The story of a story

WHAT WILL MY STORY BE? is out! It’s been a long, long journey to publication day. I thought I’d share how the story came to be – inspired by my daughter and our chosen family. My book launch event and signing (first in 2 years!) is this Saturday at Bel and Bunna’s bookstore in Lafayette. I hope to see you there!

Also, I’m auctioning an illustration portfolio review to support the We Need Diverse Books organization.

Thank you for your support of my stories and art!

One week sale

My biggest sale of the year – 25% off my shop* through Sunday November 28th with the code iloveart – thank you for shopping small and supporting my art!

My debut written and illustrated picture book, WHAT WILL MY STORY BE releases in one week (!!!) order a signed copy here otherwise I recommend purchasing from bookshop.org they work with local independent bookstores and support the book community.

I hope you have a lovely holiday week!

*discount does not apply to sale items or gift certificates

What will my story be launch event!

I’m thrilled to share that after 2 years my first in-person signing will be taking place at Bel and Bunna‘s bookstore in Lafayette on Saturday December 4th.

I will read my debut written and illustrated picture book, WHAT WILL MY STORY BE, draw, take questions and of course, sign books! I hope to see you there!

In other book news, JUKEBOX now has a study guide for educators. And my next picture book, STRONG is available for pre-order.

Thank you for the support. I look forward to seeing your faces very soon!

Birthday sale!

It’s my birthday – enjoy 20% off my shop* today only with the code CAKEWISHES

I hope you have a happy day!

*excludes the calendar and sale items

Super Boba Café

Cat with boba pearls in belly

I’m happy to announce my next graphic novel series, Super Boba Café! I pitched the story back in February and sold it to Abrams at auction. It’s about Aria who, after a traumatic event at middle school, spends the summer with her nainai at her boba cafe in San Francisco. She doesn’t realize that her nainai uses the boba to placate the hill monster—avoiding an earthquake. But Aria thinks there has to be a better way for the monster to survive and for the café (and her self-esteem) to thrive.

I will be working on the story for the next few years (among other unannounced projects). I may not have time for another daily drawing until next year due to a very packed book schedule. And I’m eagerly awaiting a return to in-person book signings and events! I miss meeting readers!

Also, my calendar pre-order sale price ends this Friday – after that it will be $22.

Thank you for the support and I hope to see you soon!

STRONG cover reveal

I’m happy to share the cover reveal for our new children’s book, STRONG, written by Eric Rosswood and Rob Kearney. This was a joy to illustrate! It’s my first non-fiction picture book. It is an inspiring story of Rob Kearney and how he broke records as the world’s first openly gay strongman! Preorder here. Releases in May 2022.

world music + calendar

This is a new illustration that will appear in my 2022 calendar! It’s back after a year hiatus! Many folks contacted me about a calendar last year but I just didn’t have it in me. It was… quite a challenging year and the calendar requires a lot of work and I only break even on it. Anyway! It’s back! You can pre-order now, the price will increase after Oct 15th. We will ship later this year (estimated sometime in November).

Also I will be speaking at the Brooklyn Book Festival virtually with the wonderful graphic novelists Molly Knox Ostertag, Shing Yin Khor and Olivia Stephens this Sunday. You can register here for free.

I hope you’re having a lovely day!

Soft tail

I’m regularly battling the exhaustion of work, life and the absence of normalcy. But as time marches forward I find small joys in nature and continue connecting through my work. I am participating in a free virtual author panel with Tandem Bay Area in a couple weeks. Please join if you’re interested!

Also, my debut written and illustrated book, WHAT WILL MY STORY BE, will now release on November 30th due to supply chain disruptions. Please pre-order it as well as other books because it seems these delays will continue through the holiday season.

I hope you’re finding small joys in your days.

Jukebox is here!

Jukebox

Today is JUKEBOX‘s book birthday!

Please join me to celebrate the virtual launch tonight at 7pm PST with Hicklebees bookstore. I will read from the book, share a drawing demo and answer questions!

I’ve waited years for today. I pitched the story in 2016, signed the contract in 2017 and submitted final art in 2020. I set out to create a story featuring two desi girls who go on a time traveling adventure. Years ago, I promised to my very good friend and artist, Faheema Chaudhury, that I would make a book with a Bangladeshi Muslim main character because it’s so underrepresented. That promise helped me find Shaheen (Shahi) and Tannaz (Naz). I spent years living with the characters in my head and then drawing them on the page. There were countless hours spent researching albums, history, watching documentaries and historical footage. I made a conscious decision to feature Black musicians because they’re the foundation of American music. My hands hurt as I inked the pages and I learned to ice them at the end of the day. JUKEBOX brought me to new places in panelling, pacing and color. I loved the process. As I finished the book, I thought about this lyric from the song What Light by Wilco “Just remember what was yours, is everyone’s from now on.”

As JUKEBOX enters the world, I know it’s no longer mine. It belongs to everyone.

Thank you for reading, sharing and supporting, always.

One week until JUKEBOX!

One week until the release of my graphic novel JUKEBOX! You can still pre-order from Bel and Bunna (or your local indie bookstore) to get your book next week! If you pre-order from Bel & Bunna you will receive 2 postcards, a double sided guitar pick and bookmark as seen below:

Wherever you pre-order from is great! In case you’re wondering why pre-orders matter, this post from Jennifer Laughran is wonderful:

“If there are a lot of pre-orders, the publisher will pay attention. They might give the book more promotion/marketing, because hey, people are excited, clearly, let’s build off that buzz!

* If there are a lot of pre-orders at physical bookstores – those bookstores will naturally order more books. Like, maybe they normally get three copies of a new book – but if dozens of people have pre-ordered it from them, well, they are likely to get a giant pile of them instead. Win/win – more copies in the store means more visibility which means more booksellers have it on their radar – all of which means more sales.

* When you pre-order a book, it actually goes through the cash register and is SOLD on release day. If there are a ton of sales on release day (or very soon after release) – then things like The New York Times Bestseller List and Indie Bestseller List are a possibility. And if authors get that coveted “Bestseller” status, again, their publisher will be even more excited about their book, the book will get promoted more (not to mention that the list itself is a promotional tool, and being able to have “NYT Bestseller” in your bio is a promotional tool) which means the book will have more visibility, which means that MORE people will buy it.

More people excited about the book ahead of time = more promotion for the book when it comes out = more books sold = the author can feed their family.”

Thank you for your support and your messages about my comic last week.