I want to inspire people with my creations, so that they can make their own.
Instead of trying so hard to make his creations look like a mediocre so-called and labeled ‘Indonesian’, Is Yuniarto chose to hone his own skill and knowledge in the process. The results are, nevertheless, astounding... and at the same time, accepted as an ‘Indonesian’, yet manga-influenced, comic. He keeps getting better at improving his skill and knowledge, which is reflected in his works. “The first time I get involved in comics as a medium, it was because of animation. I watched this animation series, and made a comic of it with my own stories. From back then when I was still at an elementary school up until college, I never stop making comics for my own pleasure.”
Having won numerous comic book competition, a prestigious Wacom Vehicle Design Awardat 2010 and placed as one of the top ten finalists at Stan Lee’s Superhero Contest did not satisfy him enough. He’s still searching for the ‘right’ and ‘proper’ formula to combine his manga-esque drawing style with local contents, as his own personal continuous improvement project. The result is Garudayana, his approach to wayang culture. Is made this highly-acclaimed title to reintroduce the wayang concept to teenagers nowadays. “Wayang is so cool! There are lots of fierce battles, high-paced actions, names of wepons, and so on. It has a lot of potential to attract readers, especially children and teenagers. The only thing that matters is the approach we choose to deliver it.” He started Garudayana as an entry for a comic competition held by a local anime & manga magazine in 2006, and developed it ever since up until it finally got published by a major comic book publisher in Indonesia.
Eager to learn a wholesome comic book business, he self-published Knights of Apocalypse (3 volumes, 2007 – 2009) which placed him as a finalist of International Young Creative Entrepreneur Award 2010 from British Council. “It has been a blast, I learned a lot from it. Speaking frankly, I’m kind of such an introvert person. I have my own uneasiness dan difficulties in meeting and having a nice chit chat, warm conversation with other people, especially in public speaking towards the ones I’m not acquainted with. Comics help me express myself.” As a freelance illustrator, graphic designer, and lecturer in comics and sequential arts subjects, comics has been – and will always be – an integrated part in Is Yuniarto’s life. Is Yuniarto’s other published comics are: Windrider (his first mainstream title, nominated for Best Cover, Best Character, and Best Comic in Komikasia Award2005), Komikografi 1 (2006), Komikografi 2(2008), Maximum League(2010), Windrider: Sky Age (2010), and 5 cm (2011).
“I want to make my comics still ‘alive’ and memorable, even though readers are finished reading them. That’s why I’ve been tried to expand them derivatively in games, animations, figures, card games, papercrafts, and other merchandises. I hope these expansions can add more values in my creations.” Later, Is Yuniarto said that he always spend some of his valuable time just to read letters, e-mails, and short messages from his readers. For him, critics from the readers are positive input that helps him improve positively. What about his next projects? Still continuing and developing Garudayana, and a new project: Ramayana. “I am trying to approach Ramayana with a new style and nuance, but my mission is still the same: to make (younger) Indonesian people familiar, embrace, and proud of their culture and heritage.”
is lecturer in the field of sequential art, hopelessly addicted to comics and occasionally writes about the medium. Currently, he reviews local comics for a free Indonesian comic magazine, Comical Magz.
Copyright: Goethe-Institut Indonesien