially Kazu, who was hinting at Rema’s comics potential way back when it was an online novel). I'm so grateful to Rema's new editor, the brilliant Cassandra Pelham, who gave this story more chances than I can count. I know for sure this book is in good hands. :)
Developing Rema has been such a long, intuitively-guided journey, I have so many people to thank that it would require an entire book in and of itself. More than anyone though, I want to thank the handful of readers who have followed Rema’s progress through the years – from when it was a webcomic in 2003, to when it was an online novel in 2012, and through its quiet travel home to Scholastic. Your enthusiasm for Rema’s characters and world have carried it through many rough spots, and part of the reason I’m so passionate to work on it is because of you. So many times when I felt down about Rema’s progress, I would get a message or an email from a Rema reader, and every time it was like my energy was revived. 

I haven’t met many of you, but I feel we share this world in this imaginary space, and I never felt alone while creating it. As I illustrate the action and romance in comics form, I think of how you might feel about the pages and I can’t wait to share them with you. 2019 seems so far away, but it will be here before we know it. I truly hope the graphic novel series will be, finally, worth the long, long wait!

In the mean time, I will be posting WIP snippets on my twitter account, and you can add the temporarily titled Tabby Charon #1 to your goodreads list, if you’re so inclined. Until next time, I hope your days are filled with love and peace!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Raising And Care Of Orlas

I've been posting a series of drawings on my Twitter account the last month or so. It started on a whim. The weather was blustery and the smell of fall was in the air. I missed drawing my character Islen and I missed drawing Rema, so I sketched the first picture. It grew organically, turning into a short story about perseverance. It's my first finished story/comic in a long time, so it felt really great to do it. I'm not sure if it will make sense narratively to anyone but myself, but I hope you enjoy. All images were drawn straight with ballpoint pen on paper. (Special thanks to the folks on Twitter for following along and for your enthusiasm!)


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Third First Kiss

Today is Kazu and my 8th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than with comics? I drew this back in 2007 for the Bloomsbury anthology, "First Kiss, Then Tell" but it has always been the best version of how Kazu and I fell in love.

Needless to say, Kazu is my other half and I will be telling the story of how we fell in love for the rest of my days. I love you, darling. <3

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Recent Drawings

I looked at my blog and saw I haven't updated in almost a year! How time flies.

Life has been passing at a slow but steady clip without much blog-worthy news, unless you want to read about my hectic trips to the grocery store, the endlessly regenerating laundry pile, or how tasty my weekly batch of pork and apple curry turned out! My children are growing, Rema is continuing to develop behind the scenes (a painfully slow but worthy and enlightening process), and writing on book 2 has started. New projects have been percolating, but I'm currently letting my brain rest for a bit and absorb as much media as it can - books, movies, games, anything. (With that in mind if anyone has any recommendations please leave it in the comments!)

I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this blog follows me on Twitter, but I've done a couple pieces and sketches since the last post so consider this a sketch dump.

Some work-in-progress snapshots:

And that's all from my neck of the woods! Until next time, Amy out. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Notice And A Thank You

Copied and pasted from the Rema blog:


Dear readers,

In preparation for Rema's next phase of existence, whatever that may be, I will be retiring the Rema novel archives Monday, June 30th (next week). It's a decision that's been on my mind since serialization ended, since that was basically its broadcast run. This doesn't mean that you will never see the book again, but it does mean that the serialized online version won't be available after next week.

If you follow my Twitter account, then you know I've rewritten the beginning and have been working on streamlining the entire book. The one online doesn't reflect where the book is now, and to continuously update the rewrites seems a little overdone.

I'll keep this blog up as a production blog, with updates on Rema's status and drawings here and there, and as a place to keep in touch with the readers who still check in.

I can't thank you guys enough for this experience. I first put Rema online because I believed it was absolutely unreadable. Giving it away for free was me giving up on it, so that it would at least exist somewhere after working on it for so many years. I was very depressed at the time, and felt that I wasted many years chasing something that no one would ever care about.

When feedback started trickling in, I was seriously confused. Maybe they're just being nice? Maybe they're just nostalgic for the comic and will take what they can get? There's no way they actually want to read more. But then you kept coming back, kept being excited, kept cheering the characters on, and life was slowly breathed back into the project, and into me.

Writing is still so new to me. I've never taken classes for it, and I wasn't even very good in English and literary classes in high school and college. I was very much swimming alone in open waters. The pursuit of writing has been terrifying for me from the day I decided to do it. I nearly drowned but you  held me up, and I'll be forever grateful to you for it. This book exists because of you, and I will not let it slip away without a good fight.

So while the online novel is going to be archived, this is by no means the end of Rema or even its sequels (there are at least two more books that need to be written!). I will definitely make a big post when the book is available to own, either as ebook, kickstarter, or published novel, that is still up in the air. Either way, don't be a stranger and check in once in a while for that update.

Again, I thank you all so much for traveling to Rema with me in this exciting format, and I will carry your comments with me throughout the rest of my writing career, wherever it may go.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Since You Asked...

DISCLAIMER: Maurene Goo is a good friend of mine, so my opinion on her book is obviously biased. However, I am really picky about the things I choose to support regardless if they're made by friends or not, and there are real reasons I was such an advocate of Maurene's writing from the moment I first read Since You Asked (formerly The Holly Columns).

Imagine Seinfeld... as a Korean American teenage girl in San Diego. That basically sums up my reading experience of Since You Asked, with all its biting satire, hilarious hijinks, and heartfelt family drama. I seriously felt like I was watching a great sitcom about teen life as it is, not as it's idealized or glamorized, and it was oh so refreshing. This is high school -- awkward, ridiculous, and coming off the tail end of childhood.

I honestly wish I had this book to read while I was a teen. I was a mixed race kid of a loving Korean immigrant mother and an alcoholic father, growing up in middle-of-nowhere mostly caucasian Rochester, NY. I really could've used a window into life as a Korean American teen without the Korean-ness making her feel alien or weird, a window that showed how funny and beautiful it is to eat kimchee with Thanksgiving dinner; a window that made fun of how nonsensical high school life was, and one that told me it was perfectly cool to skip Homecoming Dance or feel totally uncomfortable at some kid's house party that was going way out of control.

I feel like there are other kids out there that could use this window too, one that acknowledges that despite all the pressures to be fashionable, well-liked, and getting a date, you're still a kid and that's okay. Far too often it feels like we're pushing our kids to grow faster than necessary, and it's nice to read a book that doesn't do that without it being condescending or sugar-coating anything.

Since You Asked is all of the above, and hilarious to boot. Seriousness aside, the book is just plain fun to read and you're going to love the characters. I can see a lot of appeal to fans of John Green, Maureen Johnson, and even Jeff Kinney's Diary of Wimpy Kid.

This is a stand-alone book, but there is so much potential for Holly's world and her friends. I truly hope a second one is on the horizon, because I could spend days at BHS and I would have a big smile on my face the whole time.

But, as they say on Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it!

Read an excerpt


Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

P.S. Maurene if you're reading this... you're SO GOOD at writing romance!! Holy moly! David and Holly need to get together. :)