A bit of history
Hello dear reader,
I sincerely hope this finds you well, and I am extremely honored and grateful that you have found your way here. I apologize for the extremely long dry spell. I am in the midst of a storm of formalities and special send-off obligations at school because I will be the first in my family to attain a college degree. After this, I plan to build my resumé and work part-time to begin to save up for an MFA program. Essentially, that means that this webcomic, this very project, will become my biggest portfolio contribution.
I have been working on this webcomic since February of 2012 after I attended a workshop facilitated by a wonderful professor and author, Barrie Jean Borich
. It was called "Pictures for the People," and the guest speaker was none other than graphic narrative artist Alison Bechdel
! I can't even begin to describe how fiercely I was struck by inspiration after that event. I used to do little horrendously drawn comics in high school, and I don't think I've kept any of them around. I never considered that the graphic narrative could be a powerful means of expression, especially as a first-and-a-half-generation immigrant whose parents insisted that he find a practical and lucrative job. They were just cartoons, right?
I fumbled around for a bit in college these past four years, praying all the while that a compromise between happiness and comfort would miraculously fall into my lap, but I have since come to understand my use of the graphic narrative as a sort of compulsion - I know I have to do the legwork to fill the gap between my wildest dreams and my immediate reality. There is no other way; I have to draw. I do it to understand myself and my environment. It is my visually-oriented self struggling through my personal iconographic repertoire in the hopes of building that perfect visual vernacular through which I might attempt to come to an understanding with my world.
Since Professor Borich's workshop, I have been taking a City Arts course through the HECUA program. It's an amazing class, and I feel as though through these experiences I have come unbound and free from the shackles of prejudices I didn't even know I had. Why did I inherit a legacy of depreciating certain images by delegating them to the caste of "low art" when the graphic narrative could move the spirit and stir the soul as visual art and as literature? And how can I overcome that legacy? How can we overcome it?
I am still trying to figure all that out for myself, but I hope to use this comic as a vehicle to explore my inner self. The comic began as a simple drawing experiment in the form of graphic narrative, but it suddenly grew a name, a plot, and personalities.
Through my Tumblr posts
and various pieces
I have illustrated in the past few weeks, I have provided some clues as to the nature of Willow Wood and its characters.
How much do you know about Addison, for example? What can you tell me about how you visually code Addison and the way the character looks and behaves? And what if I told you the above illustration is indeed an illustration of Addison?
And what about the Star that tumbles down from the heavens? Do you know she has a name even though it has yet to come up in the pages of the comic?
Do you know that you will eventually run into the Rabbit and the Fox?
And I bet you most certainly didn't know that you will soon be introduced to a character you have already seen floating around in development on my Tumblr, the King of the Red Dawn?
I am so excited to finally be able to introduce you to all of these characters, all of these names, faces, bodies, masses of swirling hair, and pen contours, to you!
Again, thank you so much for keeping up with this project. It means the world to me that someone, anyone, might derive some joy from reading and viewing my little experiment. I look forward to producing some more pages very soon, and I hope you're excited as well!