Web comics have presented a new platform for many comic artists looking for an avenue to express themselves. Whether or not they see the Internet as a place of serious business and opportunity, or just want to use it to communicate and share their stories with friends near and far, you cannot deny that many of these web comics are great as a quick read, or a nice story on-the-go.
I met Fishball (not her real name) in real life during last year’s Illustration Arts Festival. Putting aside the fact that the Tiger already knew her personally, we were booth neighbours during the event. Previously, I had only seen snippets of her work turning up on my Facebook feed, but I can now say that my heart jumps with that bit of excitement whenever I see a LINE WebToon notification for her web comic, My Giant Nerd Boyfriend.
Here’s a glimpse into what she had to say when we met:
Congratulations on hitting over 100 strips on WebToons! How does it feel producing the comic strips now as opposed to when you first started with this series?
Thank you! When I started drawing My Giant Nerd Boyfriend (MGNB) strips, I drew them solely at my own pace, though I tried to update as frequently as possible (which was once per week). Now I have to churn out three entries per week, which is quite daunting at times!
And has your process changed so far?
Quite drastically, I would say! I used to draw whenever a particularly funny idea came to me, but nowadays, I jot down any ideas that comes to mind in a sketchbook that I bring everywhere, so that whenever I'm short on ideas, I could refer to them for inspiration.
To date, we’ve seen strips that depict your day-to-day lives, a particular event, character “backstories” (like when you have an entire strip dedicated to introducing us to your brother or mother), how did you end up managing these strips and requests?
I would say instead of just solely boyfriend-girlfriend interactions in my strips, readers would like a small break from couple strips and have something different for a change. Since my comic strips focus on relationships in general, I think these odd few strips of my brother and my mom (and friends too!) offer something different for readers to relate to, and I'm glad that they enjoy them as much as my usual couple strips! Special occasions, requests, and events could also spice up the strips a little, because let's face it, if MGNB is completely about me and my boyfriend doing couple things together, it's going to get boring real fast.
And which kind of stories are your favourite to tell?
These slice-of-life strips are my favorite type of stories to tell! Although I would love to try a different genre some time :)
How have your readers been to you? I’m sure there have been a crazy variety of them.
Oh yes they do come in all shapes and sizes! They have been really kind to me, not to mention very enthusiastic! Sometimes they even gave me ideas for my strips, which I am really grateful for.
That being said, I know both you and your boyfriend have been asked the craziest questions at events, what has been the weirdest question so far?
"Are your boobs really that sharp?" - GUYS! It's just my way of depicting my lack of boobs, really!
Okay, many of us know the story behind how the strips came about, but I think many of us would really want to know - how many outtakes were/are there?
Plenty! Sometimes I could hit a specific tone in my strips quite easily, at other times I struggle to convey what I really want on paper... which results into a lot of different takes of a single panel. Sometimes I scrap the entire idea and start a new strip because I don't know how to properly conclude a strip. It could take me from four hours to finish up a strip, to a day just mulling on the execution/conclusion of a particular scene.
Any tips to give to people who are on WebToons or considering posting their work on WebToons?
DO IT. WORRY LATER. Also once you have fans, do listen to what they have to say about your work!
And finally, I think some of us will be interested in this - What is the status of the Pikachu t-shirts in your closet?
They are steadily growing in numbers, you can be sure of that :D
A height difference of 30cm and above might seem adorable to some, but it usually causes a lot of minor inconveniences. Follow Fishball as she navigates the Malaysian life with her 199cm-tall, geeky boyfriend.
Fishball is a freelance artist based in Malaysia. She lives with her (literally) huge boyfriend, and really likes her banana leaf rice drowned in a pool of dahl. You can check out her comic, "My Giant Nerd Boyfriend", on her WebToons page.
Once again, I hope you've enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned for more features and indie works coming your way!
Note: Before I start, this is an improved version of a repost, so if you find this review familiar, it’s because I had more things to say since the last review after this reread.
