2022.06.25 – I BELONG TO YOU / MOTHERLAND choral music performance in Austin, Texas! Check out the preview of the book!

I Belong to You / Motherland cover

HUGE UPDATE: Can’t make the one night only I BELONG TO YOU performance in Austin in person? Now you can buy a $15 digital-only ticket and get a link to a video of the performance in July! Do it now, friends! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inversion-ensemble-presents-i-belong-to-you-tickets-270735064867

Big news, friends. I’m thrilled to report that I BELONG TO YOU / MOTHERLAND, an autobiographical epic poem written by yours truly, has been adapted into a book and a choral musical performance that will be staged by the incredible artists from Inversion Ensemble and Invoke on Saturday, June 25 in Austin, Texas!

Buy your tickets today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inversion-ensemble-presents-i-belong-to-you-tickets-270735064867

The story explores growing up as an Asian American kid in Texas in the 1970s and 1980s and grappling with the sense of not quite belonging while simultaneously feeling totally bound to the environment and flora and fauna of the state. The story’s also an elegy to my mother, Jane Pak, and how she taught me to observe and participate in the world. It’s one of the most personal things I’ve ever written, and I’m enormously grateful to Inversion, Invoke, and to all of the contributing artists for their incredible support and partnership.

Tickets to the in-person performance can be bought through Eventbrite. Please mask up at the show and please do not attend if you’ve been exposed to COVID or have symptoms.

I’m also thrilled to report that the lush, 72 page book of I BELONG TO YOU / MOTHERLAND is available for mail order exclusively for the next month through the Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy website! Just fill out the form at this page! I’ll also be doing a signing at Dragon’s Lair on June 25 from 12-2 pm – hope to see you there!

The book is filled with my mother’s luminous black and white photography, my own photos and drawings from the past five decades, and illustrations by a crew of incredible artists, including Sean Chen, Dustinn Craig, Shing Yin Khor, Ann Smith, and Ethan Young. Please read on for a big preview of the first three chapters!

I hope you enjoy, and please do pick up the book and buy tickets to the performance if you’re so inspired!

I Belong to You / Motherland title page

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 1

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 2

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 3

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 4

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 5

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 6

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 8

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 2

I Belong to You / Motherland - p. 10

2022.05.17 – DUO #1 signing and film camera/comics swap in Brooklyn!

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be signing DUO #1, the first issue of my latest comic book series, at Anyone Comics in Brooklyn (1216 Union Street) on Tuesday, May 17! The signing starts at 6 pm and will be OUTDOORS for maximum safety! Click here for the full details!

As an added bonus, we’re doing something a little wild and different by running a film camera/comics swap at the signing!

Greg Pak self portrait 1985/2022

I’ve gotten back into analog film photography this year, and I’m obsessed with old cameras. So if you have old 35mm cameras, lenses, film, or gear lying around, feel free to bring them to the signing and I might trade you some signed comics for them! Or feel free to trade with other folks who might show up with gear!

Please note that I’m really only looking for analog film cameras – not digital cameras. Also, some old film lenses were made with thorium and are actually slightly radioactive (I KNOW, RIGHT?) and I’m very specifically NOT looking for those, so please feel free to leave your radioactive lenses at home, thanks! 🙂

A thing I’ll almost certainly swap you something for:

  • Unexposed 35mm film – even if it’s expired! I’ll bring a bunch of single issue comics and I’ll swap you one for every roll of film you bring!

Things I’m generally interested in and would love to check out:

  • Canon FD prime lenses.
  • Film cameras with full manual control. Particularly curious about the Canon AT-1 and the Pentax MX right now. Classic all-manual cameras I’d love to try out some day.
  • Rangefinders and TLRs – haven’t gotten into either of these kinds of camera yet, but I’m curious!

And I’m happy to look at any other film cameras or gear or (non-radioactive) lenses you want to bring in! I may or may not want to trade for everything, but I’m always happy to look at stuff and swap film stories!

AND LET’S NOT FORGET: I’m really proud of DUO #1 and thrilled to be working with the creative team of Khoi Pham, Scott Hana, Chris Sotomayor, Janice Chiang, Andrea Shea, Jim Chadwick, and all the amazing cover artists! Check out an interview and preview at AIPT Comics and don’t miss this book!

