Easy on the Eyes: Comic Book Maestro Ren Zheng-hua on Mastering the Art of Visual Storytelling
By Ren Zheng-hua ∥ Translated by Joshua Dyer
Dec 21, 2021

This humorous comic is a light read. For the most part I avoided using screentones, kept the linework simple and clean, and eschewed distorted perspective and composition, the goal being to make it easy on the reader’s eyes. My hope is that it can easily be read while seated, or lying down, or lying flat on ones stomachs, or on the toilet… or maybe even while stuck in traffic, or while the colors of sunset melt into the sea, or while taking a break from playing mahjong, or at anytime it might help you thoroughly relax and regulate your emotions. For this reason, while drawing it, I tried out lots of different light and reading angles, and only after being sure something wouldn’t strain the eyes did I dare set it in ink. After all, unveiling a work of comic book art means assuming a responsibility to the public. Think about all the parents who scold their children, screeching, “Those comic books are ruining your eyes!” The creators of comic books, never being in the position to make a rebuttal, can only accept this calumny as one accepts an oncoming natural disaster.



The Human Bun was first serialized in China Times Weekly starting in February of 1992. An extended version was printed in New Youth Express starting in February of 1993. I want to give special thanks to these two periodicals for giving me the opportunity to test my abilities and hone my craft. Prior to The Human Bun I went through a period of struggling and eventually reinventing my style. Much of the credit goes to the “drills” I went through at China Times Weekly. It was at New Youth Express that I first began working on composition and panel layout with the goal of making everything “easy on the eyes”. I had to cut up my original art, add new material, and re-edit everything back together. It was a lot more tiring than simply re-drawing from scratch, but it forced me to understand the relationship between the eyes and the pacing of the story. I treasure these experiences for the lessons learned, and hope to continue to improve in whatever works I produce in the future.



Read more:
- Ren Zheng-hua: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/authors_info.php?id=366
- The Human Bun: https://booksfromtaiwan.tw/books_info.php?id=381