Friday, May 18, 2012

RIP Ernie Chan

(Gil Kane/Ernie Chan)
RIP Ernie Chan. Ernie worked on the one Conan comic issue that my brother had that I used to read over and over again when I was a little kid. This issue of Conan has been and will be locked in my brain forever.  
I remember the first time I tabled at the Alternative Press Expo, 2006: It was early in the day, Sunday, the place was still empty. I was bored out of my mind. An older gray-haired Filipino man came up to my table. He asked a lot of questions like why I wanted to be a cartoonist, what I wanted to do with my comics and what were they about. He seemed really concerned like your typical Filipino uncle. He was interested in my stories about being Filipino. It was weird for me because no one had asked that many questions to me that entire weekend. I asked what he did, and he said he was a penciller. He showed me what he was working on: a penciled drawing of a sci-fi superhero gal with big boobs. HA, yep, just like an uncle! It was cool to see that this "old" guy was still working on stuff even if it was not up my alley. For years after that, I was trying to find out who he was. He never gave me his name or his business card. I later found out, actually from the photos accompanying the news of his death that this man was Ernie Chan who also lived in Oakland. Small world.
RIP Ernie. Wish we could have met again. I would have been less stupid to talk to about comics now, and had more answers about my own comics than I did when we first time we met. Thoughts and prayers go out to your family, friends and fans.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's official!! Wish us luck!


Oakland, CA May 8, 2012
– The cold, stark winter months are now past, and with spring’s arrival we celebrate the bloom of Yam Books, Bay Area–based small-press publisher of art books and comics. Stemming from a deep-rooted desire to see more work by inspiring and visionary creators, Yam Books’ mission is to showcase a rich cornucopia of art and comics just waiting to burst forth.

Yam Books will be releasing two exciting projects this year.

Spring 2012, Debuting at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE):

What are the images that persist in your mind, forcing themselves onto paper again and again? Artist Lark Pien wrangles some of the most dynamic and inventive minds in art and comics to dish on this very subject in Lollygag, a revealing anthology collecting the compulsive doodles from the sketchbooks of Nick Abadzis, Trevor Alixopulos, Rina Ayuyang, Nick Bertozzi, Lille CarrĂ©, Martin Cendreda, Capucine Delouis, Eleanor Davis, Vanessa Davis, Renee French, Shaenon Garrity, Tom Gauld, John Hankiewicz, Tom Hart, Dylan Horrocks, Tom Kaczynski, Dave Kiersh, Larry Marder, MarĂ© Odomo, Lark Pien, Jesse Reklaw, Jim Rugg, Daria Tessler, Angie Wang, Malachi Ward, and Dan Zettwoch. Each page sheds new light on the murky minds of cartoonists, quirks and all!

Edited by Lark Pien
60 pages/handbound
Spring 2012

Summer 2012:

Tim Hensley’s Ticket Stub collects all 9 issues of the critically-acclaimed cartoonist’s zine series of the same name. During his stint in the nineties as a closed-caption editor, typing subtitles for movies and broadcast television, Tim cued up his favorite scenes and drew them into his sketchbook. Films and TV shows wildly varying in both genre and quality (ranging from Butterfield Eight to Big Momma’s House) are subjected to Tim's unique comic treatment. Mixing stark, powerful imagery with his distinct play on language, each page is dense with the Wally Gropius creator's crisp, trademark linework. All of these issues together in one collection are truly a feast for the eyes!
Ticket Stub
By Tim Hensley
128 pages/softcover
ISBN: 978-0-9854138-0-4

Yam Books is very happy and honored to be working with Lark and Tim on both of these great projects. More information on both books will follow closer to their release date.
For more information on Yam Books, go to or email Rina Ayuyang at


Thursday, May 3, 2012

This Saturday is FREEEEEE Comic Book Day!

So go to your friendly neighborhood comics store, and get some free comics as well as BUY some comics to help our industry out!

As a part of this wonderful holiday, the ever amazing Tugboat Press, Mr. Greg Means, has published a free comic called Runner, Runner which includes drawings and stories from some of my favorite cartoonists. I also contributed a one-pager that was drawn entirely with a dip pen!!! For SF/Bay Area peeps, it will be available at Escapist Books in Berkeley! So, go comics and go Tugboat Press!

More info on the comic below!
For the last five years, Tugboat Press has produced a free comic to give out on Free Comic Book Day (unofficially) and at the various conventions we attend throughout the year. This year's FCBD book is called Runner Runner and is crammed full of over two dozen stories in just 32 pages. The idea was to make the densest, most satisfying read possible. Comics are notorious for being quick reads. We hope that you'll have to settle into your comfy chair for this book (some pages have over fifty panels).

Runner Runner
also marks the return of legendary Portland cartoonist Kalah Allen providing the cover art and the featured front story. It's been a long time dream to get to work with Kalah. Her minicomic Jar of Pennies is a subtle masterpiece that still holds up a decade after its first publication. Though single motherhood has pushed her into semi-retirement, hopefully this will be the start of a comic book renaissance for the talented Ms. Allen.

For the curious, here is a complete list of the amazing artists in Runner Runner in order of appearance in the book: Kalah Allen, Jesse Reklaw, MK Reed, Rich Tommaso, Drew Weing, Aron Nels Steinke, Rina Ayuyang, Galen Longstreth, Aaron Renier, Julia Gfrorer, Jonathan Hill, Joey Sayers, Matt Wiegle, Corinne Mucha, Andy Hartzell, Jason Martin, Minty Lewis, Damien Jay, Tessa Brunton, Elijah Brubaker, Robin Enrico, Nate Beaty, Lisa Rosalle Eisenberg, Alec Longstreth, Kazimir Strzepek, and Lilli Carre. Wow!