DUO #1 cover by Dike Ruan and Miquel Muerto

Announcing the I BELONG TO YOU / MOTHERLAND illustrated book and music project! Virtual event tonight; concert and book premiere in Austin on June 25!

I Belong to You / Motherland cover

I’m thrilled to announce I BELONG TO YOU/MOTHERLAND, a new, deeply personal project created in collaboration with the Inversion Ensemble music group of Austin, Texas, and a crew of incredible artists, including Sean Chen, Dustinn Craig, Shing Yin Khor, Ann Smith, and Ethan Young.

Tonight at 8 pm ET, I’ll be discussing the project with artist Ann Smith in a virtual panel accessible to anyone who donates $50 or more to Inversion! Make your donation before 5 pm at https://www.inversionatx.org/donate and they’ll hook you up with the link to the event tonight!

I BELONG TO YOU/MOTHERLAND is an autobiographical epic poem that’s simultaneously being adapted into an illustrated book and a choral piece that will be performed by Inversion on June 25 in Austin.

The story explores growing up as an Asian American kid in Texas in the 1970s and 1980s and grappling with the sense of not quite belonging while simultaneously feeling totally bound to the environment and flora and fauna of the state. The story’s also about my mother, Jane Pak, and how she taught me to observe and participate in the world.

Hope to see you at the virtual event tonight, and if you’re in Austin, I’d be honored if you’d consider coming to the performance on June 25 — please see below for more details about that.

And yes, the illustrated book, which will include brilliant work by the artists mentioned above along with my mother’s luminous black and white photography and other ephemera from the 1970s and 1980s, will eventually be available for purchase — more details on that soon!

_____________________________________________________________________

INVERSION ENSEMBLE presents I BELONG TO YOU
June 25, 2022, at 7:30 pm — Bates Recital Hall
2406 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin, TX 78712

Inversion presents “I Belong to You,” a spectacular multimedia experience featuring the world premiere of Motherland/I Belong to You, an unprecedented oratorio blending poetry, comic book illustration, and choral music. The autobiographical libretto by critically acclaimed comic book author Greg Pak (The Incredible Hulk, Star Wars) explores the history, culture, and natural wonders of Texas from the perspective of a native Texan during the various stages of his life.

The musical adaptation of Pak’s text by Inversion’s three founding members—composers Adrienne Inglis, Robbie LaBanca, and Trevor F. Shaw—will be sung by Inversion’s flagship choral ensemble and accompanied by guest artists Invoke string quartet and Ethan Shaw (Chili Cold Blood), steel guitarist.

I Belong to You / Motherland will also be published as an original comic book by Greg Pak, commissioned by Inversion, with illustrations by renowned artists Ann Smith, Dustinn Craig, Ethan Young, Sean Chen, and Shing Yin Khor. Audience members will enjoy live, on-screen projections of the original artwork during the performance. V.I.P. tickets include a hardback, limited-edition version of the comic book, signed by the author.
Join Inversion Ensemble and Greg Pak on Saturday, June 25, 7:30 pm in Bates Recital Hall at the UT Butler School of Music for “I Belong to You,” sponsored in part by Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy.

Purchase your tickets here.
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inversion-ensemble-presents-i-belong-to-you-tickets-270735064867

Emails, 2021

thank you so much for your patience
    pretty bad month
fell behind on correspondence
    rough couple of weeks
little behind on everything
    tough few days
hugely appreciate the kind words
    worst fucking year of my life
appreciate you so much

slowly getting back onto this kind of work over here
finally getting back in the swing of things
finally back at it
at long, long last
please find attached
more soon

so sorry for dropping out there for a bit
huge apologies for the radio silence
still running a little slow over here
absolutely understand if

oh no
I’m so sorry to hear
please accept our deepest

best wishes and
big hearts and
all the best and
stay safe and
thanks so much and

please best hearts safe thanks
please hearts thanks
please

2022.02.02 – STRANGER THINGS: ERICA THE GREAT in comic shops today!

