Fun this weekend chatting with Sonny Liew at MoCCA and Midtown Comics for our signing. Email’s a wonderful tool, but nothing really replaces conversation for getting to know each other. The panel celebrating Sonny drew a full house, and we want through a slid show of his career (so far), while chatting about details that included some I didn’t know (like Shelly Bond giving him a shot at inking his own pencils on MY FAITH IN FRANKIE, then pulling in Marc Hempel when she saw Sonny wasn’t quite ready), and some Sonny didn’t (the challenges the Minx line faced when chain bookstores gave up on it completely after just a couple of volumes, just as he was doing THE REGIFTERS).
His THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE is getting wonderful reviews, and that was probably a major reason for the enthusiastic audience. We talked about the fact that it may be a unique approach to a graphic novel, mixing history with a completely fictional ‘spine,’ and his process, including a year of research before the year and a half of drawing. He composed it in thumbnail drawings, rather than a formal script.
We also talked about our process on DOCTOR FATE, where we work from a full script that I provide, but often revise bits to take advantage of Sonny’s perspective. We discussed a couple of examples, most notably how his reaction to the character Akila as originally proposed led her to be depicted as much more traditional Egyptian young woman than originally planned.
And a special nod of the head to David Mazzuchelli, who was Sonny’s teacher at RISD, for joining us in the front row…but even more for his efforts encouraging Sonny and connecting him to the American comics world.