Every so often, the world of comics gets a fresh voice–a talented and energetic creator crafting something new and fun to look at and utterly engaging. Angie Wang is one of those voices. You can’t help but become enthused when looking at her work. She made a splash a few years ago with her fashion illustration blog, wangie (now on hiatus), and has since been keeping busy with a steady stream of illustrations and comics.
Earlier this week, Angie posted a few photos on Twitter of a mini-comic she published. It’s called Girl Apocalypse, and it looked so cool that I had to ask her a few questions about it, and her work in general.
Tell us about Girl Apocalypse–from the pics I’ve seen it looks really lovely.
Girl Apocalypse was an experiment in speed and layout–I wanted to see if a six-panel grid could support a decompressed shoujo manga style of pacing, with empty panels and non sequitur scenery shots. I also wanted to do the whole thing fast, too, so I drew each figure individually and very quickly with brush pen on hanshi paper, scanned it in, digitally resized and stuck it all together according to my thumbnails, and digitally shaded everything. The whole thing took about two and a half weeks, with the last eight pages being finished in about three days while I was tabling at a convention (I stayed up until 7 AM in a hotel lobby finishing the last of it).
I’ve been seeing your work in some great places–any favorites pieces over the past few months?
I went through a serious burnout around February, so it’s hard for me to say. I look at my work from before February and find it a little exhausting to contemplate.
I’m curious–do you work from home or in a studio? How do you like your space?
I work at home, with a huge, clean drafting table, and a messy MacTable for my Cintiq. I have a cute one-bedroom in Portland, Oregon, all to myself, so the living room is my “home office,” as the tax accountants put it.
What have you been reading/inspired by these days (comics or otherwise)
Sophia Foster-Dimino is a big inspiration right now, as is Kris Mukai. I’ve also been drawing with Meg Hunt, who is amazing and always ready to try out projects or new media or introduce me to new things. In terms of comics, I continue to be obsessed with Shimura Takako and have been trying my best to absorb her sense of layout.
What’s the best and the worst part about drawing comics?
The best part is the thrill of determining the pacing–which sounds very specific, but ever since I read Shimura Takako’s Happy-Go-Lucky Days, I’ve been thinking about the subtleties of pacing and how counterintuitively effective it is to have a heartstopping panel tucked into a corner, or a powerful moment hiding in the middle of the page. The worst part is simply how long it takes to draw a page, but I’ve been trying out a lot of ways to cut down the time it takes.