Pittsburgh Indie Comics Expo and stuff I'm working on
This weekend I'll be making my way back to my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA to exhibit at the Pittsburgh Indie Comics Expo (PIX)
on Saturday, March 22 from 10am-5pm. Stop by and buy some Yam Books
titles and comics from yours truly. The show will be followed by a slate of panels from 7pm-11pm as a part of the programming portion of the show. I'm excited about being in the Burgh again, eating all my favorite comfort food, hanging out with friends, and seeing old haunts. Hopefully the snow doesn't get the best of me!
Also, I know I haven't posted some doodles in a while, but here is something I've just finished which will be a part of the Pinoy Komiks
anthology, a collection of comics by Filipino cartoonists edited by Adam Pasion. Proceeds will go to the continued effort to rebuild the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan. So I'm really happy to be a part of this book and this cause. There are so many talented Filipino cartoonists that are showcased in this anthology! On another note, I'm personally (extremely) relieved that I finally was able to finish at least one comic this year!
All's Well That Ends Well
I Always Come Back to You
Click to get a better glimpse.
I got a haircut too
Click on the image for a bigger glimpse
House of Horrors, Page 1
Recently I took out my box of original art to pick a page for an exhibit that I was invited to be in. I was pretty scared of what I'd find because my originals are horrible. That's the good thing about having low expectations about things, you usually discover something that in your mind is so terrifically awesome. Anyway, I found my originals from my first mini-comic that I did about 13 years ago. It felt both like yesterday and a thousand years since the first time I made it. When I released it, I wasn't very happy with it, mainly because of how it reproduced. Back in the day (I can't believe I said that) it was expensive to do any offset printing, you had to go to the copy shop to make your own comic (again, I can't believe I'm saying this, I sound like I made my first comic in the stone age when it was just 13 years ago).. anyway, you had to go to the copy shop. You would paste up your art and make a master, and the only options I had for tweaking how your art looked was with the brightness button on the photocopy machine. I remember that day in the copy shop -- it was frustrating, and maybe that showed in the final product. Anyway, I'm posting one of the stories that gave me photocopy hell which I can now present on the web in way better quality, I think, for you to read. (At least you can see the title panel better.) Here goes. Enjoy.
Labels: namby pamby
2013, let's get outta here!
Yeah yeah, you're saying, "Oh sure! Wait till the end of the year to finally update your blog!" Though, then again, seriously who is even keeping score when everyone is having a party over at Tumblr. Anyway, 2013 was pretty exhausting in every aspect of my life and a tad bit stressful, and let's face it, a lot of shitty stuff happened in the world. However there were some brighter moments and accomplishments in 2013 that I am proud of such as seeing my kid go to Pre-K and having fun with his new friends. He'll be starting "real" school next year so I know that these times are precious. He's the best dude ever, and when life gets me really down, I just have to look at his face and remember what's really important.
One of my huge accomplishments this year for sure was raising over $6,000 for the American Red Cross's typhoon relief effort in the Philippines. I was blown away by the outpouring of cartoonists and fan support. Cartoonists like Jaime Hernandez, Carol Tyler, Dan Clowes, Souther Salazar, Kevin Huizenga, Eleanor Davis, Dan Zettwoch, and SO MANY others took time out of their busy schedules to send art and books. I was speechless. And I have to thank all of the comics fans who bidded and were patient with shipping their winning items during the holidays when sending stuff through the post is the craziest. Most of all, I am hopeful that the money raised will help those in Tacloban and other cities affected by the typhoon. I hope that 2014 is an easier time for everyone.
In Yam Books news, I got to publish work by two of my favorite cartoonists doing exciting things in comics these today -- Sacha Mardou's "Sky in Stereo #2"
and Renee French's "Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat"
. Both are available to purchase at the Yam Books web shop
. Sacha was able to debut Sky in Stereo at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) this past Spring and Renee was able to debut Hagelbarger at this year's Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. Working with these two phenomenal women was unforgettable and I hope a fun experience for them too. Both of these works made it to some Best of 2013 lists
which I'm very happy about. I want to thank both of them for placing their trust in Yam Books. I hope to be collaborating with them down the road!
I got to travel to Brooklyn to promote these two new books at the Comics Arts Brooklyn show, which was very successful for Yam and where I finally got to see another inspiring woman who I have looked up to, Miriam Katin
. She is such a warm, funny, talented and smart person. It was such an honor to be talking to her about her life experiences and her creative passions. It was one of the most unforgettable moments in my life.
