As a self-taught artist in Malaysia in the late 2000s to early 2010s, I recall how difficult it was to develop my craft and get my footing in the comics ecosystem, where knowledge was often gated, expensive, irrelevant, unshared or uncoordinated. Now that I've established a career in comics, a major part of my practice involves the open documentation of my process and the creation, development and distribution of accessible, free and comprehensive resources. I spent many years to earn this knowledge, and I am very happy to share it.
I'm highly interested in programs that inspire and nurture emerging creators, especially from Southeast Asia. I'm keen to build an ecosystem where knowledge is archived and easily available no matter where you are. I want knowledge that is diverse, coming from creators of every background with various creative approaches. And I also want strong interaction between creator and other members in the comics ecosystem (scholar, critic, educator, bookseller, festival organiser, etc) and practitioners from other disciplines.
I'm also passionate about craft and comics as a visual-literary medium, and I want to expand the public's conception of comics as a medium of storytelling and enrichment. I aspire to increase the public's engagement with history, science, culture and other art forms through comics. A huge dream of mine is to curate an exhibition with comics and historical objects in comparison, among other goals.
I also love coordinating and developing databases and workflows - a useful skill that has enabled both my self-made projects and the organisations I work for.
Bring me to your festivals, exhibitions, libraries, schools and zoom calls to talk about comics or my projects. A speaker's fee will apply. Travel and accomodation may need to be compensated depending on location.
Hire me to consult on administration and data/systems management for your comics-related organisations.
Or maybe you have a wilder idea?
I describe my two-phase homemade method of creating graphic novels. The first phase is based on the alternating interactions between two principles, Theme and Character, to create a strong, highly-precise story outline. The second phase is about choosing and developing a visual direction that complements and reinforces the story and its delivery.
Most comics resources are based in North America and Europe, so I created a guide on breaking into the comics industry, tailored for Malaysians and other nearby Southeast Asians. It's an ongoing centralised resource, and is updated based on the latest developments in online and print comics.
My simple 6-step guide to structuring a graphic novel pitch.
A library of visual-narrative devices that are specific to the medium of comics, furnished with definitions and examples by contributors. It is a practical, accessible resource for creators, teachers, editors, scholars, critics, readers, the curious, the open-minded, and anyone with an interest in comics.
To address the lack of standardised formal language between creator, scholar, critic, media and public when it comes to talking about comics on its own terms, I created the Creator's Guide to Comics Devices in 2023. Before its release I dedicated 3 years of research identifying, naming, describing and categorising - creating a taxonomy for 62 comics devices. Some of these devices share counterparts in rhetoric, film, animation, poetry and visual art, but most of them are unique to the medium. Many of these have already been identified by scholars and practitioners in the past, while some are original to the guide.
Some of the devices that I've identified, named and described from scratch are recto-verso parallel, polyptych, call and response, and forepanel/backpanel.
Devices are listed in a simple and approachable manner. They are categorised into two major categories: micro and macro, and further placed into sub-categories. As for their names, I practice a common-sense approach: if there is already a name for an equivalent device in another medium, I use that. If there isn't, then I find a name that is both evocative and descriptive of its function.
Nowadays I curate and maintain the guide, refining the taxonomy. I am currently collecting comics pages that best exemplify each device.
UNNAMED is a grassroots collective of creators, publishers, editors, booksellers, festival organisers and other members of the comics ecosystem. UNNAMED is dedicated to resource-sharing, community-building and the elevation of Southeast Asian komiks on the global stage.
In 2013, I co-founded UNNAMED, a Facebook group of comics creators originally focusing on Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. The collective eventually grew to include co-founders and members from the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, and non-practitioners committed to comics as an industry. For many years, we organised panels and workshops, a weekend-long residency, represented our members at festivals, and collated resources. Currently we are on hiatus while we redefine our direction post-COVID.
I coordinated and organised a few events, and served as outreach lead to increase membership. I also built and maintained the website.
The Cartoonist Coop is a society of cartoonists dedicated to the sustainability and development of our creative practice. In addition to a curated comics catalogue, the Coop provides mentorship, community resources, marketing support, and an editorial outlet for interviews and writing about comics.
In 2023, I co-founded The Cartoonist Coop with 5 other cartoonists. I created, developed and maintain the catalogue and other admin-related databases, as well as all the surveys and application-to-approval workflow. This effort is still very new, so my role is expanding.
Weekend Comics Workshop @ Rimbun Dahan (2019), co-organiser
A Weekend of Comics and Illustration @ Hikayat Penang (2020), co-organiser and workshop lead
Introduction to Webcomics, A Workshop @ Alliance Française KL (2021)
The Value of Research in Storytelling (2020), moderator, panel, Comics Art Festival KL
Making Stories Out of History (2021), moderator, panel, Flame Con
Actually Writing the Comic You Promised (2021), panelist, Nebula Conference