About Teacher's Pet
The teacher's favorite finally gets in trouble. Based on my mother's stories about school as a kid in 1960s Hong Kong. Teacher's Pet explores the outsized role that my mother's elementary school teachers played in her life.
Teacher's Pet is the first chapter I ever wrote from for my book, The House on Horse Mountain.
The House on Horse Mountain
The House on Horse Mountain is a 150+ page, upcoming graphic novel about growing up in the bygone Hong Kong of the 1960s. It follows the story of Ann (aka mom-as-a-child), a diligent but clumsy young girl, as she runs chores around town, gets into trouble at school, and tries to win her parents’ approval.
The House on Horse Mountain is designed so that anyone can pick it up, whether or not they've been to Hong Kong or know about its history. But while we're here, a little extra context can't hurt. Here's what Hong Kong looked like back then.
A fancy port city:
With many squatter villages (where mom lived):
People came in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and dress colors:
Unfortunately, we have no photos of mom as a kid, her family or her house, so I've had to extrapolate from other people's photos and her memory of things looked like back then.
My family moved to Canada when I was in grade two, and it was there that my mother began telling stories about her own childhood back in Hong Kong. They made a deep enough impression that when I moved to the US for college, I instinctively knew that her stories needed to be turned into a book. I recently asked her why she decided to recount all these stories. Her reply: "Because I was afraid you'd forget about [your native home of] Hong Kong."
I wrote and drew the first draft of Teacher's Pet for a creative writing class I took in 2007. Little did I know then that this first draft would set me off on a ten years long journey to write The House on Horse Mountain.
I want to create a limited edition print run for this first chapter, to celebrate where it all began. Additionally, I want to have a physical booklet so that I can start sending it around to agents, publishers and bookstores both here in Hong Kong and abroad in North America and Europe.
Thank you for joining me on my journey.
The e-book! The story in its full digital glory, in case your bookshelf is already filled to the brim. (Do bookshelves have brims?)
The printed comic in its 40-page glory! I'm working with a local printshop, Regal Printing Ltd., that's well-known for high-quality prints and superb customer service.
Order an extra copy to donate to your local school, library, or favorite niece/nephew.
Hi! I'm Jason Li, a cartoonist and designer based in Hong Kong.
I've been drawn to non-fiction comics ever since I randomly picked up that copy of Maus as a teenager in a bookstore. My projects include:
- The House on Horse Mountain: the graphic novel that Teacher's Pet is a part of.
- Add Oil Comics: a webcomic that explores social issues by amplifying underrepresented voices.
- Net Alert: internet security & privacy made easy... through comics! A collaboration with Citizen Lab & friends.
- Kinda Chinese in Barcelona: my short comic reflection of what it's like to be a Chinese immigrant in Western Europe.
Aside from comics, I also work as a freelance designer and illustrator for various clients around the world. You can find out more about me on my website.
Risks and challenges
The writing and artwork are already done, and I've already received two samples from my printer (Regal Printing Ltd), so the risk for this project is minimal. But I'm mostly working on this alone, and shipping the rewards myself, so there are bound to be a few minor hiccups along the way. If anything big comes up though, I'll be sure you let you know ASAP.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (10 days)