Small Press Spotlight on Rina Ayuyang

by Jeff

Beginning on March 14, 2009, the Cartoon Art Museum’s ongoing Small Press Spotlight will feature the art of Rina Ayuyang.

Rina Ayuyang first became interested in cartooning while growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she spent mornings watching Merrie Melodies cartoons, afternoons reading the newspaper funnies and Mad magazine, and evenings scrutinizing illustrations in various children’s books right before she’d fall asleep.

After focusing many years on painting and conceptual art in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, she reunited with her first love–comics–in 2001, and began self-publishing Namby Pamby, a semi-autobiographical series which focused on the humorous side of the ordinary, everyday moments of one’s life.

This Small Press Spotlight exhibit showcases original art for Ayuyang’s soon-to-be released graphic novel which will include new stories and old favorites from the Namby Pamby mini-comic series. The book will be co-published by Sparkplug Comic Books and Tugboat Press in Fall 2009.

Also included in this exhibit are samples of her sketchbook strips which she posts daily on her web blog, Doodle Bug Central. She recently self-published a minicomic entitled doodle daze that collected favorite strips and illustrations from the web blog in a pocket-sized print format which was nominated for the 2008 Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration.

More of Rina’s comics work can be found in various comic anthologies, notably SPX 2005, True Porn 2, Friends of Lulu’s Girls Guide to Guys Stuff, Stripburger, Unicorn Mountain, and the upcoming Snow Stories.

Besides drawing comics, she has co-founded an online magazine called Creative Skin (creativeskin.net) which has showcased the work of writers, photographers and cartoonists from around the globe. She currently co-hosts The Comix Claptrap, a comics podcast with fellow Bay Area cartoonist Thien Pham in which they interview influential cartoonists and discuss various issues concerning the comics and small press community.

Rina currently resides in Oakland, California, with her husband and cat. You can view more of her work at her website and blog, rinaayuyang.com.

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