And there were many other great comics that came out in 2013 that I have to list here, but before I do, let's talk about the fun times of 2013 for me. I got to see with my pal Vanessa Davis, a cabaret performance by the one and only Sutton Foster (the Broadway musical powerhouse also aka Michelle from "Bunheads," the best show on ABC Family since re-runs of Gilmore Girls which inexplicably was canceled). When she sang "Nice n' Easy", I almost passed out. And we totally would have had a drink with her except we are very respectful of celebrities' privacy (No, we are not. NO, yes we are!!)
Okay, so before I end with my Best of 2013 comics list, I must share my all-time favorite-FAVORITE moment of 2013, albeit maybe ridiculous and pathetic to some, but after 20 years of dismal season after season, you will understand. Please just watch:
Have a great new year everyone! We can definitely use a good one!
My favorite 2013 comics (not published by Yam Books, heh)
I was going to write why I liked each one but I am too busy playing that video clip on loop.
- When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael
- LOVF New York by Jesse Reklaw
- Men's Feelings by Ted May
- Island of Memory, Vol 1 by T Edward Bak
- The Trading Tortoise zine #1 by Souther Salazar
and Monica Choy
- Susceptible by Genevieve Castree
- Sunday Night Movies by Leanne Shapton
- Lose #5 by Michael DeForge
- Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull
- World Map Room by Yuichi Yokoyama
- Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream (Autoptic edition) by Laura Park
- New School by Dash Shaw
- Redbird #2 by Dan Zettwoch
- The Half Men by Kevin Huizenga
- Optic Nerve by Adrian Tomine
Labels: Daily Doodles
It is laughable. I am laughing.
Happy Thanksgiving! You are the best!
Less than 3 hours till the last two items of this eBay auction for Typhoon Relief. These amazing sketches and signed-books by the one and only Dan Clowes. Here's the link, go bid!
I can find no better day than today to express how thankful I am for everyone's outpouring of generosity and support on this project. I am very blessed with such giving friends and family. It really has blown my mind. We have raised over $5,000 for this effort and we are planning only one more set of items for auction to post next week, so be on the lookout. Again, thanks so much! Have a wonderful thanksgiving!
Raising Funds for the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan Relief Efforts in the Philippines
Raising Funds for the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan Relief Efforts in the Philippines
I have launched an online art auction and book sale to raise funds for the victims of the Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan disaster in the Philippines. Many have lost loved ones, their homes, and also need access to food, clean water or medicines.
Please take a look at the eBay listing linked below, and give what you can while getting some amazing work from talented cartoonists in the process. (The holiday season is just around the corner and there are many items listed that would make great presents.) More items will be listed as the week goes by. Please spread the word!
100% of the sales will go to the American Red Cross and their relief efforts in the Philippines.
Check back at this blog or at the eBay page linked below ( click on "items for sale" to see all the art and books included in this fundraiser) for updates and new items listed.
Many thank to all these great artists for donating their work to this cause! And thank you so much for bidding and donating to this cause.
Ticket, punched! Abso-BUCN-lutely!
Time to change. You got to rearrange.
I was going to erase the text, but just go with it.
Labels: Daily Doodles
2 Rubies for me, and what will you have?
They sure grow up so fast!
It's the same old story. I'm sorry.
Angry Bird. Yahtzee. Bejeweled. I dunno.
Here's a nice review of my recent mini-comic "Outta This Comes the Crazy" at Rob Clough's High Low website. It's nice to be reviewed alongside two of my favorite artists, Lauren Weinstein and Tom Hart.
"Ayuyang, like Weinstein, is a witty and
upbeat artist who chooses to draw in a style that's a series of quick,
simple smudges and lines that retain the spontaneity and vitality of the
Thanks, Rob! You can check out the entire review at the link below.
On Parenting: Weinstein, Ayuyang and Hart:
You can buy it at the link below:
Profiles in Great Courage #1: Vernon Davis
Just watching the coverage leading up to the Super Bowl on ESPN and I got an idea...
Labels: Daily Doodles
Accentuate the Positive
Back to work now that the holidays are over. I am thankful for a great 2012 creatively with so many lifetime goals met and projects completed. Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter
wrote a nice piece about my debut as a publisher of Yam Books
being a positive comics thing to happen in 2012. Really honored to be included! Here's the link:
50 Comics Positives In 2012: Rina Ayuyang, Publisher
I've just posted the catalog of upcoming 2013 releases
at the Yam Books
website. I'm very excited to be working with Sacha Mardou, Renee French, and Onsmith -- three artists whose work through the years has exhilarated and inspired me as an artist and as a comics fan. There will be more information to come as each book is released through the year.
