Friday, December 28, 2007

Sketches from Japan

Did everyone have a good Christmas? I got a big ol' pink scarf from my Mom. I'd never where pink on my own, but now that I have it I think it's pretty awesome. :)

While in Japan, I started a new sketchbook. These are all done straight with the hi-tec C 03mm pen. I love that pen. There's more, but these are the best ones. I need to draw more! It clarifies my writing and helps me visualize things more easily. I noticed that there's an economy of storytelling in comics that I love, and want to carry over into my writing too, if I can. We'll see how it goes.

Anyway, click the thumbnails to see the full image:

Have a great New Year's, everyone!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Amulet is in stores!

One month before the official release in Jan. '08, Kazu's all-ages graphic novel Amulet is out in bookstores and on Two years of writing, drawing, and painting bound together in beautiful full color, it makes a wonderful and affordable gift.


Someone started a thread over at the Flight Forums about the book. It's a good place to go if you want to discuss it and see some reader reviews.

I helped paint some of the pages, and was Kazu's sounding board for story ideas etc. I'm so so sooooo proud of him and the book! It turned out beautifully, and best of all -- the story is awesome! There's magic, monsters, robots, strong characters, and a touching story of the heart for the whole family.

Miskit's my favorite character in Amulet, but they're all awesome. I love the villain too, he looks so cool. I want to do a fan art...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back from Japan

Wow. What an awesome, life-changing trip! I can't even begin to express how awesome a trip it was. I miss the place already, but it's good to be back. All I have are my photos, and little commentaries contained within:

tons of photos from our trip to Japan

If you don't know how to use flickr, here are more direct links to the "detail view":

week one
week two part 1
week two part 2

It's a beautiful country, the peak of modern living, and full of some of the kindest, least cynical, hard-working people I've ever met. It was a breath of fresh air. There was so much visual stimulus, I ended up drawing again. I'll scan in my sketch book soon, it's actually pretty small. But it's the most I've drawn in a while, and it felt great! Comics are deeply ingrained in their culture, and they're everywhere. I urge every cartoonist to visit Japan at least once in their lives, just to see what it's like.

Countless thanks to Ray Goto and Savannah College of Art and Design for inviting my husband to go there to teach, and for allowing me to tag along. It was the best trip ever!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Going on an adventure...

Kazu and I are off to Japan with a bunch of studio mates for two weeks. Will be back in December with pictures!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Odds and Ends

Writing continues on Rema.

I've finished a complete draft of the whole manuscript (about 300pp), each chapter having gone through several drafts already. Now I'm trudging my way carefully through the second draft, and have just started chapter 8.

The second draft is COMPLETELY different than the first. Characters get dropped, scenes get cut, some characters even have a gender change (don't worry -- all the main ones are the same). It feels awesome!

I was stuck, sitting on the rough draft, since I was 15. I didn't have the guts to cut and mangle the story until I was able to wade through it completely, first. Only then could I step back and see what it was that I was really trying to talk about all these years. And in the end, the story is much simpler than I ever thought.

I've been sharing the first five chapters with select friends that are around, and people seem to like it, which is a huge relief. Now that I'm confident, I'm going to hold off on showing it to anyone else until it's completed. I can't wait to share it with everyone, though! But it will definitely be a while.

Kazu and I will be in Japan for two weeks in December, then the holidays are here. Things will be hectic, but I'm hoping to finish a readable draft by the end of December. If I can't make it, though, so be it. I'm taking my time on this one and perfecting it to the best of my ability. I don't mind it, though. I've discovered that I love everything about writing, and it is definitely "my medium", so the process of rewriting is fun, if not something of an emotional roller coaster (a good one).

Anyway, just thought I'd leave an update and say hello. My website is getting dusty. All I can think about these days is Rema...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries Italian Edition

Thanks to the kind and generous folks at Renoir Comics, especially to Michele, my Sorcerers & Secretaries dream has come true. For the Italian edition, it's being published with both books in one volume with a cover illustration that I felt embraced the atmosphere of the books better than any other. I seriously feel like I haven't seen the final product of the last two years of my working life until now. I just hope it can get published like this in English someday!