Thrilled to report that STRANGER THINGS: ERICA THE GREAT hits comic shops today! Written by Danny Lore and yours truly with art by Valeria Favoccia, colors by Dan Jackson, letters by Nate Piekos, and cover by Ron Chan!

From the official blurb:

In this middle grade foray into the 80’s-nostalgia hit series from Netflix, when Erica’s frenemy loses track of her mother’s prized parakeet, the two will have to work together to return the bird safe and sound, or deal with the consequences. They learn that even the toughest and smartest people need a little help now and then.

Ask your local comics shop to hold a copy for you today!

Three Good Things: public domain natural history art, the FlipBlade, and a secret new project

Hard week in a hard month, huh? Taking the time to remind myself of good things. Here are three for today:

ONE: The Biodiversity Heritage Library!

This week I did a search for some public domain natural history art and found a mind-boggling collection called the Biodiversity Heritage Library. You can read about the project here and view the collections on Flickr here. Album after album of stunning, gorgeous, historically fascinating images. (NOTE: not every single image in the archive is public domain – be sure to check the details before using ’em!)

Snapping turtle art from North American Herpetology by John Edwards Holbrook, from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

TWO: The Belkin FlipBlade!

Around ten or twelve years ago, I bought a small, sleek iPad stand called the Belkin FlipBlade, and it’s still one of my favorite accessories of all time. I love the simplicity of the design and the slow, smooth way the spring-powered blade opens out from the base. Quietly and tremendously satisfying. They don’t make ’em any more, but they pop up from time to time on resale sites. Yes, it’s a tiny thing, but that’s what Three Good Things is all about. Feel lucky to have one!

THREE: Secret new project!

I’ve spent a good chunk of the week immersed in book design for a new secret project, and it’s been a huge creative rush. Not to jinx it, but I’m realizing I’ve accumulated enough Photoshop skills and design sense over the years to bring together the disparate elements of this project with the subtlety and detail they deserve. And I’ve got the collaborators asking me the right questions to push it over the top. Hugely grateful. Tiny tease below – more soon!

can you stop being clever

can you stop being clever
stop making connections
cut out every simile and metaphor
no more rhyming
no more rhythm
just let it fall from your mouth
heedless, formless, and true
like rain from the–
aw shit

Three Good Things: Brand New Day, Sagat story, chicken salad

Another hard day with plenty of terrible things to mull over and deal with. But here’s three good things…

  1. Luther Vandross’s “Brand New Day/Everybody Rejoice” always makes me feel better. I first encountered it in THE WIZ. Here’s the original version.
  2. The story about Bob Sagat that begins with this tweet is just beautiful and hilarious and a real tribute to making the most of every moment. I’ve been getting tons of comfort from the Sinatra song “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die” recently, and everyone in that story seems to have really lived with that glorious energy.
  3. Remember that roast chicken I talked about the other day? I made chicken salad out of the leftovers, and it was absolutely glorious. Liked it even more than the original meal. Just some chopped chicken, a little light mayo, diced celery, and some sea salt. But wow. It’s the little things, friends, day after day.

Three Good Things

Many years ago, in the wake of 9/11, I set up a website called Three Good Things where, shockingly enough, I’d periodically post lists of three good things.

This year is off to a harrowing enough start that it feels like a good emotional and spiritual exercise to revive Three Good Things. So here we go!

  1. Homemade chicken broth. Made some tonight from the bones of a roasted chicken that I’d seasoned with garlic, onion, shallots, salt, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. The broth is absolutely incredible – the smoked paprika put it over the top. Not sure what I’m gonna use it for yet, but it’s already worth it for the five sips I took as it simmered.
  2. The vaccines and boosters. Yes, everything is terrible. But things would be exponentially worse without the vaccines, which decrease the chances of getting infected and, probably even more critically, vastly decrease the severity of the disease if you do get infected. Please get vaxxed, friends. And if you’re vaxxed, get boosted. I want us all to survive and thrive.
  3. The “I fucking love fingerling potatoes!” line in DON’T LOOK UP. Ridiculous and funny and deeply moving in context all at once. My favorite moment in the movie.

Writer of over 500 comic books, including PLANET HULK, MECH CADET YU, FIREFLY, and DARTH VADER