Johny Tay

Graphic novelist | Cartoonist | 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 for details on all my creations. You can also read how I got involved with comics or reach me via my contact form

Everyday Zen

2015-now | editorial cartoons & 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. 

Click the icons below to read the different expressions of Everyday Zen! 

  • Read mobile comics on 
    Lezhin Entertainment 
    (free account needed)
  • Read editorial cartoons 
    on Facebook Page

Shangri-La

2014 | Short story | 8 pages

Co-created with visual artist Kelvin Lim, 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.   

  • Download comic (PDF)
  • Get the Earth Dream Anthology (free)

Seven Years in Dog-Land

2009-2011 | Graphic novel in print & e-book | 285 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)

Click the icons below to buy your copy or read the first chapter for free.

  • Get your copy from Comixology
  • Get your copy from
    Amazon
  • Get your copy from
    Barnes & Noble
  • Read first chapter (PDF)

Anima: Age of the Robots

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

Anima: Age of the Robots is 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 needed 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!