Webcomic Weekly: The Masterful Introspection Of ‘Cartoon Connie’
by Richard Bruton
Webcomic Weekly (hah!) – where I attempt to give you something online you can love every week. Okay, the whole weekly thing has slipped a touch, but we’re back with the work of Connie Sun…
Sun’s comics feature what’s described as ‘a single, odd, and introspective character,’ which you can’t help but think is Sun writing herself into the strip, plus there’s her wise elephant companion. She’s been making this sort of wonderfully quiet yet funny slice-of-life webcomics for a decade, ‘exploring inner life, emotions, and mental health wellness through her art.’
And it’s this daily work that’s just full of bravery and hope for us all. Just like the work of Rachael Smith, reading Connie Sun’s work makes you feel that you’re not alone in feeling the way you do, whether Sun’s writing about things unique to her or whether she’s writing about her responses to loneliness, depression, anxiety, how the pandemic and lockdown has changed her life… it’s all so perfectly relatable and real.
The elephant friend isn’t always there these days, but when he crops up it’s always a pleasure to read, offering encouragement, or simply a sardonic line to cap off a piece.
And of course, in these past couple of years, Sun’s work has been all tied up – as has bloody everything in everyone’s lives – with the pandemic and the lockdown, with some particularly powerful pieces coming as Sun steps out of her introspective self and addresses the issues of race, especially the issues around being Asian-American in the midst of Trump-fuelled bigotry.
It’s a perfect illustration of just how effective and powerful a ‘simple’ cartoon or comic can be, and Connie Sun’s comics are wonderful examples of just how strong the medium can be in getting over a message.
However, having said that Sun’s work is that ‘perfect illustration of just how effective and powerful a ‘simple’ cartoon or comic can be,’ I have to show you this: a stunning bit of cartooning that Sun uses to explain just how her life is in that in-between things stage right now as she’s attempting to develop various projects. Again, the visual simplicity is there but the complexity of the idea and the masterful way she communicates this to the reader… sublime…
And here’s just a selection of Sun’s work over the last few years to end with – absolutely worth spending a little time exploring her site and her work – another excellent cartoonist we’re lucky to have working so damn hard to help us feel that little bit better about outselves.
Her work’s also been featured at Scholastic, The New Yorker, PEN America, Washington Post, and more… looking like this…
You can find Connie’s work online in plenty of places – Blog, Website, Insta, Twitter and support her at Ko-Fi.