Sooo… my graphic stories about our moving from Amsterdam to Bandung in early 2007, its preparations and afterwards – when we were adjusting to our new life in a different city – are now published under the title Coming Home by Epigram Books, Singapore. There was a plan to have a launching event in Singapore earlier this year, but, Corona.
Coming Home can be ordered through Epigram Books online shop. There’s also a lengthy interview/article, Doing the Write Thing: Tita Larasati. Go to the link for a complete version of the article; I’ll just put the first parts here.
For those who aren’t familiar with my graphic diary, it’s actually what it is: a visual recording of my daily happenings, or thoughts. It’s not in a conventional format of ‘comics’ with panels and word balloons, since they’re spontaneous scribbles in a sketchbook. No prior pencil sketches, directly drawn with black gel pen. I’m glad Epigram Books replaced my scrawny hand writing with a font that looks similar, but more friendly to the eyes.
I usually post my stories at Multiply (already extinct now), so readers are usually my friends and networks from that social media, who are also familiar with the real “me” from my other updates at Multiply. Anyhow, hope old and new readers alike would enjoy this one, too!
Why did you decide to make your book a graphic diary instead of a graphic novel or simply a memoir?
Because it is actually a diary, where I record daily occurrences, not only in writings but mostly in graphics. I didn’t start by an intention of creating a “novel”, since I know I wouldn’t have time for such ambition although I’d love to, one day. A “memoir” tends to mean that it is produced on purpose to make an autobiography, which also wasn’t my intention. I just want to record memorable, simple happenings around me—like a person taking a photograph of things she likes—and compile the results into an album.
How did your habit of recording and drawing daily happenings begin?
I actually never stop drawing since I knew how to use a crayon or a pencil. Whenever our family made a long trip, as far as I remember, we kids were each given a drawing book and a set of crayon or colourful markers. So when we’re bored, we were told to just draw. Or, whenever we went on a vacation, then my father (he’s an architect) used to make sketches too of the sceneries or objects around us, and I did the same while accompanying him. I haven’t really started compiling my drawings properly until 1995. I spent almost the whole year in Germany, doing my apprenticeship in a product design company. My German boss asked me to fax my parents every week, to send them news (about what I did in Germany). I thought, writing day-to-day happenings would be too tedious to read, so I fax them 1 page of drawings each week. (My mother used to make copies of my fax pages and distributed them to families and friends). By the end of my apprenticeship period, I ended up with about 100 pieces of A4 papers full of drawings. This habit apparently continues, even up to today.