Vomit Thunder (Exclusive Interview): The Talented Malaysian Comic Artist

by Zaidah Nurqistina

Meet John, The Malaysian Comic Artist Who Goes By The Name ‘Vomit Thunder’.

Ever heard of Monkey King? Or more widely known as Sun Wukong? It is a legendary figure best known as one of the main characters in the 16th-century Chinese novel Journey to the West (西遊記/西游记) and many later stories and adaptations.

One of our very own Malaysian comic artists, Vomit Thunder, has taken it up upon himself to create an adaptation of the masterpiece. 

The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King

Being inspired by genres by horror, 80s graphic & Taoism art culture, that drove Vomit Thunder to write his comic book with Keropok Comics entitled “The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King”.

The comic tells the story of Sanzhong, Wukong, Patkai and Sazang during their journey to the West, and all the  tremendous failures and perilous moments they had to face in order to succeed in their quest. 

“This comic is my own spin/inspired on the ‘Journey to the West’ concept.” he said in our interview. He also voiced out his hope for the comic to bring a little smile & slightly brighten readers’ mood from the current situation. “That would be awesome!” he remarks.

For our readers who are interested in purchasing “The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King” can do so by finding it in any Popular bookstores nearby or order it online through Popular Online store! It will surely bring you a smile and help to cure the boredom we all are facing right now.

Get To Know Vomit Thunder!

Taken from @ArtofVomitThunder on Facebook

As Vomit Thunder is busy in making his name in the industry, there might still be many people that do not know about him. ‘Vomit Thunder’ (呕电) is a sarcastic saying in Cantonese to express desperation in something or exaggerating a meaning.

John describes himself as a Malaysian comic artist who is still finding a balance between working in the day and drawing imaginary ghosts at the very late night. 

Vomit Thunder or his real name, John Edward is currently working as a designer during the day and an artist at night. Keeping a perfect balance between a day job and being an artist is still a challenge for him which took a lot of commitment and sacrifice. “I had a day job so I worked on my projects after working hours, during weekends & holidays. Sometimes if I were rushing deadlines I will work until late at night”. 

John used to work at a company that required working overtime until late at night almost every day. He had zero time and energy to focus on anything else, however that didn’t stop him from pursuing what he loves doing the most which is, art.  

Drawing has always been his dream job but now he is more likely to view it as a hobby. “Being a full-time artist it’s not very easy. For now, I will just keep creating in my spare time,” he explained.   

Vomit Thunder’s Past Projects

John has created not only “The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King”, but also  “The Life of a Struggling Artist”, “Closer to Black” and “Mother, a… Killing Machine”. Those who followed him on Webtoon must be familiar with the two series “Closer to Black” and “Mother, a… Killing Machine”. 

The Life of A Struggling Artist

The story was created during the duration John was creating  “The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King” and it is about everything that is happening in his life in that duration. 

The struggle is not a foreign word in an artist’s dictionary. WOKE was curious about what he would like to say to other struggling artists out there in overcoming the struggle.

“The moral of the story is about self-doubt. When creating, we should be aware of readers but more importantly, we entertain and also enjoy ourselves in the making process too.”

John Edwards, Vomit Thunder
The Life of a Struggling Artist, a comic by Vomit Thunder. Taken from @ArtofVomitThunder on Facebook

As an artist, we believe that John would have an art block too, the number one enemy of every artist out there and one of the biggest struggle faced by them. “Usually I take notes on my phone & carry a sketchbook around when I’m outside, this way it helps storing new & future ideas,” John prompted.

Now that the MCO is put in order, artists are also affected by it. John, who has been working on an upcoming Art Toy group exhibition with Titikmerah Gallery, found that the exhibition is postponed as it coincidentally clashes with MCO. John said that, “I believe upcoming comic/art convention might get affected as well”, however, “in the positive point of view, I try to value the given time in creating & preparing for future events/projects,” John added with determination.

Closer To Black

“Closer to Black” is one of John’s oldest creations. The short horror stories were published on the popular webcomic platform  WebToon back in 2016, it is based on John’s originality with a mixture of true tales around people, media and rumors. The webcomic can be found on WebToon and currently is rated with 8.57 and 63.9k views! 

