Our new ebook Quiet Fear, featuring new translations of work by Touyeye, Hellozoo, and Ray Hoo, is available on our website here! The first entry in our GUMSTICKS ebooks series, Quiet Fear collects three frightening stories by cartoonists based in China.
These are three artists we have long hoped to work with, and given the ever increasing costs of international shipping (and the success of First Wave), we wanted to explore more digital publishing options. We are so excited to be featuring the work of these three artists, and wanted to give a bit more context on the comics! There are excerpts included below, and the full book is available on a sliding scale.
Monstrous Plague by Touyeye
Touyeye's bizarre, frenetic, genre-blending illustrations have been a mainstay at comic fairs in China for years. Her narrative work blends sci-fi and horror themes, often adapting influences from pop culture (Monstrous Plague, for example, features Scully and Mulder from The X-Files).
Monstrous Plague, which was written and self-published in 2020, follows a band of stragglers who meet when a pandemic breaks out in town, mutating pets and humans into bizarre new forms.
Surgery by Hellozoo
Surgery is one of four zines that Hellozoo drew and published as a set. Despite it's fantastical imagery, it's more rooted in reality than the other two stories in Quiet Fear, as it depicts the authors experience being partially sedated for surgery. As he half-consciously witnesses the idle chatter of the doctors around him, he can't help but feel terrified. Though it approaches the subject playfully, the comic is deeply unsettling.
Encounter with an Immortal by Ray Hoo
In the postscript to this comic originally posted on Weibo, Ray Hoo wrote about the years long process of completing it in his free time. He writes, "I melded the two faults of artistic production — excessive focus on minor details and overly ornate work — and in the following two years, I spent almost all my free time working sporadically on the comic." The resulting comic, about a young man bargaining his soul for a chance to pass the imperial exams, is stunning in its detail and atmosphere.