Johny Tay

Graphic novelist | Independent Publisher | Storyteller & creator of fictional universes

Welcome!

Welcome to my personal creative showcase! Here you’ll find the comics, graphic novels, and cartoons I have created since 2003. Scroll down to read all about my creations.

Over the years I have worked with a multitude of artists, designers, and other talents to make some of these titles possible. You'll find my collaborators' names and contacts in the imprint or profile pages of the respective titles.



Captain Gaia: Reunion

2019 | Single-issue comic | 40 pages

Many years have passed since Team Gaia battled the world’s vilest eco-villains. After turning edgy and disenchanted, the heroes disbanded to pursue their own agendas. Now they may be the free world’s only hope... again.
 
Members of Code Blue, a radical eco-activist group, have been kidnapped by the Russian military under Putin’s command. To stop Putin, our heroes’ only chance is to let their powers combine and summon Earth’s greatest champion... 

But the real question is: Why should they care?

This single-issue comic is inspired by a real event: In 2013, Greenpeace activists attempted to board and disable a Russian oil drilling platform off the Pechora Sea. The ship was impounded and the activists (allegedly) brutally beaten.


Seven Years in Dog-Land
(10th Anniversary Edition)

2009 | 2019 | Graphic novel in print & e-book | 287 b/w pages

When Alice runs away from home to look for her lost dog, little she knows that she may never return. She stumbles upon the kingdom of Dog-Land, an alternate world where dogs are the masters, and humans, their pets. Thus begins her true journey – of discovering what it truly means to be human – as she seeks a way back to our world.

Seven Years in Dog-Land is a graphic novel of literary fiction spanning almost 300 pages. Since publication, it has achieved these accolades: 
• Popular rating of 5/5 stars when it was hosted on Smackjeeves (2009)
• One of Graphicly’s “Featured Titles” alongside comics from Marvel, Image, and IDW (2010)
• The only graphic novel shortlisted for the finals of the Self-Published Author Awards (2011)



Everyday Zen

2015-now | editorial cartoons & digital mobile comics 

Everyday Zen is an editorial cartoon series published on Facebook and several wellness magazines with multi-national readerships. This project is my attempt at merging my knowledge of the comic and the spiritual arts. The outcome: simple pictures, laconic dialogue, Zen ideas for everyday life!

I have also created a short story series published by Lezhin Entertainment, one of the few English publishers in mobile digital comics. I am the first author in Singapore to be published in this medium.


Shangri-La

2014 | Short story | 8 pages

Shangri-La consists of 8 paintings that re-interpret the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013... in a dystopian fantasy setting. It is a commentary on the events surrounding the surviving perpetuator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, particularly the female adulation.  

Comics have taken many forms, from cave paintings and column carvings to Scott McCloud’s ‘infinite canvas’. Before the printing press, comics once took the form of paintings exhibited in art galleries. Shangri-La is inspired by this expression.

To immerse in Shangri-La, one needs to suspend all notions of what defines ‘comic’. Shangri-La is a gestalt of words and paintings. On its own, each element feels hollower; together, the elements attain a synergistic effect. Such is the true essence of the comic form.

Shangri-La is also featured in the conservation-themed comic anthology, Earth Dream (2014). Click the icons below to get the Earth Dream e-book or download the full Shangri-La comic.  
On a related note...

I conceptualised and copywrote a 'mock fight poster' set in the same fictional world as Shangri-La.

In the post-apocalyptic techno-city of Stark, two celebrated mecha pilots are set to duke it out in the biggest steampunk showdown of all time! Only on pay-per-view, of course.

This one-page contribution was published in Steampunk Originals by Arcana Comics.




Anima: Age of the Robots

2003-2006 | print & webcomic | 493 pages full-colour

Anima: Age of the Robots was a children’s comic series published in 2003. It was launched in the primary (elementary) school I once studied in, where I received a ‘Special Achievement Award’ for writing over a hundred comic books before turning 12 years-old.  Nearly a quarter of the school’s students bought Issue One during launch day.  

The first two issues sold out and had second print runs. In 2004, Anima became exclusively a webcomic. In 2012, 18 chapters and 493 pages later, I 'unpublished' the webcomic as its content had become too outdated. 

Synopsis 

The Animals have reached the peak of social and technological development, and it seems they are entering a new golden age. However, one fatal mistake ruins them: the invention of Robots who can think for themselves.  Stronger, faster, and more resilient than their creators, the Robots deduce that they should inherit the planet Anima; thus begins a long, devastating war for survival. This is a story about the flawed, spirited Animals. They may yet have a fighting chance... but things will never be the same again. 

Awards 

The Anima webcomic won 3 indie awards: 
• The Golden Web Award, from the International Association of Web Masters and Designers (2004)
• World Web Award for Excellence, from ArtSpace2000.com (2004)
• Web Design Classics (Gold), from WebDesignClassics.com (2005)

Publicity 

Here are the press mentions on Anima and my work with comics in general. Some are literally old news:
 
• “Cartooning Prodigy Completes 38 Comic Books”, Friday Weekly – Jan 1993
• “Top Students Pursue Their Dreams”, Lian He Wan Bao – Jul 2000
• “Interview With Johny Tay…”, Blurt! – 10 May 2003
• “SMU Student Starts Comic”, Teach! & Learn! Magazines – 17 Aug 2003
• “No Publisher? Do It Yourself”, Sunday Times – 19 Aug 2003
• “Flying Castles, Sailors, Anima & E-Retailers”, Straits Times – 2 Sept 2003
• “Singapore Student Creates His Own Comic Series”, What’s Up – Oct 2003 
• “Anima-Age Of The Robots 1 & 2″, Letter of support from Ministry of Education – Nov 2003 
• “Awaken Something You Won’t Find In Books- Passion”, SMU recruitment ads – Nov 2003 
• “MAGE Interview With Johny Tay…”, MAGE magazine – Jun 2004 
 “Rise Of The Dot.Comics”, Sunday Times – 4 Jul 2004
• “Comic Relief”, Lime Magazine – Aug 2004
• “No Publisher? No Problem.”, Straits Times – Aug 2005

Gallery 

Browse Anima's publicity posters and page samples below!