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D+Q 25 PR: D+Q to publish Yeon-sik Hong's UNCOMFORTABLY, HAPPILY

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D+Q to Publish Yeon-sik Hong's Uncomfortably, Happily
Translated by Hellen Jo & to be Published in Fall 2016

Drawn & Quarterly has acquired world English rights to Uncomfortably, Happily by Korean cartoonist Yeon-sik Hong. The original graphic novel details the story of a newlywed couple who are working artists hoping to escape the pollution and stress of life in urban Seoul; the story was inspired by Hong’s own move to the countryside. Originally published as two volumes in Korea by Woongjin Think Big Company, the graphic novel quickly became a critical success, going back for a second printing and receiving the “Manhwa Today” Award. D+Q’s English edition will be one volume and will be translated by the celebrated American cartoonist Hellen Jo (Jin & Jam).

“Introducing a new cartoonist to the English market is every publisher’s dream,” stated Peggy Burns, Publisher. “Cartoonist Julie Delporte read the book in French (Histoire d’un Couple, Ego Comme X) and highly recommended it. When I read the French edition I was immediately enchanted by Yeon-sik’s precise cartoony drawing and how the simplicity of his drawing belies the emotional heft of the personal story. When we asked Hellen Jo if she knew any Korean translators and she offered to do it herself, the passion that every one has once they read Uncomfortably, Happily is evident.”

"Uncomfortably, Happily resonated deeply with me; I was absolutely floored by Mr. Hong's complex character portraits and masterful story-telling,“ said Hellen Jo. "I am so thrilled and honored to bring his work to English-speaking audiences.”

Uncomfortably, Happily will be distributed in the United States by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, in Canada by Raincoast Books, and in the United Kingdom by Publishers Group UK. English rights were negotiated with Rosa Han of the Han Agency.

Fed up with uptight comic editors, rising rents, and the polluted congestion of city life, newly-wed artist couple Yeon-sik Hong and Soh-mi Lee (as well as their three cats) search far and wide for a new home beyond the Seoul city limits. They end up renting a solitary farmhouse deep in the rural hills and attempt to strike a balance between comic and book illustration deadlines, personal work goals, small-scale farming, dog raising, and college classes. The countryside has its own set of issues, however, and soon the couple are figuring out how to survive the winter, encroaching development, and the intense isolation that comes with rural living.

Yeon-sik Hong was born in 1971. He began apprenticing in a comics studio in 1990, and wrote his first short comics stories in 1992, but commercial projects kept him from his personal work for another decade. He is the cartoonist of Uncomfortably, Happily published in two volumes by Woongjin Think Big Co., Ltd. and to be reprinted in a single edition by Woorinabi Publishing and Mr. Madang's Table, also published by Woorinabi Publishing.  Yeon-sik Hong and his partner live on the outskirts of Seoul.