And yes, I'm still going to be drawing comics this year. I hope! I mean, I plan! My book about all things corny and dancing, Blame it on the Boogie
will debut this Spring. See, I have an actual deadline! So stay tuned!
In the meantime, I was in the Post It Show
exhibited at Giant Robot in LA, curated by the talented duo Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd. I contributed 3 post-its drawings that I call my Cyd Charisse series because they depicted three of my favorite dance numbers of hers (not including solos). They are still available for sale at the Giant Robot website
and shown below for your enjoyment!
Girl Hunt Ballet
The Broadway Melody
Dancing in the Dark
My Favorite 2012 Things
2013 is here! Whee! With that said, let us not forget the magic that was 2012. In the coming days or weeks, or someday, I'm going to post recaps of all the memorable events that I guess I was just too busy or dizzy to write about right after they happened, like my time at the CAKE show in Chicago, or being invited to talk comics with Gene Yang and Derek Kirk Kim at Stanford University. I will, however, spare you my recap about going to a live taping of "Dancing with the Stars" because I know you'd rather see that documented in a comic COMING OUT THIS SPRING (Yes, that was free advertising there). Oh, but my! Did the year go really fast! Seriously, each month seemed to start on the 15th day. Anyway, I've always tried to list my favorite comics for each year on this blog, and I'm now prompted especially to do so for 2012 because I got to attend more comics shows than I ever did before in my life. So the experience has made my heart grow 3 sizes bigger for all things comics. Really guys, New Years resolution-- go to some comics shows in 2013!
Okay, here is a list of some of my faves from 2012, Yam Books titles not included because we all know how I feel about those!
- Daddy Lightning - A brilliant screwball comedy and absolutely accurate, heart-felt portrait of being a parent. It's the one comic that reminds me of why comics NEED to exist. Tom Hart is a superhero.
- Barrel of Monkeys - Thank you, Bill K and your Rebus Books for translating two of my favorite French cartoonists' work into English. I can finally figure out all the twisted humor that Ruppert e Molot are writing about to go along with the lush linework that I've been oogling over for years now.
- The Sky in Stereo #1 by Sacha Mardou. A smart, perfectly-paced story of a girl seemingly stuck in a rut, her struggles with her peers and a fateful encounter with a troubled, soulful boy. It's one of those comics that rekindles the excitement you get from the pamphlet/floppy/issue format -- eagerly counting down the days the next issue is released, and then making a mad dash to the comics store on a Wednesday just HOPING it has arrived! Basically what I'm saying is I hope issue #2 comes out SOON.
- Barack Hussein Obama
- I first enjoyed these strips on Steven Weissman's Flickr page and always
wondered how the devil it would be printed into a book. Well,
- Birdseye Bristoe - Oh Dan Zettwoch! So glad we finally got a big wonderful hardbound book from this dude. His comics are so endearing and personable, and every page in this book is like sneaking a peak into Zettwoch's personal schematic journals.
- The Voyeurs, July Diaries - Gabrielle Bell! 2 books in one year and yet that is still not enough! We always want more! July Diaries is not only a great lead-in to the beautifully colored and designed Voyeurs book that showcases Gabrielle's work as it should be, but also a strong work in its own right.
- Vanessa Davis' online strips - These vibrant strips on the Tablet magazine website always made me feel good inside, like listening to an oldies tune on the radio while driving down Highway 1 under the hot summer sun. Yes, that sounded corny, but it's SO GOOD.
- The Living Things Series from Little Otsu - I first discovered these when I visited Mission Arts and Comics (which is an awesome store that everyone in the Bay Area should go to). Every single issue is a feast for the eyes. Yes, I say that a lot about things, but I mean it everytime I say it. You cannot go wrong with any of them: Hannah Waldron, Lilli Carre, Jo Dery, and APAK?!? And the ones published in 2012 are Jessica Seamans, Liam Stevens, Becca Stadtlander.
- A Portrait Without a Face - by Esther Pearl Watson. A quiet, thoughtful mini-comic exploration on the Gaze through an artist's perspective and in context to relationships between people. A nice departure from her zany, hysterical Unlovable comics.
- Studygroup Comics - Zack Soto never ceases to amaze with editing/curating good comics, and his online comics site offer a wide array of strong storytellers. Some great discoveries this year were Tyler Landry's Society, Julia Gfrorer's Black is the Color, and Renee French's smart and hysterical Bjornstrand.
New York, New York! One Helluva Town!
Oh New York, you sure do take my breath away!
You too, BCGF... literally.
As someone who is deathly afraid of flying, I will always begin my con reports with details of my flight experience because the amount of agony and stress over flying equals the same amount of time and energy trying to plan for a comics show in another city.
