23 December 2008

Happy holidaze, everyone!

We will return to our regularly scheduled programming in the new year... until then, I'll defer to a friend's accomplishment: To commemorate our soon-to-be 44th president, Charly LaGreca has created this labor of love for all you Obama fans:

Apparently being a full time illustrator, performer and writer of musicals, and podcast host interviewing comic luminaries like Alan Moore and Jeff Smith doesn't keep him busy enough.

22 November 2008

P'shop plug-in flattening Holy Grail:

If you're an illustrator and understand the first three words of that title, then you MUST download this. Coloring VIETNAMERICA's 300 pages just got a whole lot faster.

13 November 2008

I'm not a Morning person.

I begin my work day with email. Often images come easier than actual sentences which result in these spontaneous, lightning fast doodles. Horribly drawn and of questionable taste, they kick-start my day with a laugh (my low standards a testament to how groggy I am in the morning). A week of October high/lowlights:

07 November 2008

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working on VIETNAMERICA is rummaging through old family pics and discovering the most hilarious shit:

01 November 2008

Southeast Asia knows how to party.

In stores Wednesday is cartoonist Sonny Liew's anthology LIQUID CITY. You may recognize him from his Eisner-nom'd and Xeric winning work for DC, SLG, Image, Villard, and :01 but did you know he could also be a whip-cracking editor adeptly guiding a herd of artists towards a communal deadline?

Newsarama interviews Sonny about his editorial debut here, and visit the book's site for all the glorious deets (including ongoing contests for gorgeous original art!). I was suppose to contribute a story but VIETNAMERICA became all consuming, so now my efforts take the form of pimping my friend's brand spankin' new 312 page baby. Congratulations, Sonny!

15 October 2008

Fact versus fiction

This cartoon by friend, collaborator, and writer-translator extraordinaire Hanvey Hsiung perfectly conveys my biggest on-going challenge in researching VIETNAMERICA. This exchange occurred at my wedding between Hanvey (H) and my father (T):

01 October 2008

The lingering hangover of SDCC

This was a great "welcome home" surprise: thanks to Martin Wong at Giant Robot for including my two cents in their latest issue's SDCC coverage. Check it out to taste the blood, sweat, and tears of me and eleven other Small Press exhibitors as we pursue total world domination.

26 September 2008

Bali says relax.

Still shaking the sand out of everything I packed after an awesome wedding and awesomer honeymoon. I'll post sketchbook stuff soon, but mainly wanted to say that I won't be exhibiting at next weekend's SPX due to an unquenchable desire to get back to work on VIETNAMERICA after a month off. I will be attending, though, so look forward to hobnobbing with kindred spirits one last time before we all go into a winter work hibernation.

22 August 2008

Gone fishin'.

There'll be total blog silence until late September on accounts of my nuptials next week and resulting honeymoon. If three weeks in Bali don't make me go bamboo, I should have a buncha sketchbook stuff to post upon my return. Until then, here's another illo for the next issue of Colorlines.

12 August 2008

My spot in comic's pantheon is sealed for all eternity!

While livin' up the Comiccon high life in San Diego, I asked Fred Van Lente—fellow Brooklyner and writer of Marvel Adventures IRONMAN and many other rip-roarin' comics—why his doomed doc and I share the same first name: "I needed someone Vietnamese and yours was the only one I could spell." Yeeesss!!!

07 August 2008

SDCC: I hardly knew ye.

Over a week's past since the mecca of geek pop culture celebration, and I'm still recovering. This perfect summary of trying to be noticed on the gargantuan convention floor is brought to you by Tammy Stellanova, fellow comic self-publisher and goldfish cracker-providing small press neighbor:

18 July 2008

Seriously: could/would you edit something that looked like THIS?

Just had a fantastic meeting with my editor and, thankfully, she CAN and WILL. This bodes well for me staying on schedule with VIETNAMERICA, and a great note to pause on as I head out to Comiccon Wednesday.

13 July 2008

And now back to our regular scheduled programming

If you're braving the glorious 4.5 day carnage that is San Diego Comiccon next week, find me in Small Press again at table P6. As per tradition, I'll be exhibiting with this bad ass. SDCC is just so ridiculously over-the-top that you can't help getting sucked into its senses-shattering black hole, and it's the closest thing I get to a vacation outside of Le Big Crapple... just me and 1000 of my closest Stormtrooper pals.