The book debuts at the Lucca Comics Fair in Tuscany, Italy, November 1st, then released November 10th.

I never thought I'd have anything published in another language, let alone Italian. It's pretty neat! Can't thank Renoir Comics enough~ They're a fairly young company, but they seriously care about their books and their authors! I wish them a long and happy life. A huge thanks has to go to Kazu, too. I believe it's because the Renoir guys read our wishes for a one volume edition on his blog that they went ahead to do the book this way, and it was Kazu's great editorial eye that helped me make the cover look as good as it does. I love you, sweetie! :D

I'm planning a site redesign soon. With all my writing work going on, I feel that this current site doesn't quite make the cut. In the mean time, enjoy listening to a playlist of music I put together. :P

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007


The first thing I've drawn in about 1.5 months:

A new character. He's borrowing Ellon's jacket until I can give him one of his own...

Reman's about 2/3 done. I'm about to write a *kissing* scene, so feelin' a little nervous!!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Avatar: The Last Airbender Magazine and an interview

Hello everyone, it's been a while. I've been spending my days writing and reading, still, and spending quality time with friends. Most recently I read "Howl's Moving Castle" by Diana Wynne Jones. It is now *officially* one of my all-time favorite books. Romantic without being sensual, quirky without being pretentious, and charming without being coy, it's heartwarming and delightful. Highly recommended book.

If you haven't noticed, I had to turn off the comment box on my site because I was getting too much spam. I'm planning a site redesign anyway, but if anyone really needs to contact me there's always email.

There is a new interview up over at as a kind of year-in-review for my work in 2007, as if you didn't get enough of me already! I had a great time answering these questions, thanks to Alex. I got to talk a bit about writing in the end too!

Here is the interview.

Also, if you haven't picked up your copy of the all-Avatar edition of Nickelodeon magazine yet (I illustrated the above "Going Home Again" story), please do at your nearest bookstore. Magazine sales are definitely looked at, so showing your support with the $5 purchase actually makes a difference. The editor, Dave Roman, made an excellent case against scanning images from the magazine by discussing a little bit on the state of the magazine industry in his journal, so go give it a read.

I found my copy of the mag in the family section of Barnes & Nobles, myself. Just look for this spiffy cover drawn by Lauren Montgomery:

As far as things go on the Reman front, I'm still writing every day, and I'm about two-thirds done with the book's second draft. A lot of changes have been made, and as I write I discover new things about the story. Kazu and I go through these plot points together, and it's been helping me shape and reshape the story arch. My goal at this point is to finish a readable draft to present to publishers by December. We'll see how it goes.

And finally to any head hunters out there, I'm interested in doing some short freelance comics/illustration work. If there are any companies out there who think I'd be appropriate for their projects, please feel free to email me: whibbage at

Okay. Back to writing I go...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reading and Writing

I thought it was about time for a bit of blogging...

Thank you to everyone that left comments, you guys are really too generous and patient with my stories. I've been working hard, writing every day. So far I've written over a hundred pages by hand, and about fifty on the computer. My plan of hand writing the entire draft before typing was derailed when I realized that I had to go back and change a major plot point, which effected everything after it. Ironically, the "change" is actually closer to the original comic. I should trust my original instincts about story sometimes. I also took some time to think harder about the story and write an outline. Now I'm trying to work on it a chapter at a time, jumping around to write the scenes that most excite me, using the outline as a guide. It's similar to how I wrote the script for Sorcerers & Secretaries, except less linear in execution. I find it difficult to write from beginning to end in prose because I like to spend more time delving into the character's thoughts and emotions, leaving me more time to make realizations about the plot. This means more time to realize I need to make changes.

This past week I've been walking around, concerned that my writing is too terrible and that this won't work out at all. Then I had a good discussion with my husband while we folded laundry, leading me to a spurt of inspiration about a particular part of the story that had been vexing me since college. I rushed to the computer and re-wrote a scene with a new perspective, and that was all it took for me to feel all happy and excited about the book again. I have a feeling it will be like this for the rest of the process, a dizzying up and down of confidence and despair as I try to figure out the story. Writing sure is exciting! I wish I could be more specific about my realizations but I don't want to spoil anything, especially this early in the writing.

