Comic/Graphic Novel Interviews, Comics/Graphic Novels, Interviews

Lytherus Exclusive Interview with Mike Bocianowski, Author and Illustrator of YETS

A few weeks ago we brought you a graphic novel review of a lovely comic called Yets. I was lucky enough to connect with the author and illustrator of these adorable creatures, Mike Bocianowski, and he was happy to give us a brief interview for the site. Enjoy!

Lytherus: Where did you get the idea for the Yets comics?

The Yets came about after I was invited to sail on a local ship, the Niagara, with a group of artists.  We were asked to create an artwork that described our experience so I incorporated the Niagara with some of my favorite motifs like dragons, mythology, whimsy, Chihuahuas, etc.   The first chapter of Yets is what I produced from that experience.

L:  How long have you been drawing these adorable creatures?

That first Chapter was published in November of 2002.

L:  Tell us about some of your favorite projects that involve the Yets

I like a lot of what I do.  I like the graphic novels, the edition prints, the sculptures.  Each item fulfills a different creative need, so after I am tired of working on a graphic novel I can work on a painting, or paint a figurine.

L: What is your favorite thing about being an illustrator?

I like when a piece can make me laugh as I produce it, whether it is a specific expression or the overall gag.  Usually when that happens the customers seem to laugh more and understand my art.  That inspires me to do more, and I believe there is something magical in that.

L:  How long did you work on the Yets before you became well-known?

Gosh, I don’t consider myself to be well known… I’ve been working with the Yets since September of 2002.

L:  Do you read comics yourself? Is it for the story or the art? what are some of your favorites?

I try to read a lot of comics. I stay away from mainstream DC & Marvel.  I like the art of independent publishers however they are produced on irregular schedules so I don’t get involved with the story.  I like stories that I can eat like a Thanksgiving meal,  ones that are long and complete, like Tezuka’s works.  I like Walt Kelly, Osamu Tezuka, Harvey Eisnenburg, Hayao Miyazaki, Goscinny & Uderzo, Pierre Alary.  The books imported from Europe and Asia show the potential of what the medium could be.

L: Any new projects you’re working on?

I’m constantly working on something, I try to do  an annual Yets! graphic novel  (I just finished writing the three stories for the fourth book  and suddenly I was given an idea for a better story so I’ll take one of the first three and move to a fifth book!)  in between that I paint, and I still have a children’s picture book that I’d like to see published and produce some fairytail stories.  This goes without saying that an animated version is always lurking around too.

 

Thanks Mike! If you’re interested in seeing more of Mike’s work, or in purchasing a print, make sure you check out his website.

 

Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews, Comics/Graphic Novels, Reviews

TCR: Yets- Cuteness Overload With Substance!

No, you aren’t seeing things, or clicked on a book review by accident. I am hijacking Jackie’s Thursday Comic Review to review my very first Graphic Novel, Yets #2: Dragons, Dreams and Dangerous Deeds!

Before I delve into the review, I want to give some background on this story. I encountered this book at the recent Pittsburgh Comic Con. The author/illustrator Mike Bocianowski was selling prints of his work, and I was instantly drawn to them. They are, in a word, adorable. Whimsical, beautiful images of dragons (technically they are called Yets) doing various cute things. I had to have one (actually I bought two!), and as I spent some time talking to him, he introduced me to the Graphic Novel that used the delightful creatures.

Being really good friends with the comic person here on Lytherus, I have definitely picked up some of the backsplash of what is in and happening in the comic world. I knew this story wouldn’t be like the mainstream stories, based simply on the cuteness factor of the art. But what it did do is remind me why children are so drawn to comics.

The book I received is number 2, but there is a summary in the cover of number 1, which brings the reader up to speed:

The peaceful era on the TreeWorld of Chlem shatters when a creature falls from inside the tree onto the ground. A Guinea pig, Perry, and a Chihuahua, Spec, return the lost creature and discover a forgotten world of magical critters who long for companionship. These critters offer to build a ship for Perry to explore the TreeWorld if he brings the critters’ children. So now Perry, Spec, and Perry’s mate, Peg, are on their journey of discovery with the dragon-like critters who have no name… as of YET!

The Graphic Novel was broken into three mini-stories, each one propelling the story ahead, yet having a beginning, middle, and end. The first is Peg telling the young Yets a story while Perry loads the ship. The story is how she and Perry met, after she was kidnapped and he rescued her. Part two was all of them trying to get some sleep on the floating ship, but Vance, one of the adult Yets is snoring, keeping them all awake, creating a dilemma of how to shut him up. And the third part was about Perry and Spec falling off the ship and landing on a cloud. They wonder how they will get back to the ship, but lucky for them, the cloud shepherd finds them, saving the day.

This book definitely didn’t have the depth that a lot of more adult comics, but I can see the appeal of this story for children. It was fun and whimsical, and the plot still had nice substance while maintaining that cute factor. Part two felt a lot like a Looney Tunes episode, which was fun and comical, pardon the pun. And I have to say, I was curious at the end of the comic about where they were heading on the awesome floating ship. So as a writer, he did his job well!

Baby Yet

All in all, a charming read that I think children in particular will really enjoy. And I thought it was a nice foray into comics for me, since I missed out of the joy of them in my childhood.  Interested in getting a copy? As far as I know they aren’t sold in traditional comic book stores, so here’s a link to Mike’s website and his blog; I’m sure he’d be happy to accommodate!