28.1.14

Long Tail Kitty - Book 2 preview

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book 2 is almost done. someone needs a nap.

 more friends join LTK in these new stories.
Tony is a red alley cat who lives in the middle of the city by a fire station.
Frances is a purple scottish fold who recently moved to LTK's town.
she stays at a boarding house at the eastern outskirts of the town, by the river.







Frances, a new friend
 There are four new stories in this book. In one of the stories,
LTK goes to a birthday party.





in another story, the party comes to LTK's house.




The book comes out sometime this year!
Then, there will be mini stories about LTK and his friends posted online. 
stay tuned!


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9.12.13

kick ass annie

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a petit rien comic for annie koyama, that then migrated tumblr. here's a link!
http://koyamapress.tumblr.com/post/69489289043/lark-pien-the-cartoonist-behind-long-tail-kitty


excerpt

Koyama Press is one of my favorite small art and comics publishers. Terrific stuff.

***

11.10.13

summer now fall


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a dr. seuss tree

hiked a five mile loop with friends. we passed through Muir Woods and arrived at this point before stopping by the German Nature Tourist Club. frankly, i wish it had been more about Germans and nature than board games and yoga pants, but the tap beer and jerky there were great.

suz, joe (wiping nose), and stian

i have been hiking a lot but have weirdly been gaining weight all the while. it's discouraging.

even my wii fit seems punchier than usual

still, it's nice to get outside. Lake Merritt has recently completed its path at the lower end (near where this photo was taken), and it's great to walk now. it's about 3 miles around the perimeter, with a fountain and colonnade at one end, and a bridge at the other. i just learned that the lake is in fact a tidal lagoon.

lake merritt from lakeshore ave, southern end

maybe it's all the good food and drink i've been consuming lately that's making me paunchy. i know if you see me you'll say i look the same, but believe me my pants are hard to button! one of my favorite dinner spots B-DAMA has now also opened for lunch. i'm really excited for the owner, Chikara Ono; he has a fun and creative disposition and it really shows through his culinary designs. his kitchen chefs Shin (in charge of hot dishes) and Asaka (in charge of pastries) are tops. one doesn't really think about japanese food and imagine much beyond green tea ice cream or mochi for the finish, but i've had several desserts now that have absolutely rocked my world. they are not your average cheesecake, parfait or ice cream.

ginger pork with red and green peppers

pasta with pea shoots, mushrooms and bacon 

i helped a little with making an add for Chikara-san. there were four different designs to choose from; however, he kept them all! it's a little embarrassing, since designers will see some serious flaws, but at the very least there will be some basic advertising for the shops new hours. i hope many people come and eat lunch at B-DAMA. the menu changes daily, but all of it is genuinely Japanese and delicious.



 DAMA means marble in Japanese



APE - the alternative press expo is this weekend in san francisco, and i'll be helping out at the YAM booth for at least a day. click on this link here! for info.



 i can get the cats and babies off of my lap i'd probably draw faster....



 ***

3.10.13

medusa

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***

NEW BOOK - Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

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Boxers & Saints is a handsome two-volume graphic novel set by my friend and colleague Gene Luen Yang. It is an adventurous and introspective story that takes place during the Boxer Rebellion, a significant uprising in China that took place in the late 1800's, early 1900's. The box set has been designed and published by the industrious and dedicated team at First Second Books.




I especially like this article from the National Post*, which gives readers a nice walkthrough of the book, while interviewing Gene.
http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/09/20/breakdown-gene-luen-yangs-boxers-saints/
(*Thank you, NP for converting print files for appropriate web viewing, it's much appreciated.)


a page from Boxers, volume 1
(an treacherous, adventurous moment)
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a page from Saints, volume 2
(an adventurous moment nested within
an introspective moment)
more sample pages can be seen here on flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/larkpien/with/9733747836/
(scroll for joan of arc, chinese gods, and angry peasants)


An interview from CBR** features both Gene and I, and if you are curious to know about the process in which we work and want to get a feel for our dynamic, you will probably like this article
(**Thank you, Ms. Gilly!)

Since there is plenty on the web about the literary attributes of Boxers & Saints, I will just add some tradesman tidbits here on the blog. Here's a little peek into the development of the cover.

early mockup sketch by Gene
This was an early mockup sketch of the covers from Gene and the First Second team. I colored the interiors of the books but didn't do a lot on the cover design.



early inked and colored mock up by Gene and 1st Second

This was an inked and colored mockup by Gene and the First Second team. I think I only colored Joan on this one (?). Getting old and can't remember things!

The Boxers cover changed a few times (maybe to fit in the title and such) and finally arrived here: 

Boxers & Saints covers (volume 1 on the left; volume 2 on the right)

The interiors of the book are muted in tone. Gene wanted the depictions of peasant life to be drab. There was a drought at the time and people were starving. Look at the tonal differences between these books and Gene's American Born Chinese which I colored in 2006! 

box set sleeve and interior pages

excerpt from American Born Chinese

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When Gene first started making comics, he made them by hand, in pamphlet format. (In fact, we all did.)*** My first coloring project with him was The Rosary Comic Book, a pamphlet comic published by Pauline books.

comics by gene yang, and one that isn't by him but by his son

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Gene had original work featured in an exhibit curated by writer Jeff Yang at the MoCA in New York, in 2012. It was part of a large exhibit and included comic pieces by contemporary Asian cartoonists as well as examples of negative stereotyping in Asian American history. I happened to be in NYC at the time and was able to take a few photos.

From the Alt.Comics exhibition at MoCA in NYC, 2012

Gene does his penciling (bluelines) and inks on vellum paper, then scans them and formats them digitally. He then sends the black and white artwork to me, and I commence with the coloring.


from the Alt.Comics exhibition at MoCA in NYC, 2012
original vellums, black and white digital art, and printed colors

 

This storyline in ABC, and the last scene featuring Red Lantern in Boxers made me cringe, but in general I really do have fun coloring for Gene. He's a good friend, a kind and adaptive colleague, and a wise author.

It's great to see his work being recognized, as well as other friends I've met in my early years in comics.

excerpt from Ungrateful Appreciation, by Derek Kirk Kim
*** The old artnight crew - can you guess who's who?
Arnight Crew at SDCC several years back
Boxers & Saints is a thought-provoking and fulfilling story, meant to be read many times over. I've enjoyed working on this project and hope that I've done my job properly. I think Gene is one of those authors that audiences should keep track of - his work continues to evolve, engage, and entertain. Looking forward to your future projects, Gene.

***