I also read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse this past week. I kept seeing the cover to Eclipse everywhere, and I thought the image was really striking. When I heard about the storyline, a high school vampire romance, I was expecting something terribly cheesy. And in a way, it kind of is. BUT... I really loved it and flew through all three books in a matter of days. They're incredibly juicy and unabashed in its portrayal of angsty emotion and humor. The further into the story the author gets, the deeper and more enjoyable the story becomes, as well. I highly recommend them to everyone, especially if you like beautiful male characters! And for those that have already read the books, be sure to check out chapter one of Midnight Sun on Meyer's website. It's chapter one of Twilight written from Edward's point of view, I think it's one of the better parts she's written.

In her thank you page, Meyer mentioned her love for the band Muse, and so I've been obsessed with these two songs lately:

Unintended, Time is Running Out, and Starlight

I also finished reading Harry Potter book 7. Quite the appropriate ending, the last chapter was amazing. And that's all I'll say about that... I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who's as late in reading it as I was.

Also, posted a nice preview of the all-Avatar edition of Nick Magazine, hitting stands around September 18th. I still can't believe I got to participate in something so many people enjoy (Thanks, Dave!). Especially because I love Zuko! Sheesh... I really lucked out to get the script for his story in particular. Anyway, enough gloating! Be sure to check out the magazine when it comes out. There's beautiful comics from a lot of fantastic artists! Cover by Lauren Montgomery whose work I just found out because of the magazine, the ever-amazing Rufftoon, the imaginitive Reagan Lodge, and more~

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

This is a really long post.

In short: I'm back from San Diego which was awesome, and I'm announcing my decision that Reman will be a prose novel which makes me so so so happy.

I'm back from Comic-Con '07, and have spent the day chillin' at the studio with Kazu, Becky, Vasilis, and their buddy Ilias who is visiting from Greece. We rewatched Pride & Prejudice (the 2005 version), had some boba, had dinner with Chris and Shadi, and flipped through my collection of books that I got from San Diego.

The convention was the best I've been to in a long time. It was nice going there without any deadlines looming over me, so I could relax and socialize. Thank you to everyone that came out to say hello to me, and especially to those that showed their support by purchasing a copy of Flight or S&S. I had a great time chatting with all of you, and I wish I could spend more time getting to know everyone! The Flight booth was pretty crowded for the duration of the con, partially because of sales but also because we had a good turnout of Flight artists manning the booth and we all took turns signing readers’ copies.

I got to catch up with my old editors, meet new ones, and chit-chat with various professionals. I got to see old friends, got treated to some lovely dinners, and had a great time discussing industry matters with colleagues and readers alike. I also got a chance to nerd-out. Some highlights were checking out the Golden Compass movie booth where Johane and I got our picture taken with Iorek Byrneson (It's hanging on my wall now!), as well as attending the Avatar panel where they played the preview to season 3 on a huge screen TWICE! I was in heaven. Shortly after the panel one of the co-creators of the show, Bryan Konietzko, stopped by the Flight booth and talked to Kazu. I wanted to say hello and introduce myself, but I could barely get my voice out, and my face was red I'm sure, so my husband had to give him my book for me. It was pretty embarrassing, but refreshing at the same time because having met so many artists I look up to, it was nice to know that I still had the energy to be a fangirl about some things. So, my apologies to Mr. Konietzko for being so geeky about his show!

Of the books that I procured from the convention, the free advance reader copy of Shaun Tan's "The Arrival" from Scholastic was my favorite by far. A wonderful story chronicling the emotional journey of an immigrant, it is beautifully told without words. Instead, each moment is lovingly dwelt upon with carefully rendered pencil illustrations. It reminded me of "The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs. The book comes out in October, and I highly recommend it! It's a book you can really savor.

Since I talked about it with a few readers that stopped by the Flight booth, I thought I should post about it here so I could start blogging my progress.

I decided to write Reman Mythology as a series of prose novels instead of a series of graphic novels. I feel like it's a decision that has been many years in the making, and I know some of you were looking forward to seeing a good comic version of the story, but trust me when I say this is for the best.

