I do believe this book has shipped.
I was the book's facilitator.
It was fun.
This is what I wrote about the book in the book:
This book is the vision of a man who is a legend in his homeland of South Korea, Lee Hyun-se. During his tenure as chairman of KOMACON, Korea Manwha Contents Agency, he had an idea to try something new and unusual.
Last year, KOMACON conducted a nationwide talent hunt for young South Korean artists. The prize was the opportunity to move for six months to the United States, study English, and learn about the way we create comics in the west. The goal was for Korean artists and America writers to collaborate and co-create new intellectual properties together.
Less than a month after final judging, six young artists found themselves in Los Angeles living in a big house near Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It was called K-Studio. Various people worked on their behalf looking for ways to accomplish the goal of collaboration. Several American publishers hired K-Studio artists to draw work-for-hire books and covers.
About halfway through the artists’ six month visit to the US, I was asked by my friend and colleague, Milton Griepp, if I could lend a hand. We quickly came up with the idea of this anthology. KOMACON offered to fully underwrite the project. Everything would be co-owned by the creators. The only hitch was the task had to be completed before the artists went home at the end of January, only two months away.
I didn’t know the artists. I didn’t have any writers. We didn’t have a publisher. All I had was a ticking clock. I rolled up my sleeves, got into my car, and drove up to the K-Studio house, pulled out my laptop and gave them a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Who is Larry Marder and what is he doing here?”
For the next two months my life and the lives of the artists I know as In-Hyuk, Cory, Rock, Chan, Hae Mi and Yoon were intertwined. Joining us was our madcap LA-based interpreter, Sonia Lee, without whom none of this could have happened as quickly as it did.
Each artist wanted to do a 500-page graphic novel, but we only had 12 pages for each story. By the end of the month we had broad outlines of the world each artist had envisioned. I put together very detailed documents of each story so that a writer could take the ideas and reshape them with the artist.
I chose six writers that I knew and trusted. I needed them to write a script in a week. A week! The six I asked all agreed. Beau, Rick, Anina, Joe, Ben and Colleen pulled off miracles.
I stepped back and the creators, well, created. Together. Sure there was a language barrier, but somehow it all came together. My advice to everyone throughout the process was, “One step at a time. One day at a time. One bridge at a time.”
Thanks to Michael Kahn at Brickhouse Law, Jim Valentino at Shadowline and the amazing Tom Orz this book got finished at a blinding speed that still makes my mind reel.
There is an old saying about quests: “It’s the journey not the destination.” The book is finished now; the K-Six have gone home. I already miss the daily problems to solve. I had the time of my life. These are memories I will cherish forever. I thank Lee Hyun-se and KOMACON for having the vision to try something new and asking me to come along for the ride.
On Monday I'm going to South Korea to be an invited guest to BICOF.
I have no idea what to expect.
I'll report it all in due time.
That is all.