20 Questions with Comic Artists: Laura Yang of Yin and Yangster

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We are back once again True Believers with our world famous segment 20 Questions with Comic Artists.  This is where we let you see into the glamourous world of comics and the brilliant, super rich lifestyle that is led by these amazingly perfect people.  Today we sit down with an A & W root beer  at the palatial estates of the Root Beer Party overlooking the Atlantic coastline from the Zen gardens of the east wing. 

With us today is our newest member the lovely and immensely talented Laura Yang of Yin and Yangster comics which you can find here.  http://yangstercomics.com/

So let’s meet our newest member: 

Question 1: What got you started in doing a comic series?

Oh it all began at the curious age of 11. I loved doodling as a kid and so started a strip called “Solomon”. Today, I do it for therapeutic reasons. I can get my aggression out this way.

Question 2: Who was your greatest influence?

Growing up there were so many I read but I particularly loved The Far Side. I absolutely adored his quirky sense of humor!

Question 3: What is your favorite root beer and why?

Whatever’s on sale? Probably A&W because they have excellent marketing since I can’t think of any of their competitors… Hey! There should be a math brand called “Square Root Beer”. (Yes, there should be – Editor)

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Question 4: What do you hope to accomplish with your comic?

I love to make people laugh so if I can serve my fellow humans by bringing some comic relief in our already so packed and difficult lives, then I’m satisfied. However, it wouldn’t hurt to earn a few bucks off of it. That would be the dream – getting paid to do what I love doing!

Question 5: Do you have any other artistic interests outside of comics?

Do sports count? Haha I do love me a good sweaty workout. I do enjoy music and playing different instruments. Though, because I’m so ADHD, I can only superficially play the flute, saxophone, guitar and drums. I would love to one day pick up the cello, piano and Chinese zither (guzheng).

Question 6: Do you see yourself as a professional cartoonist, or is this just something you do for yourself? I consider myself an aspiring cartoonist. I think a good testament to whether one has arrived is whether they’ve made it into the exclusive NCS (National Cartoonists Society) and since I haven’t, I’m just a wannabe at this point.  (The Root Beer Party is a far more prestigious organization than the National Cartoonist Society.  They are just national we are global – Editor)

Question 7: What type of subject or humor do you consider out of bounds for your strips and why?

I like to keep my stuff G-rated because as a female Christian teacher, I am very aware of my audience who likely holds me up to a higher standard than the average Joan. Also I find it intellectually more satisfying steering clear of the crass punchlines. There’s enough of that stuff out there anyway. I like subtle and implied humor, puns etc. I tend to stay away from political cartoons since I’m not really interested in ruffling feathers.

Question 8: What kind of equipment or style of drawing do you use?

From penciling to inking to coloring, it’s all done on a Surface Pro 3 using Clip Studio Paint.

Question 9: What sort of training or academic program did you pursue to become a cartoonist?

I have a math degree so I guess I took the long route? I also have an education degree as I’m a math teacher by day (cartoonist by night).

Question 10: What has been the highlight of your cartooning career?

A couple things… I was published weekly in a local major paper (The Province) for a few months in 2016 and Lynn Johnston of For Better or For Worse critiqued my work and gave me a TONNE of encouragement.

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Question 11: What has been the lowest point in your cartooning career?

Losing the newspaper gig and creeping out Lynn Johnston. Why am I such a weirdo???

Question 12: Are collections of your work available beyond the web? If so, where?

Aside from a hard copy of The Province in someone’s recycling bin, no. Though, I do hope to publish a book one day even if no one buys it. I mean, I can find uses for 100 of my own comic books, right?  (At least one copy must be kept in the Official Root Beer Party Comic Archives.  All comics are preserved there by our legion of dedicated comic librarians. – Editor) 

Question 13: Are there any other web comic artists that you really admire?

Sure! Lots! Though I don’t know them all by name, here are just a few of the many talented webcomic artists out there:

Sketchshark (Megan Nicole Dong)

Specktickles (Bill Abbott)

Awkward Yeti
Fowl Language

Sarah’s Scribbles

Question 14: What kind of impact has cartooning had on your life and could you ever see yourself not doing it?

Nooooooo, neverrr!!! It’s all-consuming now! When people have free time they Netflix, read, play video games etc… and me? I draw!! And I go through withdrawal if I haven’t drawn in a few days. It’s my creative outlet, my therapy, my drug!!! If I didn’t do it, a part of me would be dead. Dead I tells yas!

 Question 15: Do you have any advice for the Trolls out there who harass content creators? (no need to keep this answer clean.)

I hear James Boyd is an easy target… might wanna go after him. (jk!)

Question 16: Do you set yourself any deadlines or other tricks to keep yourself motivated?

I try to publish twice a week but it’s hard because of Life. So I just try to draw whenever I have free time which is usually between 12am-3am.

Question 17: Apart from root beer, what is your favorite drink?

Hands down, BUBBLE TEA!!!! If you have no idea what this is, you MUST drop whatever you’re doing right now and go Google it!! It’s an Asian (originally Taiwanese) thing. Sooo unhealthy but soooo good!! I like strawberry fruit mixes or green tea ice cream (all with pearls). *drool*

Question 18: Are you already a member of the root beer party and if not, what is the matter with you? I didn’t know it existed because it was secret! Cat’s out of the bag now!!

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Question 19: What is the most challenging aspect of cartooning for you?

Just finding the time to sit down and do it because well, Life! I love cartooning so much that by the time I finish a cartoon, I have 4 hours left before I have to get up for work!! And yet as I stumble into work bleary-eyed and groggy and teach my students a train-wreck of a lesson, I think to myself, “Soooo worth it!”

Question 20: What are your future plans involving web comics or anything else going on in your life?

I’m starting to invest more into my multi-panel cartoons versus my single-panel Far Side inspired cartoons. The feedback’s generally been positive so I’ll just develop the storylines and characters there a wee bit more. As for anything else going on in my life, yes, I’m pizza face over here (think pepperoni) so I’m trying to find ways to become just cheese pizza face.

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And there you have it True Believers, the interview with our newest member Laura Yang.  Check out her strip and encourage her to publish the book.  Once again, you demand it and we deliver with the news and interviews that matters.  So long for now from the palatial estates of the Root Beer Party, we will be back soon to introduce you to our newest members or even acquaint you with some of our long standing members who are so busy changing the world of comics that they have not had a chance to do an interview yet.  Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.   

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