I was about to proudly announce that my graphic novel Religion: a Discovery in Comics will be published this year by NBM – when the attack on Charlie Hebdo happened and left me speechless.
This might not be the best time to promote a work that puts pictures and religious thought together. Or maybe it is the best of times, now that there’s this enormous graphic surge of cartoons that cry out for freedom of speech.
I don’t know. But here are two pages of my upcoming book that have some bearing on all that is happening.
My comic book about Religion (yet to be published in the U.S., hopefully next year) has just been released in South Korea! It’s really strange to see my pictures combined with (for me) illegible signs – and even stranger (but very nice-strange) to find that people so far away are not only reading the book, but actually twittering about it!
Here are the tweets I found:
This cover is so different from the original one, but I do like it. I drew the front illustration especially for the Korean edition. The title translates to something like “Religion is a personal affair”.
This is a bit about the history of Hinduism:
And here’s the sedar table, at the heart of Judaism:
This is about meditation, in the chapter about Buddhism:
It’s a very gratifying thought that people in a country so far away, with such a different cultural background, seem to appreciate the outlook on religion of a Dutch protestant Christian-raised, Buddhism-interested, Hinduism-infatuated, Judaism-appreciating, Islam-valuing girl like me!
Publisher Bulkwang has published all of my three books in the last year! The cooperation over such a distance and language barrier was managed smoothly by Amo Agency. I’m very proud of this!
This book will probably be published in the U.S. with the title Religion: a Discovery in Comics.
Two weeks ago our beautiful sweet Siamese Boris died. We miss him greatly, not just as a pet but as a friend who always seemed so tuned in to our moods and feelings. He was almost eighteen and had a great life and a good death – yet this does not make the sadness any less, only “cleaner” perhaps, since there are no regrets.
We’re about halfway working on our next book and of course Boris has made his appearance. So what do I do, do I keep drawing him? Or do I just drop him from my pictures? Do I need to address his absence in any way, and how can I do that without distracting from the theme of the book? (which is World Power, something most cats have little interest in)
After pondering it for a while, I came up with this solution, in the first panel of a chapter in which I discuss the progress of the book with my brother:
That’s Yiri holding Boris’ picture next to what I call my “deity drawer”, a small cupboard for incense, some god statuettes and assorted spiritual books. It’s also the place where I put pictures of the dearly departed. (The deity drawer is featured in my book about Religion)
It is addressed. Boris gets his place among the legendary mortal supporting comics characters.
And we will have to face the problems of the world without him from now on – quite literally in our lives but also in our books.
Sleep well, dear Boris, you will live on in our hearts.