WonderCon has come and gone, but I connected with a handful of promising artists and creators, and I’m excited to feature them in a series of WonderCon Spotlight interviews!
My first interview is with Diana Huh, the webcomic artist behind the popular series The Lonely Vincent Bellingham; a vibrant comic with heart, wit, and humor to spare. Take a look at what she had to say about her work, her inspirations, and the challenges of working the convention circuit!
First, tell us a little bit about yourself: what got you started with illustration, and what’s continued to drive you since?
What is The Lonely Vincent about, and where did your inspiration for the story come from?
The Lonely Vincent Bellingham is about a not-so-nice guy doing a favor for his professor. And that favor happens to involve trespassing into the house of a vampire and her two kids. Hijinks ensue as Vincent (for reasons of his own) blackmails his way into staying into the vampire’s house, and he learns more about a magical world outside our world. It’s a fantasy slice-of-life tale I’ve been working on since I was a teenager. I’ve been inspired by a lot of different things, including Rumiko Takahashi’s manga, Hayao Miyazaki’s films and Bruce Timm’s streamlined art style.
How long has The Lonely Vincent been running now?
It’s been a little over 2 years now, just starting its 3rd chapter! I wish I could have been farther along, but as a full-time storyboard artist I need to take breaks from drawing sometimes.
What do you think makes The Lonely Vincent unique?
I honestly don’t think it’s all that unique of a story, but I hope people find something special about it regardless! There’s certain things I purposely want readers to think about when they read the story, but I also don’t want to force-feed these themes outright, so forgive me for being hush-hush about it.
You’ve built quite a community around your work – are you still actively engaging in growing this community? Or do you find that it’s largely a word-of-mouth phenomenon at this point?
I’m honestly horrible at building community, haha! I’ve luckily been published through Hiveworks, so they take care of promoting my comic through ads. For the most part though I just post whenever my comic updates through various social media sites and hope people latch on from there. Despite sporadic updates I still have a solid base of readers, and I love them all dearly for it.
When did you first book a spot at a convention in order to promote your work?
I actually started doing conventions in the first few months of first publishing my comic online in 2015! It was a pretty crazy and hectic schedule, trying to update this baby comic and promote it brand new to convention goers at the same time. But I had a blast, made a ton of new friends and I don’t regret it.
In the years since you’ve started promoting your work at conventions, what are some important lessons you’ve learned?
Conventions are incredibly taxing, both physically and emotionally! There’s gonna be a lot of people who love your work, and a lot of people who hate it, and all these people will come by your table in some capacity. The most important thing I learned is that it’s okay to take a break, and it’s okay to ignore some of the less savory comments you get as an artist. Work hard, but be kind to yourself.
What is a common misconception regarding artist alley or convention work that you’d like to put to bed (if possible)?
For some reason people think that artists behind the table cannot hear what they’re saying from a distance. We can! If you want to insult our name/work, we can most definitely hear you and I am not afraid of shooting an angry glance your way because of it.
What’s your favorite part of being at conventions to showcase your work?
I love meeting fans, especially if we have common loves/interests in comics/film. I’ve had so many nice and delightful conversations with people over the years and it’s something I always think fondly back on whenever I’m down.
Will you be at other conventions this year? If so, which ones?
I’m actually taking a break from conventions, sorry to say! I just want to concentrate on making more content for my comic so I can eventually launch a kickstarter, and I hope to return back to conventions when that time comes.