Reman is a very long tale that would've taken me my entire life to draw had it been a comic series. It started as a novella that I wrote when I was 15-16 years old which I pitched to publishers with the help of the English department head at my high school. It got rejected by everyone, so I put it on the side until I went to college and met other cartoonists like myself. I was encouraged to turn my novella into a comic by some friends, and I did. The webcomic you see online is the result.

While I learned much from doing that, I always felt like I was holding back with the story. It was difficult for me to fully delve into the psychosis of my characters without sounding corny, I struggled desperately with drawing the landscapes and buildings knowing that I had no interest in learning proper perspective or conceptual rendering, and I had a terrible time battling between my desire to tell a good story, and artistic /professional pressures to make things look "awesome" despite not caring about that kind of thing.

I always had a sneaking suspicion in the back of my head that Reman was meant to be written in prose, I just never had faith in my abilities to write it. There was also a sort of guilty feeling of loyalty to the comics medium that was difficult to get over. It actually wasn't until I heard the dialogue to the 2005 Pride & Prejudice that my love for language and books was reawakened, ironically since it was a film. After watching it, I began spending more and more time at my local library revisiting some of my favorite classics like White Fang, various Jane Austin books, and Les Miserables. Following Laurie Halse Anderson's blog helped a lot too, since she was keeping a production diary for her latest book "Twisted" at the same time that I was for "Sorcerers & Secretaries". We were separately blogging about the same struggles with character developement , rewrites, and pacing. It dawned on me that we were essentially talking about the same thing: storytelling. It wasn't long after that when I realized there wasn't much difference between writing for comics and writing for prose, and that I could probably turn out to be a pretty good writer.

This doesn't mean that I'm going to stop drawing comics, in fact I have a great idea for another series that I want to do some time in the near future. However, as far as Reman is concerned, it will be a prose book, just like it started. I've been working on it for a few weeks now, writing three pages a day by hand in a small 9 x 10 college ruled notebook and ball point pen. I'm up to chapter three in the first draft (around 60 pages). Once the first draft is finished, I plan on typing up the whole thing and working on subsequent drafts, however many it will take until it's finished. Until it's ready, I won't be showing it to anyone or looking for a publisher, but I can tell you the story is better than it ever was. Working on comics has taught me so much about basic storytelling, so much that I feel like I don't have to ask for second opinions all the time anymore. I'm confident in its execution to this point. It's probably the best thing I've ever written, and anyone that enjoyed the webcomic will surely enjoy it in its new skin.

In any case, I wanted to get that off my chest. I'll be blogging about its progress here and there, since documenting the progress of Sorcerers & Secretaries was incredibly helpful for pacing myself. I hope you'll enjoy the journey along with me, and hopefully you'll still be around to read the saga of Tabby, Philip, Raed, and Paeter when it's finally printed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Flight 4 and Comic-Con

The preview to Flight Volume 4 is up, and there's reports of the book hittings shelves at Borders and Barnes & Nobles across the country. Volume 4 features stories by myself (my fable called "Food From the Sea"), but also has excellent works from Kazu Kibuishi, Graham Annable, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Michel Gagne, Sarah Mensinga, Andrea Offerman, Neil Babra, and many many more. It's my personal favorite volume so far, but then again ... every new volume tends to be my favorite! Anyway, check out the preview and order yourself a copy.


Come and buy one at the Flight booth in San Diego Comic-Con 2007! The booth number is 1128, and will be right across from Random House books. I'll also be doing a couple designated signings at the following times:

Scholastic Book Fair booth -- Saturday, from 2pm-3pm
Flight booth 1128 -- Saturday, from 4pm - 6pm

But as usual, I'm calling the Flight booth my home for the duration of the convention, so if you're there and are looking for me I'll most likely be with them.

added 7/18 --
Also, I'll be participating in this panel on Sunday:

