I did this little comic stripe for the New York Times Opinionator Private Lives - a column on personal memoirs. (For y’all international folks, the comic should be read from left to right, up to down. )
The essay I worked on is about a Chinese-American woman meeting her grandma, who happens to live in the same city all along, for the first time in a very long time. ”My grandmother has Alzheimer’s disease. But in a lot of ways, she made us forget each other a long time ago.” It’s a bit melancholy but beautiful. It runs in the online blog and today’s Sunday Paper.
Frankly I am not as aquatinted with comic as with illustration, so there are a lot more to be learnt and improved. But I really enjoy this fun challenges and love how the New York Times would occasionally throw me a curve ball or two. Being put out of my comfort zone keeps me focus and excited.
Big thanks to AD Alexandra for the interesting assignment, as always!
This is my 100th post on tumblr, woohoo!! Let’s celebrate with 2 dark pieces. The top one is for a short story titled “Warm Up” by the one and the only V.E. Schwab. "Warm Up" is a warm up for the page-turner "VICIOUS”. Both the novelette and the novel take place in a world where ordinary people are able to gain extraordinary power with near-death experiences. You can read it here on Tor.com.
I love partnering with Miss. Schwab, she makes me feel badass. When I work with her stories, the shadows in my studio lengthen, light creeps around like smoky liquid. Everything turns into black and white film noire style. And I, would be wearing a trench coat in front of my drafting table, with my fem fatale on my lap.
Big thanks to AD Irene Gallo for matching us up!!
The second piece ran in Saturday’s New York Times op-Ed. Did you New Yorker know that the beautiful Palisades just off the Hudson River is also a monument to the End-Triassic apocalypse? Also, ‘ “In terms of global warming and ocean acidification,” Professor Olsen said, the rate of change during the end-Triassic extinction “was comparable to what we’re doing today.” ’ Maybe the Palisades will also witness the extinction of human, pretty grim eh?
Big thanks to AD Matt, always a pleasure to work with. You can read the article here.
Chinese Death Star
I did the cover of the New York Times Sunday Review yesterday. The article is about the aggressive global push of China’s state-capitalism and the fear of China’s world domination. You can read the article here.
AD Aviva gave me the great suggestion of maybe having an image “dominating” the page, instead of being boxed in a rectangle.
After a couple round of sketches, we agreed that having the Great Wall expanding and covering the entire globe was the best solution for this article as it also relates to the Chinese investing in building dams and infrastructure all over the world.
During the inking stage, I thought, why not also make the extending walls look like monstrous tentacles? Then my boyfriend Kyle walked by and said “Your drew a Chinese Death Star!” I am okay with that.
Many thanks again to the wonderful Aviva and the NYTimes!
AMENDMENT: I MEANT MONSTROUS TENTACLES NOT TESTICLES!!! SORRY FOR THE TYPO.
This piece is for today’s NYTimes op-ed about the “Great Famine” which killed 36million people in China from 1958-1962
. ” The toll was more than twice the number of fallen in WWI, and about six times the number of Ukrainians starved by Stalin in 1932-33 or the number of Jews murdered by Hitler during WWII.” “After 50 years, the famine still cannot be freely discussed in the place where it happened…The reason is political: a full exposure of the Great Famine could undermine the legitimacy of a ruling part that clings to the political legacy of Mao, even though that legacy, a totalitarian Communist system, was the root cause of the famine.” You can read the full article here
It was a very heavy assignment and quite a challenge. My mother grew up during the famine and her best friend’s sister was starved to death. My uncle witnessed cannibalism happened after all the grass roots have been dug up and eaten. And yet, when I talked to them about it, instead of anger/hatred towards the government, they just looked very sad and said ” it’s very complicated.” Mao’s policies is definitely one of the indisputable causes of the Great Famine. However there were also many other factors : blockade from international world due the the fear of Communism; sudden withdrawal of aids and dunning of heavy debt of the USSR after the 2 countries’ friendly relationship fell apart; 3 years of natural disaster…
My grandmother was a highschool principal and fell victim during the Cultural revolution. Family members from my dad’s side who were members of the Kuomingtang were executed when the Communist party took over. All of these blood-stained history and mistakes should not be forgotten. However Is it worth it to revolt the government now in risk of a civil war when China has finally gotten back on her feet from a century of poverty, colonization and humiliation? And when most older Chinese you meet would happily tell you how “life is good now”? I really don’t know.
Honestly, I don’t know what is right or wrong, just or unjust anymore. Maybe there’s no such things when it comes to politics. This piece is just about the deep sorrow and suffering of my people.
Thank you AD Matt and Alexandra for this 6 hours adrenaline rush high!
A Capitalist’s Dilemma
Why is our economy so stuck? When will it get better? Why is this great machines taking forever to recover when recessions are usually self-fixed within 6 months for decades? CLAYTON M. CHRISTENSEN, business professor at Harvard and a co-author of “How Will You Measure Your Life?”, pin-points the problems and offers some insightful solutions in today’s NYTimes Sunday Business.
Frankly I am one of those who always skip the business section in a paper. When I was given this long manuscript for the assignment, I was like “oh man…”, but it turned out to be a VERY interesting read. You know what, I think I may grab a copy of Mr.Christensen’s book.
This essay is by far the most complex/abstract subject matter I have tackled, and I enjoyed the challenged very much. Thank you AD Minh for entrusting me with a difficult task!
Puddled by Sandy
No storm can stop the NYTimes! This free-standing art is for today’s letter page. I was asked by AD Alexandra to create a general image of a storm in NY as we didn’t know what exact impacts Sandy would have. Right around I finished the piec
e, my internet started going on and off. Luckily the power stayed on the whole time and I was able to deliver it in time, phew…
It’s rough seeing all the damges Sandy has caused. Please be safe and stay strong y’all!
Cost of cool
Cover illustration for yesterday’s NYTimes Sunday Review. The article is about the terrifying damages AC is doing to our environment : “We can’t live without AC but we can’t live with AC.” Many thanks to AD Erich Nagler!!
Museum in a Vault
I get to draw a lot of glowy things lately! This is a cover illustration for yesterday’s New York Times Sunday Business section. The story is about the Geneva Freeport - the largest impregnable storage operation for art collectors in the world. “How much art is stockpiled in the Geneva Freeport? Nobody knows…it is widely believed that there is enough art tucked away on the premise to create one of the world’s greatest museum.” Read the entire article here.
Thank you AD Minh for such a fun assignment!!
This piece was in yesterday’s New York Times about “dealing with internet distractions” (story of my life), read the article here. I had tons of fun coming up with all the internet creatures. Thank you AD Minh Uong, always a pleasure to work with!
Meltdown in Motherland for the NYT
I did this quickie (one day turn around) for the New York Times Op-Ed anxiety section the past Friday. The story is about postpartum anxiety/depression, you can read the story here. It was not the happiest story/image for the Mother’s day weekend, but I really wanted to give my mom a hug after I finished this piece. A big shout out to all the moms: thanks for everything, you are the best!
Many thanks to AD Alexandra Zsigmond!