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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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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A Story of Which There is No Definition

A stream-of-consciousness post today. An unfinished rumination on how an artist decolonialises the craft and meaning of what a story is.

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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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Passion and Work and Adulthood

TWIDI will celebrate its 10th birthday in March. A few months after, it'll be callupish's 16th birthday. That's how long these two passion projects have been with me. Currently, both of them are on the backburner. There's a thought loitering in my head for the past two years. The thought of how my relationship with art has changed since it became a career. Don't get me wrong. I'm still able to find the love and joy that fuel my art-making. So far I've kept as true as possible to what speaks to me most, as a young adult and an artist. But going professional has made it clear to me how important it is to my soul to maintain that integrity, and to keep it from being swallowed by jadedness and cynicism. And there's been a lot of those shadows lurking at the edges of the last two years (though I'd argue they existed some time before 2016). (more…)
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Relatable is Not Empathy (Thoughts on Empathy as a Writer)

One of the guiding principles of my storytelling is empathy – empathy as both the creative factor and the takeaway. It's a hot topic in publishing nowadays: everyone talks about how books are key to helping one understand or see others in this world, how one can see the other is just "a person like them". This is all very important and a goal worth pursuing, and I do see it as part of my responsibility as a writer. Yet I think I operate from a different conception of what empathy is, as a writer and reader. This is what today's post is about. (more…)
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Inspiration and Calling

"Where do you get your ideas from?" "How do you choose which book to do?" The short answer is, I don't know?? Or rather, I can't explain it. Or RATHER, I don't think the real answer will be helpful, or even make sense, to anyone else except me. (more…)
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Bahasa: Malaysian Code Switching in Comics Form

I recently published a mini-comic for Malaysia's Independence Day (or Merdeka, as we natives call it), which can be read here. Besides the standard raw emotionality that has become a trademark of mine, it was my first attempt at code-switching and bilingualism in comics – a bilingualism that is key to the understanding of the story and emotionality of Bahasa, rather than a mere translation of one language into another. (more…)
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History for Granted, or When a Marginal Voice Tackles The Main Text

Some of you may know I write historical fiction. Some of you may also know I've been chipping away on an Alexander the Great graphic novel. (Which this concept art is for) My role as a historical graphic novelist has been stewing in the back of my mind for a while now. Actually, the stewing began when I first thought of The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya, but I already know my insights from that project. Be actively thoughtful. Be self aware of how your own biases and societal context influence your storytelling. Recognise the people before and around you. Use your power to bring up voices. Understand that the work of being a responsible author lasts beyond the final page of your story. (more…)
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Onion Method for Outlining Graphic Novels

How I Outline a Graphic Novel: The Onion Method

Writing a graphic novel is hard. There are a lot of things to juggle; afterall, you're making the equivalent of both a film AND a novel! Fortunately, now there are a lot of resources, suited for different genres and needs. Back then, in the olde Wild West days, when I was a newbie, I didn't have any tips that explained how to make the kind of graphic novels I wanted to make. So I made my own, deliciously called the Onion Method. (more…)
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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

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If you’re not already familiar with @reimenayee’s work then her debut graphic novel, SΓ©ance 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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