The webcomic was also published into a comic book by Keropok Comics. The success of the book had become the stepping stone in introducing the comic artist Vomit Thunder into the industry.

The comic could be found in Popular bookstores and Popular Online! 

Mother, a…. Killing Machine

Mother, a… Killing Machine, a comic by Vomit Thunder

This series with a more mature visual is targeted for his more matured audience. It is a comedy series about the daily life of a family who is scared of their mother and is trying to survive the battle with their mother. 

The webcomic was published on WebToon with 9.15 rating and 176.3k views!

Vomit Thunder and His Art Works

John’s process of drawing comic books starts with the storyline. “I will plan the storyline, sketching, inking, coloring, editing, layout & graphic designing until the printing preparation,” he explained.  John then continued reflectively, “it can take nearly a year as I am still learning how to fasten this process.”

https://www.facebook.com/ArtofVomitThunder/videos/403328703545143/
https://www.facebook.com/ArtofVomitThunder/videos/2049475761810636/
Art Drawing Process by Vomit Thunder

John used to rush in doing and completing his works, however over time the practice has changed positively as he learned that taking the necessary time when creating helps him to appreciate his own work and himself a little more. 

We prodded a little on John’s most favourite artwork by far. “My first Art Vinyl Toy that I finally got it made,” he said with a fond look, “it was one of my goals & really enjoyed the whole experience so far.” If anyone is looking forward to seeing it, it is currently still in planning to be released in the near future!

One surprises for all the reader, John also creates and designs toys! These are some of his creations!

You can also check out his process in creating toys from his Instagram and Facebook!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5jt9Hbgu06/
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– 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗿𝘁 𝗧𝗼𝘆 : 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝟮 ❶ – once quotation agreed and payed 3D/sculpting begin… this process taught me to be extra clear & exact in details.👁️🔍 . ❷ – (3 days) waiting later they sent me first visual. had like 70% from what I had vision. thinking 'sweet! there's only few edits here and there' I quickly wrote back the note I wish to change & visually edit them made in photoshop.🤓✍️ . ❸ – 1st revision came back (4 days) and have improvement but then new issues pop up. I quickly made a new revise note.✍️💦 . ❹ – 2nd revision (3 days), new improvement but still few remain unchanged & new issues. I try find more example from toys in the current market picture attached for reference. really not easy to explain word + 2D in 3D. (if that any sense.😂)✍️💦💦 . ❺ – 3rd revision (6 days), this time they had to let me know will be my last revision, after this will be extra charge. I can only hope and try harder to explain it better.🙏💦💦💦 also provided logo in Ai (some reason they have to be in Ai)🤷‍♂️ . ❻ – for the last time (3 days) I'm well prepared to pay extra for further revision and… just nothing left for me fix anymore and already 💯% from originally vision.💕 approved!🥂 . ❼ – as we excited to move onto next step suddenly bad news…the mask had issue. although reminded & triple confirm but misunderstanding it happen… 😔 to be continue… _____________________________________________________ #設計師玩具 #玩具 #潮玩 #sculpt #sculpture #epoxy #resin #arttoy #toymaker #vinyltoys #toycollection #toycollector #figure #designertoy #softvinyl #sofubi #sofvi #conceptart #illustration #illustrations #characterdesign #3d #3dmodeling #3dprinting #画 #그림 #漫画 #絵 #oc #originalcharacter

