beginning on the new island

March 29th, 2019

An illustration for my agency newsletter on the theme “beginnings”: an ancient Polynesian girl arriving for the first time at a new island, her arms full of canoe plants.

Canoe plants were a set of about 20 or so food plants that the Polynesians took with them in their canoes and propagated all over the Pacific. They include taro, sweet potatoes, coconuts, yams, and breadfruit.

Her dress is made of mulberry barkcloth – essentially paper! She’s also with her poi dog, which were related to dingoes but are now extinct. They were pot-bellied dogs evolved to eat poi and take care of children. A lot of internet descriptions of them are rather dire (they were fairly dim and as likely to play and sleep with the tribe’s children as they were to be eaten by them), but I think they sounded kind of sweet.

This picture was inspired by my recent (40th!!) birthday trip to Hawaii.

on being ambiguously brown

March 6th, 2019

5 panel comic! Click thumbnails below:

my brother’s fire gear

February 23rd, 2019

During the summers, my brother works as a California wildland firefighter. For his 30th birthday, I made a poster of all the gear (55 lbs of it! 😱) he hauls around with him in the mountains.

Prints here: My brother’s wildland firefighter gear

I’m donating profits from this print to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. (My share is 50% of the list price, plus I’m applying to Inprnt’s 10% matching fund program)

(somewhat) hourly comics

February 2nd, 2019

on being a 4th culture kid

January 31st, 2019

I grew up a biracial, tricultural kid in America, with one grandmother living across the Pacific in Malaysia and one across the Atlantic in England.

notes from france: merci à vous

November 18th, 2018

French people get a bad rap. I had a hard week, and to console myself, I drew some of the 10-minute friends I made at markets and hotels and shops on our trip in October. They were so kind! 😭

notes from france: bon appétit!

November 18th, 2018

Les adventures culinaires en Paris et Lyon. Dedicated to Lactojoy, without whom none of this would have been possible!

notes from france: orangina

October 24th, 2018

In first year French, Madame Gabet taught us how to order an Orangina. But what was an Orangina? Was it better than Fanta? It was so French and mysterious. On a layover in Calgary the summer after freshman year, my family stopped at the resort in Banff and had lunch on the expansive terrace overlooking the Canadian wilderness. And oh mon dieu, there it was on the menu, Orangina!! The moment I had been trained for arrived. With rapture, I said to the English-speaking Canadian waiter, “Un Orangina, s’il vous plaît.” It was delightful. Ever since then, even though I don’t like soda anymore, I can’t help but ask for an Orangina s.v.p. in Francophone countries. And it is still delightful.

san francisco, 4è

August 8th, 2018

Collected scenes from around town, quatrième edition.

The citywide Tuesday noon sirens (with unintelligible message), the Fruit Shelf/Gay Beach at Dolores Park (the highest spot in the park, perfect for views of either downtown or handsome young people wearing very little catching some sun), a glowy St. Ignatius on top of Lone Mountain, the hall closet: i.e. your lovely new baby’s bedroom, the cheese section at Rainbow Grocery that Gordonzola presides over, mint It’s-its: the most nostalgic ice cream sammich, the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill, a BART train with requisite muffled announcements, Ritual Coffee Roasters, pan-fried soup dumplings (shen jiang bao) at Shanghai House in the Outer Richmond, majestic redwoods, wood type for letterpress at the San Francisco Center for the Book, my favorite bookstore: Green Apple Books.

san francisco, 3è

July 31st, 2018

Collected scenes from around town, troisième edition.

Matcha/vanilla soft serve at Café Maiko in Japantown, Scoot electric rental scooters, Tank Hill for the secret best view of town, earthquakes, soup dumplings (xiao long bao), Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Presidio Picnic on summer Sundays, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (the geniuses behind, among other things, the Sexy Jesus contest every Easter in Dolores Park), Tandoori chicken pizza, California poppies, the Two o’clock Titty on St. Mary’s (a cheeky local landmark), citywide composting (fantastic!!), Cinderella Bakery for Russian pastries and lunch.

blood moon

July 30th, 2018

Commemorating the blood moon I missed on Friday. Karl!! 😩🌁

san francisco, 2è

July 22nd, 2018

Collected scenes from around town, deuxième edition.

The annual Bay to Breakers run/drunken slog from downtown to Ocean Beach (with tortilla toss and requisite naked dude and Waldo), the Russian honey cake at 20th Century Café, Church of 8 Wheels roller disco Thursdays, Nightgarden Piano at the Botanical Garden in  Golden Gate Park, Kabuki Springs japanese baths, brunch:  the citywide weekend sport (waiting in line until you are nothing but desiccated, benedictless bones), Café Jacqueline for a romantic soufflé, frozen yogurt with olive oil at Souvla, gin at Whitechapel, Victorian arcade amusements at the Musée Mécanique.

san francisco

July 22nd, 2018

Collected scenes from around town.

The big rainbow flag at Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro Theatre sign, Pirate Store at 826 Valencia, dahlias (the city flower), Inclines & wires, Boba Guys tea, Dia de los Muertos in Garfield Park, Karl the fog pummeling the neighborhood in Fogust, the Wiggle (the only way to get from Market Street to the Panhandle without dying), purple chandeliers at the Fillmore, Baker Beach (with nude area, setting for the first Burning Man), giant Mission burritos, steam buns, Trouble Coffee’s Build Your Own Damn House breakfast (a coffee, cinnamon toast, and a coconut).

talking to new moon girls

May 2nd, 2018

Some of you may remember that in the ’00s I was a frequent contributor to New Moon Girls, an awesome feminist magazine for girls about 8-12 years old. They sent an editor to interview me for their column Women’s Work about what I was up to lately and the illustrations I used to do for them. The full article is in their May/June 2018 issue (pages 22 & 23). As an introvert, it’s kind of agonizing to see myself in print. But it’s exciting too. ;D

Hi girls!


May 1st, 2018

My cousin Siti at our nenek’s house in Malaysia in the 80s. From a family photo.

the secret show

April 16th, 2018

A comic about a secret show we went to last year. It was so magical! Click the panel thumbnails below for bigger text.

café jacqueline

April 11th, 2018

I keep meaning to go back to Café Jacqueline in North Beach for a soufflé. This is Chef Jacqueline’s egg bowl that she’s been using for ever with a pysanka perched on top of the pile.

march for our lives

March 24th, 2018

Hitting the streets with the students today & thinking of two high school friends who died because of easy access to guns. It’s way past time for gun reform!

in my studio

March 9th, 2018

At my art table, on a sweaty and somewhat frantic day.

Fun fact: I still use the art table my dad bought me for christmas in high school.

life drawing in rose

February 21st, 2018

From a life drawing session at the workshop I went to over the weekend. The model had very expressive hands! Pretty happy with my new Daniel Smith watercolor tube, rose of ultramarine.