Imatge de l'autor

Yeon-sik Hong

Autor/a de Uncomfortably Happily

2 obres 123 Membres 9 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Inclou el nom: Hong Yeon-sik

Obres de Yeon-sik Hong

Uncomfortably Happily (2013) 82 exemplars
Umma's Table (2015) 41 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Nom normalitzat
Hong, Yeon-sik
Nom oficial
Data de naixement
South Korea



A pair of artists move to a rural mountain home and overcome various struggles. Very enjoyable, interesting, charming. Also a little upsetting at times — it's not all bucolic happiness. Nice mix of very detailed, rendered art, and more impressionistic surreal sequences. Some of those sequences, dealing with the author's struggling to deal with the pressures on him, didn't quite land for me, but overall it was very effective. Recommended, though be prepared it gets a little dark at times.
thisisstephenbetts | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Nov 25, 2023 |
I probably would never have picked this up except for the #koreanmarch challenge. I hadn't ever heard of it before, but I showed up to the library looking to find every author with a Korean last name and stumbled on this one.

It won me over completely. This is very long and sometimes slow, but in a way that serves the story it is telling. A young married couple moves to the country to save money and distractions while they work on their graphic novel projects, and they end up more isolated than they expected. They throw themselves into gardening, dodging his editor, landscaping, and yelling at people outside for littering. So, big social distancing mood. (I read this the second weekend of pandemic lockdown in Michigan).

There are also some charming little moments of the shared language and weirdnesses of a newly married couple that I really loved. This was ideal COVID-reading for me, and I was so happy to have found it.
… (més)
greeniezona | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Sep 19, 2021 |
Sequel, not sequel.

This seems like a direct follow-up to Uncomfortably Happily, but suddenly all the people are cats and have different names. That may have something to do with the fact that the author is no longer writing about just him and his wife, branching out to the miserable lives of his aging and quickly deteriorating parents.

So, "Madang" lives in the countryside with his wife and newborn son. He spends his day parenting, fixing up the rental property, gardening, doing housework, and cooking all the meals. He also makes frequent drives into Seoul to check on his mother, who has a heart condition, taking her to medical appointments and the pharmacy and making sure she is exercising and eating healthy. He worries that she lives in a tiny underground apartment with the alcoholic father he resents and avoids.

Much of the book is spent contrasting the growing and blossoming life in the countryside from the wilting and decaying life in the big city. Madang actively works to keep the two separated, rarely taking his wife and child along on his runs to the city and never bringing either of his parents out to his house. Heavy compartmentalization at work.

Throughout the book, though, his cooking at home entwines him with memories of his mother as he copies her recipes and remembers the happiness she visibly projected while cooking for him and his brother.

The book has a slow start, but I found myself drawn into small dramas of caregiving, health crises, and mixed emotions children can have about their aging parents and appreciated that Madang, who is a bit of an ass really, at least has some insights about himself and demonstrates some personal growth.

I am bothered though by the self-centered nature Madang's marriage, with his unnamed wife serving as little more than a sounding board for his thoughts. And he presents himself as doing almost everything around the house in addition to all he does for his parents while all she seems to do is lie around and breastfeed. Unless you have read and can connect this book to Uncomfortably Happily, you don't find out until deep in the story that she, like Madang, works from home as an artist. Even his mother, the heart of the story, is reduced to her role as "Mom" or "Mrs. Bae." Only Madang, his son, and his brother get first names in the story because that's a male privilege, I guess. (And yes, this is a pet peeve of mine because it seems moms and wives go unnamed in so many stories and books.)
… (més)
villemezbrown | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Apr 22, 2021 |
In this graphic novel memoir, comic artist Yeon-sik Hong recounts his and his young wife's adventures in 2006-7 moving from Seoul to live in the countryside.

I say "adventures," but it certainly wasn't all fun and games. Hong portrays the difficulties of money woes, two creative people pursuing their dreams, and his own anger issues and challenges trying to keep up with everything. I could relate to his stress of learning a new place and figuring out the budget. There were moments of happiness too: exploring the area, swimming in the mountain lake, growing a garden. A different sort of slice-of-life memoir that was real and relatable.… (més)
bell7 | Hi ha 6 ressenyes més | Apr 2, 2021 |


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