11:30-12:30 -- Kids’ Day Drawing Workshop: Kids’ Cartoon Studio—Watch as six fantastic kid-friendly cartoonists draw their hearts out, right in front of you! Scott Morse (Magic Pickle), George O’Connor (Journey into Mohawk Country), David Nakayama (Marvel Adventures Hulk), Amy Kim Ganter (Sorcerers and Secretaries), Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin), and Nick Bertozzi (Houdini: The Handcuff King) will be showcasing a diversity of styles from manga to superheroes and everything in between. They’ll talk about their backgrounsd and then hit the drawing boards. Moderated by Janna Morishima, Diamond Kids Group. Room 30CDE

Yesterday I wrapped up work on a 10 page short story for the all-Avatar edition of Nickelodeon Magazine. It was a lot of work (so many references!) but it was so much fun. Anytime I see Avatar I'm always reminded of how much I love cartoons and cartooning. Thanks for letting me participate, Nick Mag! The fan girl in me is all giggly. :) I think the magazine comes out in the Fall sometime, but I'm not sure when exactly. When I hear it's on the streets I'll make an announcement.

That's all the news from me for now. See y'all at Comic-Con!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 46

Ah~ I always liked the way this chapter ends. Yes... it is the last page of Chapter Two! I sort of miscalculated the page numbers (I thought there was 47 not 46! Oops!), but there it is.

In case you missed out, here are the amazon links to books 1 and 2:

Sorcerers & Secretaries book 2 on amazon
Sorcerers & Secretaries book 1 on amazon

Leave a review! Tell your friends the book is out! You definitely should be able to find it in any well-stocked comics store and chain bookstore by now. When you find it, I hope you enjoy it. =)

Now that the updating is over and the second book is off to do as it will, I have no plans for the website beyond updating it sporadically with sketches and occasional news. Check in occasionally if it fancies you. If not... thank you for being an attentive viewer and I'll email you (if you're on the mailing list) the next time there's eventful news involving my work.

I had a great time sharing these pages with you ladies (and guys), and a huge thank you to anyone that left comments on my blog. I'd check it at least three times a day! It was exciting to get reader feedback again, so thank you so much. =)

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 45

Only three more pages until the chapters 1 and 2 marathon comes to a close, so yes I will finish off the chapter (to answer May's question from yesterday's comment box). Things at the studio are good, painted some Amulet today. Tomorrow's for freelance, hopefully I can squeeze in a bit of time for Reman. I got up to page 50 in the script last night, so thankfully I'm past the first thirty pages! Woo hoo~ XD

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 44

And it continues... beyond the release date! But it seems people are starting to get their books in. I have to admit I'm a bit nervous! However, I suppose as long as I'm happy with how it turned out, I can handle any negative criticism gracefully.

I spent my day doing laundry (including a minor disaster because I failed to check the jean pockets!), and painted a page of Amulet. I should be working on a freelance project I have, but I'd rather write Reman Mythology before heading to sleep (I'm up to page 33 in the script).

Speaking of page 33... I kind of freaked out the other day and almost scrapped the script to start over yet again. Kazu asked me what page I was on, and I told him. Then he talked about screenwriters, and how getting past page 30 is usually a huge hurdle because it's the end of the first act and the last two are unknown, while the first one is far from perfect. "Just finish the whole thing," he said, "THEN go back and reread it to see what needs to be fixed, because you won't know until it's all laid out in front of you." It's so true.

So there you have it guys... if any of you graphic novelists out there are frozen at the end of act 1, just push forward and get past that dreaded "page 30"! There are greener pastures on the other side. I hope.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 43

When I wrote the script I was dying to get to this page, simply because I haven't really drawn real romantic tension before. It made my friend blush, so mission accomplished.

This reminds me, I listened to this song a lot while drawing this book: another youtube music video link.

I also realize that I miscalculated how many pages are left for the June 12th release date (ha! obviously!)... oops. =P

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 42

Warm and tender conversation leads to warm and tender moments.

