Preview: ‘Sleeping While Standing’ By Taki Soma

by Richard Bruton

Hugo Award-nominated artist, writer, and colourist Taki Soma and Avery Hill Publishing bring us a collection of autobiographical shorts taking us from a childhood in Japan to teenage years in Minnesota in Sleeping While Standing.

Part of Avery Hill Publishing’s new 2022 slate of books, successfully Kickstarted in 2021Sleeping While Standing sees Taki Soma drop in and out of moments in her life across a series of short autobiographical strips that build up into a narrative that tells how these moments all shaped who she is today.

Soma goes from an early childhood in Japan in the early ’80s, to moving to Minnesota, the separation of her parents, childhood trauma, teenage angst, death, drugs, comics, health issues, love, fertility, pets and zombies (yes, zombies). If you’ve seen her previous work in titles as diverse as Rapture, Sinergy, The Victories, United States vs. Murder, Inc., Bitch Planet, Dick Tracy, The After Realm, Iron Man and others, you’ll know her work can cover so much – but in Sleeping While Standing you’ll see her bring her authorial voice to her own life, unflinching yet filled with a lightness amongst the darker moments.

You can find an interview with Soma at the Avery Hill site, from which this…

“Sleeping While Standing is my first autobiographical book, yes. Working in this way was an intimate and visceral experience on the surface, but I realized that part of how I approach both nonfiction and fiction is by processing everything life throws at me, so it didn’t feel all that different from fictional works from the past; was it something I have always wanted to do? I don’t think so. I worked on one story just to help me process it a couple of years ago, and many more subjects just kept popping up that I just had to follow that instinct.” – Taki Soma

Sleeping While Standing – by Taki Soma

Published by Avery Hill Publishing on 14th July 2022 (UK) / 21st July 2022 (USA)

And now – a preview trailer and various pages from Sleeping While Standing




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