20 December 2010

2010 comes to a close.

Things are getting quiet for the holi-daze. Just wrapping up some freelance and finishing stuff my publisher needs for VIETNAMERICA's big marketing push in January. Speaking of which, for anyone who's read a b/w advance copy and feels like sharing your impressions there's this Amazon Customer Review page where you can tell people to give it a chance or warn them to run in the other direction.

Several work projects are still up in the air--more than I'd prefer to be ending the year with--but everything should be settled in January so hope to be sharing more then. See you all in 2011!

04 December 2010


This week's Publishers Weekly gave VIETNAMERICA a starred review! Their reviews are anonymous, so thanks to whoever took the time to read and write a few kind words on it--I hope you got a color version. It all hits the fan next month so I've been trying to calm fits of anxiety and nervousness with figure drawing:

12 November 2010

Further proof that I actually have a book coming out:

Suh-weeet! My first international pre-pub praise by comics guru Paul Gravett:

"Tran's often widescreen, formally complex advance spreads promise something extraordinary... Potentially one of the key American graphic novels of next year."

Hope to live up to the anticipation, Paul! This recent podcast interview with Comic Geek Speak is either a step in that direction or a step backwards, depending on what you think of my aimless, incoherent rambling:

In either case, it was a fun time (my segment starts at the 27 min mark)!

03 November 2010

Last stop on the 2010 con/show train:

I'll be exhibiting at KingCon this weekend, and here's the final version of the show poster (artwork by me, typography by the Brooklyn Lyceum team):

It's the second year for this laid back, eclectic, and very Brooklyn-centric comics fest so c'mon down and say hi.

For all the comic shops out there, VIETNAMERICA is solicited in this month's PREVIEWS on page 298. Please note that the book is actually 300 pages and $30, not the listed 192 and $20. I hope you'll take a chance and order a few copies for your store, and for those readers supporting your LCBS, please let them know you'd like a copy!

28 October 2010

The in-between place.

Work's been odd these past few weeks, a combination of nervously waiting for VIETNAMERICA to come out, scrambling to get other projects off the ground, and stabilizing the freelance situation. Amid these waves of change, still relaxing with some public figure drawing sessions:

Also, thanks to ICV2 for picking VIETNAMERICA as their #1 fiction and reality book for first quarter 2011!

And for the locals, tonight in Williamsburg is the gallery opening for a person I've known far too long:

Joanna's imagination and artistry have been blowing my mind for over 15 years, and I'm psyched the masses are finally gonna get a taste of it:

20 October 2010

One step closer to the finish line!

I recently approved VIETNAMERICA's final round of color proofs so it's being printed right now in a distant land. I'm told I might have copies by December so some of you regular blog-visitors might be getting an extra gift this holiday season. Now that there's no turning back, I've permanently added its Amazon link to the right since all the book details are accurately listed.

Speaking of comics on the horizon, cartoonist friend Sarah Glidden of the upcoming journalistic graphic memoir HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS has started a Kickstarter campaign for her next project:

Considering the funds she's already raised, I think she'll easily meet her modest goal by the deadline. Nonetheless, if you value stories like Sarah's as much as I do, please consider showing your support!

13 October 2010

2010: Three shows down, one to go!

Being part of NYCC Artist Alley last weekend confirmed how much I love exhibiting at all types of shows. Whether it's TCAF or SDCC, SPX or NYCC, I always have an awesome time, visit with old friends, make new ones, and revel in the grand inclusiveness that comes from our shared and diverse love of comics. So next stop is November's Kingcon (more details soon), and here's the art sans type for my first ever show poster:

Other than the requirement that the Brooklyn Lyceum building be featured (it's where Kingcon takes place), I had complete creative freedom and was honored to contribute and support this show's sophomore outing in the borough I've called home for 10+ years.

06 October 2010

"Can I bring a sword?"

After the personable, relaxed, DIY cartoonist experience of SPX last month, this weekend is the enormous celebration of all things geek, comics bonanza of NYCC! I'll be tucked in Artist Alley (Hall E, table S15) doing my thing and like at SPX, be raffling off full color copies of VIETNAMERICA three months before its release so don't be a stranger. FYI: this post's title is taken straight from their FAQ page so you better be ready to represent.

30 September 2010

News from all fronts...

On the illustration front, thanks to SN&R's Don Button for the cover quickie (it's easy when the AD already has a specific idea--"American Gothic" anyone?) even though it was canned at the last minute in favor of a photograph:

On the book front, enormous thanks to Library Journal's Martha Cornog for including VIETNAMERICA as one of January's releases to keep an eye out for:

"His excellent color art suggests the European style of Joann Sfar. This could make the top nonfiction GNs of 2011 lists and become a worthy addition to the growing roster of quality war-themed comics."

The first and probably last time my work will be mentioned in the same breath as Dan Clowes.

25 September 2010

23 September 2010

This is Liz Goodyear who passed away on the evening of the 23rd. The no-nonsense outlook and wisdom she shared with those around her will resonate years beyond her youthful age of 103. I know they'll certainly last the rest of my lifetime. True to the life she lived, she moved on in style: the night of a full moon on the autumnal equinox!

UPDATE: The NY Times' Sarah Kramer marks Liz's passing.

20 September 2010

Workin' it...

I've been busy with a mix of comics, illustrations, and apparel graphics this month. Everything seems to still be in their infancy phase so here are some sketchbook stuff to tide over any blog visitors:

For more distractions, check out my twitter account. At the request of my publisher, I've decided to give it a try for a couple months so go watch the train wreck slowly unfold.

14 September 2010

And the winners are... [drumroll]

Saturday #436 and Sunday #463. If you know what this is referring to AND have either of those in your possession, please contact me for your prize!