Speaking of... everyone should watch this clip and remember how beautiful the world is. Thanks, Kermit! =)

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 41

Warm and tender conversation. I like drawing that last panel hehe~

I appologize for the late update, Kazu and I decided to take the day off yesterday after the Otis presentation. The lecture was awesome, I especially loved hearing Coop and Camille speak, and it was so fun hearing Esther and Mark discuss their different adventures being illustrators in New York too. Since everyone, besides myself, was either gallery artists or editorial illustrators (two areas that I'm pretty unfamiliar with) I learned a lot. A big thanks to Michael Dooley for organizing it! And thank you to everyone that came out to see it. One person in particular actually read Reman Myth, and that always surprises me (I just feel like no one in the offline world reads that thing! haha~). So thank you for stopping by to say hello, Raika!

I'll try to update on time tonight. Kazu and I are at the studio once again, hopefully I can paint two pages of Amulet tonight...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 40

Somehow I always read the two word balloons in panel three in the wrong order when it's online, but it reads fine in print. If I had more time, it's one of the things I would've changed for clarity's sake.

Speaking of honing one's craft, the first review that I know of for Sorcerers & Secretaries 2 is up at! It got a B+ which is good news. It means there's plenty space to improve and opportunities to surpass myself! I guess the reviewer wasn't too interested in Susan and Riley's relationship, and in retrospect maybe it was a little self-serving since it was the most fun part for me to write. I didn't really think too much about whether or not anyone else would be into it... oops. >_<>

In other news, today one of our assistants is leaving us for a covetted internship with Pixar Animation up in Emeryville, CA. She left us with a whole mess of One Piece episodes. Ever since she started helping us out with Amulet, she couldn't stop talking about One Piece. It is her ultimate television show, and I was touched by her gift. Can't wait to watch the whole series!!! Best of luck to you, Katy. Knock 'em dead at Pixar!

Tomorrow is the Otis presentation. I am a little nervous! It's been quite a while since I did any public speaking, and some people are paying money to see this. I hope the other artists and I will give them their money's worth. Wish me luck!

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 39

Josh is in heaven here. Hehehe...

Well I think I have enough romantic comedy recommendations to last me for a few years! It proved my theory that everyone loves romance deep down inside (how can you resist?). I remember when I was thirteen and obsessively reading any book I could get my hands on, if the story had no romance it was really uninteresting to me. Maybe it was because I was thirteen... but every story has to have a wee bit o romance, right??

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 38

Throughout the course of writing this book, I indulged in many romantic comedy movies. Some I had watched so often as a youngster, I didn't need to watch them again (Sleepless In Seattle, Pretty Woman, Princess Bride, Ghost, Groundhog Day, She's All That, and one of my all time favorites, French Kiss).

Some that I watched were simply terrible. The couples had no chemistry, their character development lacked emotional logic, and if anything, I was hoping that they didn't get together because it was a divorce waiting to happen. A couple examples of this are Alex & Emma, Kate & Leopold, Stranger Than Fiction, and I even found the couple in Breakfast At Tiffany's to be a bad match. It made me realize how delicate good chemistry is. All of this movie-watching has given me a taste for the romantic that I think will leak into my stories from now on.

So I'm curious about you guys. What romantic comedies did you like or dislike?

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 37

I always thought Nicole looked particularly fetching in panel 1.

It is Wednesday, June 6th, and Sorcerers & Secretaries book 2 officially ships in one week (June 13th) to a finer comic shop/book store near you! I, for one, am quite excited. A colleague at the studio just read both books for the first time in one sitting, and said that it flowed well. I was worried that the books would be awkward to read together since so much time passed between volumes, but I guess it's a-ok. Hopefully someday Tokyopop can afford to print a one-volume edition. I already have a super spiffy cover in mind~ We'll see I guess!

For any Otis students out there, on June 9th I'll be participating in a lecture/roundtable seminar pondering the meaning of being an artist in the business-driven environment of today's popular culture industry. I hear from the grapevine that Otis students get in for free/with a hefty discount, otherwise the lecture is $35. More information can be found here.

On the way to the studio today I spent a few minutes browsing the local library. I've been writing the script for book 1 of Reman Mythology this past week, and writing innevitably gets me in the mood for reading. In high school I spent most of my days writing prose, so whenever I get into my writing headspace I'm always awash with nostalgia. Particularly, nostalgia for countless hours spent browsing bookstores and library shelves throughout high school and middle school.