The San Francisco airport had an amusing exhibition on classic board games at my gate that did its best to calm my nerves before I had to board the plane. And, okay, the flight was fine, thanks to watching episodes of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and a ridiculous reality show about the glamorous life of young people in the Silicon Valley which according to this show is based only in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco (Ai yi yi).
Here's the view over the majestic island of Manhattan. You can't help but overcome your fears and fall in love. Anyway, right after I got off the plane, I got a nice welcoming text from Annie Koyama. It made my heart melt because I was dreading the thought being all alone in Manhattan which is silly because, hello, 10 gazillion billion people live in Manhattan and it's definitely true what Ol' Blue Eyes says: New York is a "city that NEVER sleeps." Driving from the airport through Long Island, I could see a few signs of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Trees were knocked down, taking huge chunks of the sidewalk with them. Flags and signs were ripped apart. However people were still out and about which was comforting to see.
I met up with Lark Pien and her sister Jane who were hanging out near my hotel in the Garment District. They were looking for buttons. Jane had suggested going to the nearby Korean fast-food joint, Bon Chon. I enthusiastically accepted because it was one of the food suggestions that my friend Annie Yee told me about the day before, and, um, HOLY CRAP, the chicken there is amazing. Talk about CHICKEN JOY (Jollibee reference)! Anyway, it was nice seeing the Pien sisters together. They told me that they had volunteered the day before, giving away food and supplies to people in Red Hook. Really cool that they did that. Lark showed me the war wounds on her arm that she got from some National Guardsman trying to fling a bag of potatoes or something over her head, or wait, I think it was from a fist fight with one of the guards. Wow, Lark.
Later on, because we are pigs, the three of us met up with Annie Koyama, Robin and Dan Nishio for MORE chicken at Torishin, a yakatoriya that Robin suggested. Robin's food suggestions are always A++ and this was no different! My favorite was the pork belly and the crispy skin, and I did manage to eat one or two pieces of vegetable because I'm on a diet. What?
The next day, I ventured over to Williamsburg for the big show. I was there a little early and there was a funeral happening at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, next to the show venue so I strolled around the neighborhood a bit. I stumbled upon Desert Island Comics! Cool! I eventually high-tailed it back to the show, and met up with Tim Hensley upstairs in the gymnasium who was already setting up the Yam Books table. What a guy! If you meet Tim on the street somewhere, ask him to show you his watch which is a LCD screen that scrolls out the time and the words "Ticket Stub". Here's the pic of the venue during the calm before the storm:
The first official purchaser of Tim's book, "Ticket Stub" was Dan Nadel, Picturebox boss-man and co-organizer of BCGF. He managed to sneak over before the show opened and the crowds would be rolling in. And boy did they ever roll in! Hoards of people! Masses! Mobs! There was some talk before the show, that the aftermath from the hurricane and storm would keep people away, but that sentiment was quashed right from the start. I'm not sure if the show is always that crowded, but after such a crazy natural disaster, it was really uplifting to see. The BCGF Tumblr site's photo of the show demonstrates so accurately how crazy it was the ENTIRE day:
I kept looking around in amazement. The sea of people made me really happy! Lots of people compared the feeling of this show to this year's SPX which I did not go to. BCGF was just a great morale booster for the comics scene. I was physically hurting from the lack of ventilation due to the crowds (I'm really bad with hot weather, that's why I moved to the Bay Area), but the happiness of seeing so many people in one space, weaving through immense aisle traffic for comics made me forget how dehydrated and sweaty I was. (Also I really shouldn't have worn a sweater!). I do have one regret though which was not being able to venture out to see cartoonist heroes like Roz Chast and Richard MaGuire, or to get to purchase the awesome books from Bill Kartalopoulos' Rebus Books or Lilli Carre's debut book "Heads or Tails" -- or basically everyone's book because people who would visit our table would always be carrying something amazing. Luckily though, many were nice enough to come around to visit our table.
It was a great honor to have Matt Groening stop by to pick up a Ticket Stub. He talked to Tim about his contribution to the Treehouse of Horror, Issue #15.
This is a great pic taken by Lark of Charles Burns with Tim. I swore I saw Charles at Torishin the night before and when I asked him about his dining experience, he assured me that he wasn't actually there and that he has doppelgangers all over the world. One time, he found himself face to face with THREE doppelgangers or I guess that would be a dreimalganger? Anyway, I told him that "he" ate a lot of chicken skewers like a champ.
It was great to finally see some of the NYC dudes that rarely come to the West Coast shows, like cartoonist, photographer, book designer Jonathan Bennett! He has been working on some strips in The Believer, but he promised that he was in the process of making more comics hopefully for next year. I can't wait!
