Without the positive inputs from the readers, I might still be in my “dark period” of comic creation.
Galang Tirtakusuma has been drawing since he can remember. While reading and enjoying comics, he often wondered how other people would perceive the medium. That is the reason why he always tries to make his works appealing and enjoyable for the readers, yet maintaining a certain idealism and local content. “I want to express my inner feelings through my comics as works of a sequential art form, and I hope they can be a positive input for the readers.”
Garudaboi, as an example, is one of the most popular titles ever published by an Indonesian comic book publisher. With this comic strip, Galang adapts quite successfully a unique style of visual storytelling. He tells compact short stories in just four panels. Garudaboi, by genre, is a superhero comic, drawn in a clean, manga-esque style and displaying familiar settings for Indonesian readers, such as fasting during Ramadan. After it was first published in the comic compilation Ngabuburit, Garudaboi is now established as a single title and currently hits the stores with volume 3.
Cuteness in his comics is albeit Galang's ultimate weapon. In his other works, i.e. True Love (2006), Flash Crisis (2006), Hopper (2009), Backpackenger (in the comic compilation Extraordinary Backpacker, 2011), and Real Masjid (2011), we can see – in most of them - the influence of Japanese pop culture that Galang combines with local contexts. His cute, pure and bright drawing style immediately attracts the attention of the reader, and thus makes him one of the rising stars of today's Indonesian comic scene. When we throw a close look onto the progress of his works, we can be sure that the best is yet to come.
Galang wants to continuously improve his comics to become top-notch products. At the same time he wants his creative process to come from his soul. “There were times when I was not proud of myself as a comic artist. It was the time when I made comics just for money. I call that time my personal ‘dark period’. Although it has been a financially very successful period, I was not happy. I want to make comics with passion, with a drive that comes from within. I want to inject my soul into my creations, and I want to make the readers happy.” And that exactly is what governs the creative process of Extremely Garudaboi, which he himself enjoyed very much.
“Suggestions and advices from other people, especially from the readers, mean a lot to me. Without the positive inputs from the readers, I might still be in my ‘dark period’ of comic creation. The inputs help me broaden my perspective and point of view towards comics as a sequential, visual storytelling medium.”
Galang works as an illustrator and graphic designer with a local publishing company. Currently, he is working on his new creation, Chocopetoc, which he will distribute for free via smackjeeves.com to maintain his creative spark.
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