SPX was absolutely amazing--it just gets better and better every year! Huge thanks to everyone who swung by my table to chat, flip through the preview of VIETNAMERICA, and part with their hard-earned dollars.

07 September 2010

CON-slaught continues:

Next stop: SPX this weekend! For the past year I dialed back my convention schedule as I wrapped up VIETNAMERICA--a casualty of time and funds--so promotion for its upcoming release has been limited to events like SDCC this past July, and now SPX! I'll be at table B16 with some new goodies and raffling off full color copies of VIETNAMERICA four months before its release! One copy each day so c'mon by:

With just two shows in 2010, my schedule's significantly lighter than usual. It's a gradual ramp up to 2011 when I'll be hawking my book at every con, festival, craft mart, swap meet, PTA meeting, etc. under the sun.

31 August 2010

And so it begins...

Awaiting me upon my return to NYC last week were advance-reader-copies of VIETNAMERICA! My publisher Villard is releasing them into the wild, and so begins a completely new phase of the book's road to publication: trying to drum up press and publicity.

Although it's a full color book, I think the b/w galleys do a good job of reproducing the tonal artwork. Specific color palettes are threaded throughout to help distinguish characters, plots, and time periods (as hinted in this earlier post) so it'll be interesting what readers will think without color to aid in their preview (i.e. I hope it still makes sense!). Villard is considering including a small full color chapter excerpt with each galley they send out, so crossing my fingers that happens.

If you spot one of these in the wild, please don't make any sudden noises as it scares easily. Approach slowly and if it doesn't run away, please give it a good home. All it needs to flourish are occasional sunlight and kind words.

24 August 2010

Road-trip wrap up:

After a absolutely phenomenal 4,000 mile trip along the Left Coast, we're back in NYC in one piece! Aside from the obligatory family vacations, I've never taken a "real" road-trip and to finally get to do so for an entire month with my wife along such a beautiful stretch of the country was amazing. We are so fortunate and grateful to have so many wonderful family and friends who welcomed us into their homes and created memories we'll cherish for a lifetime! Definitely didn't take as many pics as I should of, but here's some randomness:

A cable car view of the Wanderlust village in Squaw Valley. My wife was teaching at the 4-day event so I was her +1. Apparently, marriage does have its perks--who knew?!

Our typical breakfast: fresh sauteed vegetables, dal, and brown rice for her; waffles soaked in sugar, topped with sugar, with a side of sugar for me.

This is the view from morning meditation held on a mountain side with live upright bass music by this friend. Best. Alarm. Clock. EVER.

There's always room for Mediterranean food. ALWAYS.

The world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium! Star Trek IV, anyone?

Check out the bravado on this dude! He's wearing a chef's hat, fish apron, AND spinning two pies simultaneously. Thank goodness he's wearing shades or else he'd look silly.

Having missed its one month engagement in NYC earlier this year, I had another opportunity to catch Crumb's GENESIS show while in Portland. Just like at home, except with no crowds [yay!] and not free [boo!].

Donuts and anime porn are a perfect match. You stay classy, Portland!

My pastries came with two babes! Too bad my wife and sis-in-law aren't always carrying a box of Voodoo donuts.

Seattle puts its best face forward.

Assorted deli sandwiches crossing the Golden Gate Bridge only to be devoured by an enormous shark? The perfect metaphor for life.

You know it's been a great road-trip when you've let yourself go and this is what you look like to a kid.

09 August 2010

Have brush pen and sketchbook: will travel.

We're still on the road and currently find ourselves in Portland. Despite a lot of the friends we've visited being art directors, graphic designers, illustrators, and cartoonists, it's taken me this long to finally find one who owns a scanner (thanks, Leland!).

29 July 2010

We interrupt our Left Coast roadtrip for breaking news:

Finished back in January, Random House has finally publicly released VIETNAMERICA's cover:

See, it's totally really gonna be a really real book 'n' stuff!

20 July 2010

Time to hit the road...

Starting tomorrow, I'll be exhibiting and getting my senses shattered at the San Diego Comic-con! If you're attending, please swing by and check out my wares. Got a lot of new stuff for sale as well as a full color preview of VIETNAMERICA! As usual, I'll be tabling with this bum in Small Press at K12:

After that, I'll be staying on the Left coast for a few weeks road-tripping with my wife. We're escaping NYC's wet-blanket-in-a-sauna weather to visit friends and family from San Diego to Seattle. Don't know how much I'll be blogging while on the road, but anybody's who's reading this is gonna be on vacation anyways, right?!

14 July 2010

Summer Slowdown--NNNOOOTTT!!!

Why I haven't posted for a few weeks:

Comic project #1: weekly online strips! Aiming to start serialization in a couple weeks, but if I fall short it's because of the reality of needing to keep a roof over my head with...

Apparel graphics! These are only in-progress shots because, as is the nature of working in the clothing biz, they won't be for sale until next year so showing the final versions now is a big no-no. But if you wanna buy some of my stuff before then, there's these...

Preparing for CON-slaught! Tis that time of year when our living room transforms into a printing, folding, and trimming factory. First stop: SDCC next week! Hopefully shortly thereafter, this will also be ready...

Comic project #2 gradually inching closer to a finished pitch! I'm so freakin' excited about this thing and can't wait to talk about it publicly! Speaking of public, how bout some public nudity...

Weekly figure drawing still goin' strong! Special shout out to Lillian Chan, a wonderful animator and friend, who came along for a session while visiting from Toronto. Yes, believe it or not, I still have friends despite my reclusive work nature, and my preferred mode of communication is still with horribly drawn email responses. Proof: in response to a friend who'd rather watch World Cup then hang out and draw...

Hope everyone's enjoying their Summer or Winter!