‘Comics are a valid art form too!’

On the rare occasions I step out of my bubble (or, I don't even need to: sometimes the call is coming from inside the house), I time-travel to the era before the rise of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Marjane Satrapi, etc, and encounter publishing or academic or institutional or creative people who think comics are not a valid art form or even a medium. Despite the fact comics are flourishing in the US, already a core part of literature in Europe and Japan, accessible to a varied audience, and proving itself a strong representational medium for a variety of issues/topics/experiences. But I don't have to reiterate the statistics and official articles and journals to confirm this. It should be as mundanely acceptable a phenomenon as prose books and films in the global cultural consciousness, because it already is a part of said consciousness.

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Letter to the New Year 2021

Since 2016 I've written and illustrated these letters to the new year, as a way to summarise my thoughts and feelings regarding the old year (and express my hopes and aspirations for the new). But for obvious reasons, I decided to skip it this year.

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The Iliad + Digital Island Project 2021 + A Comics Movement?

So I've moved on to the next stage of my Unofficial Residency. I'm back to doing Freelance Work. (Nov-Dec is one of my busiest seasons of the year. Of course I wouldn't miss it.)

Though I only completed like, almost 3/4 of what I set out to do during the first phase of the residency, I'm grateful for whatever progress I am able to make. Afterall, any headway during 2020 is a miracle! Luckily there's a second phase to catch up on things. So fingers crossed I can get some more in.

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Institutional Recognition

I will confess that I've always had the desire to be recognised by an Institution: schools, libraries, museums, universities, you know. Buildings. Bodies. I want my books to be analysed and mined formally, to bridge the gap between the public and institutions, to educate, to inspire joy in learning. I love the world. I love the platonic ideal of academia: to chase a subject wholeheartedly, to share and introduce to outsiders the joy and madness and wonder that comes from seeing something unexpected in a different way, to find interdisciplinary solidarity in fellow nerds. Though I've officially left academia to pursue a career that more aligns with my way of storytelling, of learning and teaching, I'm still a scholar at heart. I want to be a part of this network, because it is where I feel most at home in.

And yet recently I was reminded of the Reason why I left academia, and it's forced me to reconsider my desire to be Institutionally Recognised, if it's even worth it.

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Digital Island Project: Week 4 & 5

Double feature

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Digital Island Artdump Week 3

The unofficial start of the residency (at home).

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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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Digital Island Artdump Week 2

Many things and not so many things occurred this week.

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Digital Island Artdump Week 1

A week has passed since rowing off to my Island.

What have I done? Well, some things.

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Feature on the Malay Mail

Here's a feature from Kenny Mah about my process, Seance Tea Party, and current and future projects. Also I can't get over the opening paragraph: "Malaysian illustrator, writer and designer Reimena Yee has a touch of the Fae. No, there are no pixies or goblins in her family tree (not that she knows of) but her whimsical illustrations evoke fairy tales and distant lands we travel to only in our dreams."

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

She writes and illustrates quite a few webcomics and graphic novels. When not making books, she lulls away her time with essays on craft, life and experiences in the publishing industry. Some of her thoughts of art and life are rather unstructured and will evolve over time as this blog matures, as they should be.

Currently committed to being Alexander the Great's death doula. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

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