It was nice to just wander around and pick up whatever caught my eye. The rentals this week are a translation of the Upanishads, a book on Norse gods and heroes, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (which I started reading immediately as I walked to work, and it's awesome!), and Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. Let's see if I can get through at least half of these!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 36

It's funny, the sentences he's reading out loud are things I made up according to views I have on the action of writing/storytelling. They aren't the only views, of course, but I do think the best stuff has an essance of expressing something that is so emotionally powerful to the creator, that the only way it can be "spoken" is through symbols and stories.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 35

Ah~ back to the main characters. I loved drawing the last two panels...

Today was interesting. There was a big food festival outside our studio back door with live music and a $50 entrance fee (we snuck around to our door through Nucleus' back entrance), plus Kazu installed our brand new 4' x 6' magnetic wipe board. OooOOooh~ fancy! It feels like a real office in here now, and we wrote benchmarks, due dates, and minimal daily goals all over that thing. Getting organized feels so good!!

In other news, check out the blog of Man Arenas and BE INSPIRED.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 34

Updating a little early today because Kazu and I are pretty much taking the rest of the night off for a friend's birthday. If you're in the LA area, you should DEFINITELY make it out to Nucleus tonight for Edwin Ushiro's show opening starting at 7pm. Kazu and I got a sneak peak last night, and I have to say it's one of Nucleus' best shows of late. It's beautiful, and some of the pieces are one-of-a-kind (meaning no prints are being made) so you might as while see them while you still can. For example, my favorite piece in the show, a large painting (about 30" x 40").

Well, I'll see you guys on Sunday!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 33

This page reads much better in book form. =P

No new links today. Painted a page from Amulet, but we need to get faster! Man... color comics sure are intense. My painting skills are improving though, something I thought would never happen...

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 32

Was it planned? Was it accidental? Some relationships are like car wrecks, and happen in the most haphazard way. This is why Susan and Riley's relationship was one of the most fun parts of writing the second book, and their story was the easiest part to write.

My friend Dawn showed me this super cute popular site called It'll take up a few minutes of your day at the office/school. Also, experiments with water in zero gravity! (from Indigo's blog)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 30

All I have to say about this page is: poor Susan. Katy showed me some great street fashion blogs that I wish I knew about back when I was doing research for various outfits for S&S characters. Check them out:

Style Bubble and The Sartorialist.

I especially like the second link!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 29

Ah... Sorry for the late update! Kazu and I went to see Pirates 3 last night around nine with my pals Phil and Johane. We didn't get back to the studio until midnight, so we went straight home and played Zelda: Twilight Princess to clear our minds of the mess that was Pirates3. It felt like someone's brainstorming session fully realized onto the big screen -- story elements were just slapped on seemingly on the fly without any set up or foreshadowing. It was ridiculous. Beautiful to look at however, and everyone was in character, but the story was a mess. The scene where the ships were swirling around in a vortex shooting each other was the ultimated visual metaphor of the story's plot.

Ah well. It was nice to get out of the studio and experience something with friends. Plus the highlight was seeing the Transformers trailer on the big screen -- I got chills! Can't wait for that one. =)

I couldn't help but feel bad for the screenwriters for pirates, though. Kazu and I have experienced similar struggles with deadline pressures and the pressure to perform, but on a much much smaller scale of the graphic novel. This is the problem I suppose with trying to write in a commercial format. You're under the whim of the publisher/producers to do the best job you can in limited time and with the expectation that it will be loved by the public and make them lots of money. That's a lot of pressure.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 28

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! Hope you're having a restful weekend with your family, and not at school like Nicole. =P

Things at Studio Amzu are pretty crazy these days. I'm having loads of fun painting Amulet and learning so much! I was always intimidated by the idea of painting but I'm trying to be more open to the option of color comics these days. When done right they can be extremely engaging.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 27

This chapter is very *romantic* and was one of the most fun for me to work on. Well, what am I saying... each chapter in book 2 was a joy. Book 1 was me trying to figure stuff out, book 2 was me having fun with the characters lives in the little petri dish of 200 pages of comics. =)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 26

Sorry for the late update! Felt kind of sick yesterday so I spent the night watching Avatar episodes. >_<>