These NYC peeps are also making the cross-country trek so be sure to check them out at SDCC, too: Indie Spinner Rack, Comic Book Comics, Johhny Hiro.

09 July 2008

Now for something completely different...

I'm getting married next month and, in what can only be explained as a serious lapse in judgement, I decided to make the invitations. Just design and print, no problem, easy job right?! Not if it's two different stocks of tabloid size paper adhesized together and perfectly aligned front/back to trim and make into a tri-fold with the third panel perforated because it's a tear-away RSVP postcard. Repeat 125 times.

I'm a sucker for little DIY projects. If I put half the energy into our marraige as assembling these invites, things should be smooth sailing.

20 June 2008

20 June 2008

This is Angela Pancrazio, a Pulitzer prize winning photo journalist and my fiancee's aunt. She passed away early this morning from brain cancer at the age of 51. She lives on through her phenomenal body of work, family, and friends.

Holy Crap! Part II

Following its Eisner nom, POSTCARDS has also been nominated for two 2008 Harvey's: Best Anthology and Excellence in Presentation. Suh-weeeeet!

12 June 2008

"Dear editor, is this acceptable 'final' art?"

This is an enormous milestone for me but unintelligible scribblings for everybody else: VIETNAMERICA completely roughed out, first draft, 12 chapters, 256 pages. I'm gonna go celebrate now... with getting back to work.

02 June 2008

Another reason why NYC raaawwwkkksss

This weekend's my favorite con/festival of them all: MoCCA! Despite popular belief, it's not because it's in my backyard... well... let's just say that doesn't hurt. Don't blink on your way in our you'll miss me at table B2:

21 May 2008

Time to make the donuts

So on top of the apparel stuff, I also day-job-moonlight (that's an oxymoron, right?) with the occasional logo design. Pleasantly surprised to see this one finally kinda go public.

02 May 2008

Holy Crap!

Villard's POSTCARDS, for which I illustrated the lead story written by Chris Stevens, is nominated for a 2008 Eisner for Best Anthology! No doubt thanks to the tireless efforts of editor Jason Rodriguez who poured his life and blood into the project.

16 April 2008

Here comes more of that "outside work" riff raff...

For over six years, I supported my comics pursuit with apparel illustration and graphics. VIETNAMERICA marked a departure from that, but I still occasionally return for a dip in that pond. It's refreshing to exercise that part of my brain's left hemisphere but I'm perplexed why the aesthetic gap between that and my illustration/comic work isn't smaller.

10 April 2008

My coolest tax deduction ever

My 2008 con season kicks off next weekend with the New York Comiccon, April 18-20th. I'll have the usual assortment of comics, anthos, prints, mini, buttons, etc. available so cruise by and gimme a shout at Artist Alley table K22:

I'll also be exhibiting at June's MoCCA, July's San Diego Comiccon, and October's SPX so will post more details as the respective show dates near.

01 April 2008

Well, that didn't take long...

... that is, for work outside of my project to creep into this blog. In this case, an illo for Colorlines Magazine May/June issue:

16 March 2008

50 years of experiences ÷ 200 pages = 3 months of history per page

Trying to carve a lifetime of material into 200 pages means there's A LOT that gets cut. And then when you start trying to transform what's left from a heaping mass of events into a [hopefully] coherent, cohesive, and compelling story, even more gets trashed. Of the massive amounts left on the cutting room floor, I'm making comic strips. More on this soon-ish.

12 March 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words (which converts to 7,000,000 vietnamese words)

During the course of researching this project, I've collected some wild family photos. In addition to resonating with me on a very personal level, the unspoken historical and cultural insight they provide is invaluable. A prime example is this image of my grandmother with her grandmother:

07 March 2008

Facebook, shmacebook!

I finally finished my time machine and blasted myself into the futuristic early 2000’s to harness this new “blog” technology. The main purpose of this is to post regularly as my next comic project comes to fruition--attempts at not completely disappearing off the map as I pour my energies into an upcoming graphic memoir. I’ll try to focus on “Vietnamerica”-related postings, but half the fun for me is seeing what this blog [d]evolves in to as the project develops.

The story is my family’s survival through three wars and subsequent immigrant experience from Vietnam to America. I started uncovering this hidden history in 2001 and began serious work on it in 2006. Recently, I’ve been blessed with a publisher willing to help bring it to life (more on that later) so finally here I am doing what I love all day long AND on a dream project! And all without ever having a Facebook/Myspace/Friendster profile--booyah!

Here’s preview art from the project’s original proposal: