The Inaugural Five Points Fest was a mix of toys, art, food, and comics! We already thoroughly covered designer toys, artists, and attending the event. Now let’s take a look at some of the comics in attendance! We chatted with three comic book creators at Five Point Fest!
Name: I’m Wendy Xu. I’m the artist on Mooncakes, which is webcomic about a witch and a werewolf. I also draw Terry Shin Pigeon-Boyfriend everyone seems to be a fan of on social media. And I collaborate with other writers and I also a lot of my own work. And that’s me!
How did you get started drawing or doing comics? I started of doing a lot of autobio work about identity but then I got kinda bored of doing that because there’s only so much I can say, in like the years between when you’re 22 and 25. So I started doing a lot of fantasy comics, because comics is where I feel most comfortable. Like any kind of fun magical thing I’m all about.
How has Angry Girl Comics led to other work? People just tell me “Hey, I saw your comic.” They email me. My publication was in Secret Identity and then also a project on Chinese in American for the New York Historical Society. It’s now permanently housed in the Museum of Chinese in America in San Fransisco.
I did the pencils for that exhibit and Mary Wilshire did the inks. And Amy Chu wrote the script and Larry Hama edited the whole thing and Janice Chan did the lettering. That was really fun, the opportunity to work on a dynamic team of Asian American comic folks.
And then apart from that I started doing a lot more fantasy and starting working with Alyssa Wong and we sold a story to Tor.com last year about a ghost Aunty. So that was super fun. That’s about cultural identity, but in a supernatural way. That’s kind of what I like the most.
How are you enjoying Five Points? I like the venue a lot. Since it’s the inaugural year, the show’s still trying to figure out what kind of show it wants to be. But I’ve had fun so far!
Name/Comic: I’m Mike Eisenberg, co-writer with my friend Oliver Mertz. Our main artist on the book is Daniel Lapham. First Law of Mad Science is a sci-fi horror adventure story about a super scientist inventor [who] creates cyber eyes, cybernetic retinal implants, letting people zoom and see great distances, records whatever they’re looking at sees beyond the normal visual spectrum. It ends up becoming a wildly popular, world-changing invention because it’s so cheap and easy to get that two-fifths of the whole world gets the cyber eyes the first year they’re on the market.
The problem is that after the first year, they realize the very first test subjects who have gotten the implants, including the inventor’s own son, are all now seeing things. They’re seeing weird little creatures everywhere that no one else can see.
So they have to figure out, is it a hallucination, is it a problem with the technology, are these creatures a real thing they’ve come into contact with? Whatever the problem is, they have to figure it out before everyone with the cyber eyes causing world-wide panic and hysteria. And that ends up pulling the scientist and his whole family into a high-stakes, globe-trotting adventure where they encounter ancient civilization, government agencies, sinister cults, and killer robots.
I see a lot of women on the cover. Who are your main characters? George Baker is a scientist who invented the cyber eyes. He’s married to a woman, Emma, who is sort of a female Indiana Jones type. So while he’s sort of at home in his basement working in his lab, she’s actually uncovered an ancient, seemingly alien, city buried beneath the ice in Antarctica.
In addition to her, Rachel is sort of the robotics sort of daughter of the family. She’s a previous invention of George Baker and she’s a robot with a fully sentient AI system and the personality of 17-year-old girl. She’s kind of badass, and doesn’t take any stuff from anybody. And she’s a fun character to write as well.
What inspired you to write this? My cowriter Oliver and I have known each other since we were like 11 or 12. And we’ve always bounced ideas off each and critiqued each other’s writing work. Several years ago, I went home for the holidays and met up with him for lunch. He was telling me about this story he had.
At that point it was very raw. It was an inventor and his son and some goggles that gave him apocalyptic visions. It wasn’t much more than that at that point. But we worked on it, worked on some of the characters, would meet over Skype for a while, and keeping working on it. I was living in Massachusetts at the time.
I ended meeting with another old friend who had just had Lasik surgery. And we were hanging out on my couch and he was talking about his surgery. He looked over to my bookshelf and just randomly picks up a book of HP Lovecraft stories. And all those things are connecting (Lasik surgery, HP Lovecraft, this story we were working on) all of a sudden became “what if people were getting Lasik surgery that was making them start see Lovecraftian Monsters everywhere.
How are you finding Five Points? It’s good; it’s fun. I hope it gets bigger and bigger. It’s great.
Name/Comic: I’m Tee Franklin and I am the creator of an awesome book that just ended for Kickstarter called Bingo Love. It is the story of two queer young ladies who meet in 1963 when that wasn’t allowed. They were busted kissing, unfortunately, and they were shipped off.
50 years later, they meet again at bingo! And they decide to tell their husbands, “I want a divorce. And I have X-amount of years left. I want to spend it with my true love.” So little bit-lot of drama. The Kickstarter I only wanted a buck short of 20 grand and we raise over 57,000 dollars. Almost 2,000 backers.
How did you get started? I was actually press when I started comics. I interviewed Joshua Williamson (he’s the writer of Nailbiter). And this was two years ago at New York Comic Con. And I went to ask a question and he took over my interview.
He was like “Hey, Tee, do you want four pages?” It was just like silence in the room, tears started to fall. I never ever expected anything like that to happen. I said yes. Juan Ferrerya (the artist on Colder and Green Arrow), he is the artist on my little Nailbiter story. Gail Simone actually is the editor; she edited my book. It’s a little four page horror story in the back Nailbiter for Image Comics. And that was really my start.
The second book that got published was the New York Times Best-Selling Book Love is Love. [All proceeds go to Equality Florida for the victims of the Orlando Pulse Shooting.] I really can’t complain for how I started in the industry. I’m pretty blessed.
When I did press, I was always pushing for inclusion in comics. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Black Comics Month. I created Black Comics Month about three, maybe four years ago just to spotlight black comic creators. It was supposed to be just for the month of February. It snowballed into this massive thing, and I started putting togethers panels for diversity (I hate the word diversity). But in the beginning it was called “Black Comics Month: Diversity in Comics.” My panel consisted of inclusion all-round. And that is what a panel should be because you have a multitude readers from different walks of life, different background.
I truly believe that this should be on the cover of books. And certain subject matter like queer grandmas needs to happen. If I were to take this story to Image or Dark Horse, they would have said no. And I refuse to let (and what I’m about to say is gonna sound harsh) a straight white man tell me no from a company. It’s not gonna happen.
I felt like, “I’m gonna let the public have their say. If the Kickstarter doesn’t get funded, then the public doesn’t want this.” And I had a story to tell. And I’m just so thankful people agree and they supported the book. These things are important and vital. Not just for the industry, but for people.
How are you finding Five Points Fest? Actually, this is my first time tabling at a con! And for this to be my first con, I am okay. It’s a good flow of traffic. It’s a lack of smells. (laughs). Coz you know! So it’s really nice. I would definitely do it again. I’m cool. I like it; this is a nice, cool, laid-back type of con. And I like it.