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– 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗿𝘁 𝗧𝗼𝘆 : 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝟯 ❶ – From prototype making, coloring & touching it for the first. (not final yet.~)👌✨ . ❷ – wasn't feeling too hot how the mask turns out I guess is lucky since the deal for the mask consider half off now. but they still able to make it during prototype stage (so I ask them to go ahead for sure~). A week later got the unpainted prototype photo and is looking pretty hot.🎭🌶️ . ❸ – later is the color which they prefer Pantone code provided and my low standard knowledge I wasn't sure how Pantone works so I Google it. Turns out all the code that I send doesn't have because they use is 'International Pantone color'? but they still can imitate with what I provided.🌈😅 . ❹ – 2 days later, the color is on! & is very not sexy~👎💩 using their photos to revise/edit with Photoshop again but I can only got 1 chance for color revision. they also show alot of color sample to choose from.🌈💦 . ❺ – Final color (6 days), the color turns out even better than my edited one! still the eye is looking really weird like that but can still fix it for production later. since everything is good is time to pay shipping!💸💕 . ❻ – Arrived! (3 days) first time holding it in hand is just… surreal~ is the same excitement during kid finally get my first fav toy~🥺🖤 I did though of making an unboxing video but noway I can be this patient hahaha . ❼ – meanwhile, doesn't have to take long for me to decided to go with production.💕 so yup let's continue the next chapter! 😆💪🔥 . to be continued… _____________________________________________________ #設計師玩具 #玩具 #潮玩 #sculpt #sculpture #epoxy #resin #arttoy #toymaker #vinyltoys #toycollection #toycollector #figure #designertoy #softvinyl #sofubi #sofvi #conceptart #illustration #illustrations #handmade #characterdesign #toys #sketch #画 #그림 #漫画 #絵 #oc #originalcharacter

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– 𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗔𝗿𝘁 𝗧𝗼𝘆 : 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝟰 ❶ – Once confirm with production the final design was promise to have a minor update again. Size of the eye pupil, tail pop out a little more & his ass have meat now.🍑✨ . ❷ – Packaging going with the vintage sofubi like the good old days~ Then that tiny hole I prefer the weird T shape reminds me of childhood I guess~👌 . ❸ – First copy was finally created from the metal mold. then the color was slightly off so fix it again but with a more specific measurements now.🖌️👁️ . ❹ – Finally approved the paint & the process begin~ I've been patiently waiting until is all done~ (It's still fast during the current circumstances)😷👏👍 . ❺ – Payed the high-end shipment and only took less than a week to finally arrived!✨📦✨ excitement & worries, in the end just feel full of enjoyment~☺️🙏❤️ Thank you Yuki & all people behind this process! Thanks for even consider to entertain this boi~🙇‍♂️ . ❻ – Meanwhile, the mask was separately mold and cast in resin by Guan @messydeskstudio experience local artist (check out his work~). learn that cleaning, coloring and prep… this is another whole new experience/process & I can only made a small amount for now~(still working on them…)🎭💦 . to be continued… _____________________________________________________ #設計師玩具 #玩具 #潮玩 #sculpt #sculpture #epoxy #resin #arttoy #toymaker #vinyltoys #toycollection #toycollector #figure #designertoy #softvinyl #sofubi #sofvi #conceptart #illustration #illustrations #handmade #characterdesign #toys #sketch #画 #그림 #漫画 #絵 #oc #originalcharacter

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Vomit Thunder’s vinyl toy creation process

For artists, the feedback of the audience is really important. In between all those responses, there must be some responses that are the most memorable they have had regarding their artwork. In John’s case, it is during his first comic booth convention. “I sold a mini-comic (from the series “The Epic Fail: Legends of the Monkey King”) and people came back to tell me how much they enjoyed the comic”. John stressed on how much he really appreciated the conversation & response with the readers.

Vomit Thunder’s Inspiration

“Inspiration came from art, comic & film or can be a day to day life experience” John noted.

In his comics, John has included his own life experience. “It can be jokes, situations or even hard times that are inspiring to me & I wish to share them in my work”. 

Inspiration can also come in the form of a person that we always look up to, and John is not excluded. “Since my childhood, there have been many Malaysian artists that have inspired me and Michael Chuah is one of them. He is an artist we all can look up to & learn from. Yoshito Usui (creator of Crayon Shin Chan) & Takeshi Obata (Death Note) have a big role in me growing up as well.”

Vomit Thunder and the Future

John’s dream project is to create a comic in the far future that is directed towards PG-13/matured story. WOKE surely supports Vomit Thunder’s plan and wish all the best for him. “Till then,” he trailed,  “I will take my time until I have enough experience & finding the suitable platform,” he said before ending our interview session.

To all Malaysians, don’t forget to show your support to our local artist! Vomit Thunder is one of the many Malaysian artists that is making names in the industry.

You can catch Vomit Thunder on his Instagram, Facebook and even TikTok

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