Rejection 7

Another rejected comic from the New Yorker which I wrote about here.

If you have a moment to review any of my books, it helps immensely. It doesn’t have to be long just an “I loved this” is enough. Thank you!

Cover reveal!

I’m thrilled to share the cover for my next middle-grade graphic novel SUPER BOBA CAFÉ! It will release in October of this year. It takes roughly 3 years to make a graphic novel so each bit I can share is very exciting! It’s available for pre-order now. Every pre-order helps the book get more attention. Pre-orders signal to the publisher and bookstores that people are excited about a title which leads to more shops stocking it and more publicity. Thank you in advance for pre-ordering!

I can’t wait to share more about Super Boba Café with you in the coming months.

Rejection number 6

Number 5 and Stonewall Honor!

Another rejected comic from the New Yorker which I wrote about here.

I woke up very early this morning because our picture book STRONG won a Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association!

After the announcement, I was in a stupor partly from tiredness and also from the knowledge that in a time when LGBTQ+ books are being banned across the country, this acknowledgment means so much. Teachers and librarians are the backbone of the book world, they’re on the front lines facing unbelievable opposition. I’m so proud of our book and librarians work diligently to keep our stories visible and accessible to all. There’s so much to fight for right now I often feel crushed by exhaustion.

But today I will celebrate.



Number 4

Another rejected comic from the New Yorker which I wrote about here.

Rejection #3

Another rejected comic from the New Yorker which I wrote about here.

Rejection #2

Rejection #2! This is one of my many rejections from the New Yorker which I wrote about here.

Thank you all for your kind words after the above post! It makes me feel a little less vulnerable sharing my failures to know that so many folks are cheering me on. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Weekly rejection

Last year I submitted, for the first time, to the New Yorker comics. The New Yorker is one of the few places that’s still committed to one panel cartoons. They pay well. They’re prestigious. I’ve dreamt of being published inside the pages for my comics and on the cover for my illustration work.

But prior to last year, I never tried.

If I don’t submit, I won’t be rejected. I’m so smart. No one has ever thought of this before!

Then one of my students from the California College of Arts was published in the New Yorker. I was excited for them and it made me rethink my brilliant idea to never try. Because after 20 years, there was a new humor editor. A young woman committed to bring new voices to their magazine.

Using their online form, I submitted.

One of my first submissions “Kale recommended deep tissue”

I didn’t expect to hear anything… but then the editor reached out. She liked my comics! Although she didn’t buy the ones I submitted, she gave me her email to submit directly. I was thrilled!

I thought yes, I’m in! I spent a few months submitting. Each time I did, the editor wrote back with encouraging words. But… no sale. The positive feedback was good because I know they receive 1500 comics a week and can only buy 20. I know this but after a little while I questioned her words.

Is she gas lighting me? What purpose would it serve for her to do that, though? I was treading in the oh-so-familiar waters of self doubt. Repeated rejection has a mental toll.

I studied the old New Yorker comics. New ones. I read interviews with the editor. The most frustrating piece of advice I came across was “Don’t submit something you think is a New Yorker cartoon” which… no matter how many times I turn it around in my head doesn’t make sense.

I can submit up to 10 comics a week. I never have enough time or good ideas to submit more than a few a week. After awhile I took a break. It was messing with my mind. Plus, I have books to make!

At the beginning of the year I pick one professional goal for myself. This year, I want to get into the New Yorker. Knowing what I know, it won’t be easy. It will take time. I will be rejected weekly. So, I invite you to join me.

Along with other newsletter things, I will share my rejected comics here. Maybe you want to wager, how many comics will be rejected before I make it in? 20, 40, 80? Maybe I’ll give up before December. Who knows!

The year is young and my foolish mind is hopeful.

Rejection #1 is below.

New year, new art

Happy new year!

The Epcot Festival of Arts begins on January 13th and ends February 20th. I will be there to sign my new artwork at the end of the festival but my art will be there starting January 13th.

These are my four new pieces.

Ticket to believe
You’re never without me
I give my hope to you
Good is a thing you do

January is off to a stormy start in the bay area, but I hope it clears away for many rainbows this year!

Books, calendars and commissions

This is my last post of the year.

Before Thanksgiving I finished inking my next middle grade graphic novel, Super Boba Cafe. Between that and Shark Party, I inked roughly 300 pages of comics this year. In addition to writing and revising upcoming books, I’m ready for a long break.

My happy face as I finished page 215 of Super Boba Cafe
Tracking progress, comic making is slow and steady

When working on long projects like a 200+ book, I need focus. So it took awhile to prep and print my yearly calendar. But it’s finally here! A new spin on my usual calendar with ink and watercolor art. I hope you like it!

Also for the first time in years, I have a small number of commissions available. My schedule is packed with books until 2025 so I’m unsure when this will happen again, but I’m happy to take a few now!

My final note is a new addition for each newsletter, which is to share my favorite reads. I am a lifelong book lover and tend to read 30-50 titles a year. I will link to, which is a great alternative to amaz*n that supports indie bookstores. If you can’t shop in person at a local independent bookstore, I recommend bookshop. I also maintain some graphic novel lists there as well.

My top 3!

Swim Team – a wonderful middle grade sports graphic novel that follows the journey of a girl on a swim team and delves into Black history and identity

Garlic and the Vampire – An adorable story of a little garlic who must leave her comfortable garden to confront the town vampire. This book is sweet and feels like a warm (garlicky) hug

All My Rage – This is the book I’ve recommended the most this year. Powerful. If I had this when I was growing up, I would’ve clutched it to my chest to feel less alone. It’s a story about two teenagers who experience more than their share of bad luck and how they journey from hurt to hope. It’s beautifully written, captivating and honest.

Thanks for reading this far – I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year with your loved ones.

See you in 2023,