I feel all better now, though, so no worries. Tomorrow's page will be a chapter cover image...!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 25

Josh is so happy. So, so happy! =)

Thank you everyone for leaving all the nice comments about Reman and the watercolors. I haven't started drawing the comic and there aren't any publishers for it or anything like that, I'm just trying to refamiliarize myself with the characters and world, that's all. When I have interesting development art to show you, though, I'll be sure to share it. Thanks for all the encouragement guys! Knowing that you still are interested in seeing RM makes me happy. So, so happy! =) hehe~

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 24 plus watercolors

Riley and Susan became my favorite characters in the second book, and they served as a great contrasting example to different ways couples can get together (or not).

Today I spent some time doing 4 x 6 watercolors of Reman characters and had tons of fun. Watercolors are so cool! Their faces kind of altered, but the more I draw them the more familiar they'll get again. They're all signed because they're gifts for some friends. These are in chronological order of completion:

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 23

I'm wondering if like three years from now when/if the term "awesome!!" isn't used anymore, would it be like reading comics now that say "totally rad!!"... and make S&S seem completely dated? =P

Just got back from seeing 28 Weeks Later. I enjoyed it for what it was, a raging zombie movie with lots of shaking cameras, blood, and tension related to biohazards. I do feel that the character build up of the father was lost too soon in the movie though. He had interesting conflict that was worthy of a whole movie in and of itself.

Part of me kinda misses the old slow moving hordes and wishes there were more movies about those kinds of zombies. When will they get popular again? I thought they were really effective in Shawn of the Dead! Plus in Dead Rising for Xbox 360. I love that game.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 22

Another page~

Spent the day watching Planet Earth. It's so so beautiful.......... Maybe I should update earlier in the day. When I update these things it's usually at the end of the day when I'm low on energy so my posts get all random, like this one. >_<;;

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 21

It always felt like the inking in the last panel stood out, for some reason. Maybe thinner lines.......

Not much happened today, it was pretty chill. Except for the guy playing scales on his trumpet outside our building. And the neighboring bar playing clubbing music that was loud enough to set off some car alarms in the parking structure next door, around 6:30pm. Other than that, pretty chill... ;)

Also, a big thank you to whoever bought my power in numbers piece! It makes me feel like a real artist. =)

Sorcerers & Secretaries vol. 2, page 20

I get this reaction a lot. >_<>

By the way, this guy is so awesome.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

lots of pictures today...

Photo reference is always helpful, and you can always tell when someone uses it. I usually don't use photo reference, but I had to for the first panel because I just couldn't remember what the bridge looked like, exactly.

In other news I got early copies of book 2 today:

Mmmm... FRESH GRAPHIC NOVELS!!! =D When I got book 1 my reaction was relief. When I got these books, my reaction was pure joy! Finally a completed, full story in print! The printing is a little dark in some spots, but I don't know if anyone will care but me. It looks awesome and I can't wait to share it with the world! It still isn't released until June 12th though...

It's also interesting for me to read it all bound together like this. Certain layouts that worked in single page format doesn't work as well when they're bound together in a book. With each book I hope to get better at using the page-turn and book layouts to improve at my panel arrangements and word balloon placement, which is a part of comics that has always fascinated me.

And also, I didn't think I'd be able to get to it at first, but I managed to squeeze in a watercolor piece for Nucleus' "Power In Numbers" show:

The show's tomorrow (Saturday) starting at 7pm, and part of the sales are donated Susan G. Komen for the cure. Come to Nucleus and see the 200+ art pieces all priced at 50-100 dollars. It's quite a sight!

I painted this because I want amateur astronomy to be my hobby outside of comics. I just have to go buy some good binoculars and a sweet planisphere! While this was happening, Kazu spent all day doing the linework for Amulet. This has been his position for the past few weeks:

Sigh... I can totally relate. But the book is a magical read, I think people will be blown away not only by the beautifully painted pages, but by the breathtaking action and heartfelt story. Ach! Can't wait til it comes out! =D After it does, we're definitely taking a vacation though. Until then we're having fun working together with a group of five or six interns. That's right, folks. Team comics to the rescue!