Hwang Biori(Biori from below) self-published her first comic book Christmas, Again in 2017. Since then she published two more books; Remembering Memories until Numb, The Weight of a Picture. The Weight of a Picture is going to be published on June 15 by Goggas, South Korea based publisher. The editor and Biori talked about her works.
See You in the Halfway
Editor: Two different stories start from the front and the back, then meet in the middle of the book. It is how we all meet people, whether it develops into romance, friendship, or something else. There’s magic about how we get to know other people. The physical characteristic of the book is representing this, which I think is the best part. How did
you come up with the idea?
Biori: I wanted to make something about a photograph. I only had a vague idea at that time. Whatever I saw, I remembered photos, nothing specific. Just photos. Then, I imagined a scene of two people taking a picture. It led to the idea ‘what if two strangers meet and take a photo?’
I needed each person’s story. I started with the girl who lost her cat. It is my biggest fear of losing someone or something I care for. And I thought I should tell my biggest wish in the other story. I want to live like an NPC (smiles).
Editor: The place where the two characters meet is very colourful. It is where the forest and the sea meet. Is it based on a real place?
Biori: I find places beautiful where there’s a forest behind and riverfront. Maybe the closest place in real life would be Gangreung. It is a city by the sea on the East coast of South Korea. In most role-playing games, RPGs, the sea is the end of a map. You can’t go any further. So
I wanted the stories to end by the water. What if the boy helps people who are lost there? It sounded nice.
The boy never leaves his room and doesn’t have contacts with people in the story. I realized he was in an isolated place again even after becoming an NPC. (laughs gently)
Editor: It is a small book with two short stories. But the feeling lasted a long time for me.
Biori: Thanks, I made two books in a row and neither of them was short. It was hard and tiring. I saw there was room to improve in both projects. So, I wanted to do something I could be satisfied with even if it is short. Somehow it took a year and a half. I thought it would be quicker. (to be continued...)