How I Art Direct A Graphic Novel: Cooking the Onion

This is the second stage following the Onion Method: An Outlining Method for Graphic Novels. You got the onion...now how are you going to present it? This post will talk you through how I craft the art direction of a graphic novel... weaving the thematic and character motivations established earlier in the outline into its final, ultimate mode of language: the visuals.

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I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks

I am reading The Penguin Book of Prose Poems, an anthology of... well, prose poems. A nicely-sized paperback made out of stacks of typical cheap FSC paper. But my goodness, the book smells good. Almost vanilla-ish, earthy, subtle. And I think, man I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks.

Comics smell like ink: heavy, pungent. Like glue in effect. I'd know – the Carpet Merchant came out as a dense giant sandwich of CMYK; nearly every page is covered from corner to corner. Apparently people enjoy that smell. It's the first thing they would comment on, before they talk about the art or the story. I like watching people plunge their face into my book. It's funny, but sweet.

Unfortunately I don't like that smell very much. It's not my thing. I wish comics smelled more like prose paperbacks. I want vanilla. I want the smell that comes with yellowing pages. I want comics to compliment the atmospheric scent of my studio-bedroom, which is also a library. I want comics to smell like a dusty library. I don't know. I have memories of reading that's incongruous to the materials my books are printed with. My entire history is cheap FSC paper and brittle ancient sweet stock. But comics are a different medium, and until they make ink that smells like prose paperbacks (though if we had a choice, I'd prefer peach or brown sugar), comics will have to smell like comics.

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Organisation System for Research-Based Comics

I was talking to a friend in our Group Chat the other day, and he asked if any of us had any recommendations for a system that'd help him organise the research for his food culture graphic novel. It reminded me that the system I used has changed in the past year, and besides, it's time to make an addendum on the How I Do Research for Graphic Novels post. So here it is. An update of sorts.

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Upcoming Graphic Novel: My Aunt is a Monster

FINALLY YESSS THE NEWS IS OUT!

My new middle-grade adventure graphic novel MY AUNT IS A MONSTER is about a POC blind girl writer and her (formerly) World’s Greatest Adventurer aunt with a big secret. :O You may recognise Lady Whimsy from a post awhile ago!

A bit more in the cut.

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Online Talk: Life as a Comics Creator (June 14, 3 PM)

This Sunday, June 14 2020, I’m going to be on an online author’s interview to talk about my life as a comics creator. If you’re interested in knowing about my life, my villain origin story and my craft - this is the rare opportunity to ask those questions and hear my voice/accent live.

Registration is required for the event (link): bit.ly/TMC1DL1

The timezone is GMT+8, Malaysia time.

This event is part of the book launch for my upcoming graphic novel with Tintin Pantoja, The Maker’s Club! The full schedule and programming can be found on the Difference Engine website.

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Alexander the Great comic by Reimena Yee

Alexander Comic Art Test // Art Directing a Graphic Novel

Thoughts on the in-progress art direction for my Alexander the Great graphic novel/comic.

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Interview: How Indie Comic Creators Are Coping with the Coronavirus

I was asked to share my ups and downs about being creative during these strange times for an article from the Nerdist. Click here for the full story!

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Ten Years Later

On March 31st, 2013, I published the first ever page of my webcomic, officially debuting The World in Deeper Inspection.


I was 18 then: fresh out of SPM, and at the start of my gap half-year. While my friends and schoolmates almost immediately transitioned into Pre-U Lyfe (A-Levels, IB, STPM, ADP - wow those names sound so irrelevant now) I was adamant about getting a few months off - not to travel since I didn't have the money then lol, but to work on my passion project: an artsy, ambitious magnum-opus webcomic about a Jersey Devil detective and his friends.

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Comics as Poetry

A cornucopia of random thoughts on things I plan to do - related to approaching future comics as poetry. (more…)
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Ask Me Anything: Creating One-Off Illustrations Based on A Comic/Graphic Novel

A month ago I opened up suggestions for topics to discuss on my blog. Thanks to friends and fans, I've quite a treasure-trove of ideas for future posts. (I'm still taking in more ideas btw)

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Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.

She creates the webcomics The World in Deeper Inspection, and The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya; the latter of which is the first Malaysian graphic novel to be Eisner-nominated.

Currently writing and drawing a whole bunch of stuff. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

Upcoming Events

NONE FOR 2020

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If you’re not already familiar with @reimenayee’s work then her debut graphic novel, Séance Tea Party, is a perfect place to start. It’s a heartwarming love letter to childhood told through the eyes of a girl who’s afraid to grow up & the ghost of a girl who never will.

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