Author: Wayne Ree & Anna AB
According to Wayne, this collection of stories was put together while he and Anna were travelling and got inspired by the many prompts they encountered. And with each prompt, both authors present their own interpretations.
To be honest, I took a look at the prompts and immediately asked (at least in my head) – Where did you guys travel to?! But exclamations aside, both writers had stories written according to prompts, Graffiti, Time Travel, Frustration, Day Off, Smoke, Sacrifice, and Last Days.
And while each story was constructed according to its theme, aspects of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Thriller genres permeated through their words. Each story was a fine balance between reality we can relate to and the what ifs of life should our parallels be different.
The writing in both authors was impeccable. Words flowed, conveying sincere stories that provoke thought, reflect society, and above all, entertain. While I did get lost in some of the shorts, being distracted by the details in exposition and losing the story halfway, the straightforward execution had me back on track.
My favourites from the both of them include Where I End and You Begin by Anna and Admin by Wayne.
Admin sets a twisted idea in a scene we all know too well. Marrying bureaucracy and the lure of the dark, this story had me laughing from the start, especially when the idea of sections and forms came into play in the middle of a summoning. With the familiar faces and voices of office drones, it is difficult not to laugh at how this could be if we lived in a world of Lovecraft instead.
Where I End and You Begin was one of those stories which had me increase the width of my smile as I read along, only to have me go, “YES!!!” with a fist pump by the end. The idea is not new, but it gives me a whole lot of relief when a story about time travel speaks about its paradox and leaves no loopholes. The writing here is emotional, tight, and enjoyable, and I hope you will have your mind blown at the end too.
BONUS NOTE: Mr Memphis, one of Wayne’s stories in the book, has been turned into a comic (stay tuned to this blog to find out more about it!), thanks to the greatness of Benjamin Chee. A twist on a western, you’ll be twisting again once you flip through the pages of this 30+ page doujin.
Now, it has been about two years since Wayne and Anna released Prompt to the world. As they only printed about 55 copies, the book’s now sold out, but you can get more information here.
Another year, another issue of Pulp Toast/ Roti Bakar. While we’re still operating on a closed list, we’re incredibly excited to announce our theme for this year:
And with a new website (www.pulptoast.com), you can be sure that there will be more updates there, on our facebook page (/pulptoast), and social media.
I’m incredibly excited to work with the team once again, and I definitely look forward to reading the stories to come in for this issue.
Catch a glimpse of our previous issues here.
Hope you enjoyed the story I did for the writing challenge last month. This month, I’ll be trying to dive into poetry (again). Here’s something I came up with with the prompts: Memories, and The Reason It Isn’t There (~50 lines).
My Answers to your Questions
I never see you,
Yet your questions are legion.
You sit, satisfied,
Stomach filled with the free
Food that you can always cook
Better, you know best, anyway.
After all, what is rice,
When it’s salt that is needed?
After all, what is wisdom,
When it’s status that’s all important?
Years past, three hundred and sixty-five
At a time, a cycle we continue
Out of ritual, out of tradition,
A moment in the sea
Of ties forged and old wombs.
And you ask, smirking.
While I answer, a telepathic
Wave at the front
Your face, but one you will
Blood of brotherhood
Water of the Womb.
So in your effort,
Filling your gossip
Rolodex of noise…
“What are you doing now?”
“Something I care about.”
“Why not <this>? There’s no money in…”
“And obviously, you don’t.”
“What have you been eating?!”
“Food. What have you not?”
“Why did your mother let you get this fat?”
“Why did yours let you get this rude?”
“Your partner is not your type!”
“Clearly, they’re not yours either.”
“When is it your turn?”
“After you’re done with the snacks, thanks.”
“Why do you care so much?
Those people are not your family.”
“As are your intentions,
Those, not out of integrity and concern.”
“Can’t I just ask questions?!”
But if you cared,
I’ll answer proper.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this piece, and stay tuned for more pieces from writing challenges in the upcoming months!
My adventures with in urban speculative fiction.