Here's Matthew Thurber and Dash Shaw. Dash expressed his thanks for having a collection of Ticket Stub published. I remembered him writing about the minicomic on the ole Comics Comics blog and I was really glad to hear that many people shared the same love of the Ticket Stub minis as I did. Lots of people were never able to actually see them since Tim only printed about 20 copies of each issue.
And, oh lord, Gary Panter! He and Tom Kaczynski were signing at the Fantagraphics table. I've been a major fan of Mr. Panter forever, especially because he says great things like this. I also got to see Tom K's new book with Fanta, "Beta Testing the Apocalypse". The colors look great and there is new stuff in there, folks! Got to get that and his latest offerings through Uncivilized Books. Post York and True Swamp, GEEZ!!
Here's a blurry Chris Ware with a Ticket Stub! I kept hearing that his panel with Art Spiegelman and Richard MacGuire was off the charts. I hope to see video of it soon! I told Chris that it was refreshing to hear at his talk with Dan Clowes at the Oakland Museum of California that he can be self-depricating about his work and talent even though he is a complete and utter genius.
It was nice to see Chris Cilla's face all the way from Portland. He had these great silkscreened t-shirts at his table. Just a great guy all around! Other Portland folks like Julia Gfrorer, Zack Soto, Aron Steinke and Jason Levian were also in attendance!
Adrian Tomine was able to take a break from signing at the D+Q table to get a copy of Ticket Stub. I'm still trying to figure out what Tim drew in Adrian's copy.
As I was walking around, scrounging to break a 20 dollar bill for some ones or fives like a character in Walking Dead looking for food or a first aid kit, I ran into one of my favorite people, Tom Spurgeon. We talked first about sports, social media and then comics. We know our priorities. It was nice to finally meet him as it has been over 12 years since I've only known him through Comics Reporter, one of the best comics websites out there today. Tom moderated a panel with Tim, Charles Burns and Anouk Ricard. I can't wait to see video of that too!
I was so happy to finally meet Nick Abadzis in person too, whose book collection of his "Hugo Tate" comic just came out last Spring. We're going to have him on the Comix Claptrap soon, so make sure you stay tuned. Yes, Thien and I are still podcasting. Sorry.
Also nice to see another West cartoonist, John Pham make it the show. John had these gorgeous video game zines printed on the Risograph, as well as stunning paintings that he exhibited at Giant Robot recently.
The show had a really nice mix of cartoonists in this show! Veronica Graham, from Oakland-based Most Ancient, had a table and came over to say hi! She had these insane books made out of vellum! It was also a welcomed surprise to see Damien Jay, who traveled from LA to visit his family in New York. Chris Diaz from San Francisco showed us all the drawings he got from Gary Panter, Adrian Tomine and Charles Burns. He walked away with a nice piece of original art by Tim. I got to talk to Warren Bernard, Executive Director of the SPX show about the amazing guests he had at the show two months ago. Also, I was very honored to have Nine Antico, one of the featured guests of the show, pay us a visit. In general, BCGF was a huge success for Yam Books. I can't think of a better way to end the convention season. We sold a lot of Lollygags, and Ticket Stub did really well which made both Tim and I very happy especially since the show marked the end of his Transcontinental Ticket Stub Tour.
After the show, Tim and I got to stop by Desert Island. They have the latest issue of Smoke Signals which Tim has a full page spread of Alfred Hitchcock strips. You need to definitely check that out! We dropped off some books and then met up for Thai food with the ole Artist With Problems (AWP) crew: Alex Holden, Karen Snider, Jon Lewis, Tom K, Robyn Chapman, Robin Enrico, and Sam Henderson. They are always so much fun and so welcoming. It was hard to leave those guys, and hard to leave NYC in general.
I could go on and on about how the next day I visited the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum with my high school friend Becky and her family, and being mesmorized by Pierpoint Morgan's amazing library, but I will save you the trouble. I will say though that New York was really great to me. I'm still crushing on the city big time.
JP Morgan had three copies of the Guttenberg Bible. That jerk!
Thank you to all the people who visited and supported Yam Books at the show! Thank you to Robyn Chapman for helping and hanging out with us at our table. Huge props (can we still say that?) to Gabe Fowler, Bill Kartaupolos, Dan Nadel enough for putting together a well-curated show in the midst of chaos the past couple of weeks. And lastly thank you to Lark Pien and to Tim Hensley for making each show that Yam Books has attended this year such a success. We'll see ya guys soon at a show near you in 2013!