I reached out to twin comic artists Jes and Cin Wibowo about their "twin-chronized" style, inspirations, and their upcoming graphic novel: Lunar Boy.
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to pursue an artistic career with a twin sibling? These two have that all figured out!
Jes and Cin Wibowo
both: he/him, she/her, or dia*
*Indonesian gender neutral pronoun
So, I'm super curious...
How did you discover you wanted to work together making art/comics?
Haha we love this question because we didn't realize it was out of the ordinary to work together with your sibling (apparently most people either like working alone or can't stand their siblings, which is valid). We naturally worked together and had the same taste in art style and the same goals for the stories we wanted to make from the beginning.
Comics is a collaborative medium so we just gravitated to working in a production pipeline almost instinctively. It made perfect sense to work as a duo, and once you twinchronize, you can get so many pages done in less time (heheh)
Are your works inspired by any cultural influences or communities?
Definitely! We've been pushing to make our stories more personal to our experiences, and in turn that reflected a lot of our identities and the communities we shared. We've been trying to connect and reclaim our cultural heritage (something we both struggled with as Third Culture Kids, thinking it was shameful for the longest time) so a lot of our most recent work portrays Indonesian culture both modern, traditional, and pre-colonial.
Some of our characters are inspired by friends and communities from our art school's Queers & Allies club and our friend group of South East gaysians. Our aim with our newer stuff is to represent the intersectional experience of cultural and queer identity, how queerness isn't "a new thing," and how culture isn't some "old fashioned backwards thing" like Western media believes it to be!
I'm excited to read your upcoming graphic novel Lunar Boy!
What's it been like bringing this book to life?
Thank you!! It's been surreal!! Lunar Boy is kind of our dream project and we're still shocked it was picked up and made it this far. Working on this graphic novel is something we don't take for granted! It's definitely been an emotional journey, each iteration of Lunar Boy has gotten more personal which is both scary and exciting.
It's scary to be vulnerable in your work that's essentially for the mass consumption of middle grade kids (haha) but it's exciting because the support we've gotten has been amazing (from our wonderful editor, fantastic agent, and our little corner of the comics community).
We're very excited for a generation of queer kids to have this book.
Shout-out a graphic novel or novelist that has had a big impact on you.
Svetlana Chmakova's books (Awkward, Brave, Crush) was what really inspired us to get into middle grade graphic novels! Her books feel like chicken soup for the middle grade soul- like a caring parent who wants to impart kind values to their kids. That was so inspirational to read! And I was very humbled by the nuanced messages in her books. Plus I love her art to bits.
Also: TWINS by Shannon Wright and Varian Johnson is the best middle grade book I've read in a while. We've been waiting for this book for 3 years and it was so worth it.
What's your favorite thing about your twin?
Cin: I like that we have the same fashion sense. That makes picking clothes so much easier. Jes: I like that Cin can hand-letter, because I sure can't.
Lastly, where can people support your work? Our socials are @jesncin twitter / insta and our website is jesncin.com
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Twins!
It's so cool to hear about your collaborative process.
Stay tuned for more Artist Features coming each month!