Some things you probably didn’t want to know.
About the comic:
Q. When did the comic begin?
A. The first comic was dated 29 March 2007, but was actually posted a few weeks later than that (I don’t know the exact date offhand). I was working with a friend who was going to be my webmaster and we delayed posting for a while in order to build up some material.
Q. Do you draw the comic by hand? Why don’t you use some complicated computer software so it looks good?
A. I enjoy drawing by hand. Also I believe nothing can help the art at this point.
Q. Who are the characters in the comic?
A. In Em oi! #1-50 (the Viet Nam era), the main characters are Em and Ly. From 51-181, the main characters are Em, Daniel (my brother), and Claire (his fiance, now wife). From #181-now, the main characters have been Em, and Bryan (my boyfriend, now husband), with occasional guest appearances by Michel Foucault, among others.
The people portrayed haven’t died or anything since I stopped drawing them. They just moved away from where I happened to be. Since most of the comic is focused on my life, if you’re not in my immediate vicinity, you’re not likely to make it in. Sometimes I have conversations with these people that later make it into the comic, but since drawing computers/people talking on the phone isn’t very interesting, that doesn’t happen much.
Q. Your art has really changed since 2007.
A. That’s not really a question. But yes, yes it has. My hair has also changed considerably (reflected in the comic). Ok, here’s one other thing that has changed:
Originally the comic was entirely in black and white (“reality”) with color being used only for fantasy scenes. So for example, the above represents a flight of fancy Em has, so it is in color. Nowadays I typically color everything (time permitting, anyway) and leave the reader to decide if Em really had a conversation with Foucault or not.
Q. What’s this “Em oi/ơi” nonsense?
A. In Vietnamese, “oi” (really, “ơi”, but I don’t have Vietnamese installed on this computer right now), is a calling particle. When you see someone across the market (Chợ), you might want to call them over and say hello. To get their attention, if they were a man who was slightly older than you, you’d call “anh ơi.” If they were slightly younger than you, regardless of gender, you might call, “em ơi!”
I think you see the pun.
Q. Do you wear glasses in real life?
A. Yes, a lot of the time. Many of the photos of me dotted around this blog feature me directly after running a race, which is the time I am most likely to be wearing my contact lenses.