Sunshine Boy – An Artist’s Journey from Web-Comic to Graphic Novel

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Sunshine Boy, written and illustrated by Lee “Moosopp,” was picked up by Sparkler Monthly shortly after making it into the finals with Hiveworks Comics. It’s safe to say that Sparkler Monthly was the best home for Sunshine Boy as they’ve recently helped Lee in his endeavors to publish his comic in physical form through Kickstarter. That’s right. Sunshine Boy will be published as a hold-in-your-hands-turn-the-pages-yourself book—from web-comic to graphic novel!

So what is it about? Kelly and his parents have just moved into a new house in a new neighborhood. Kelly, a charmingly awkward young boy, is struggling to fit into his new surroundings. He’s beginning to realize that the world isn’t as nice as he had once thought. Things are different now and different is scary. It’s a good thing that he has his new friend and next-door neighbor Grey to show him the in’s and out’s of the neighborhood. With a little help from his friends and from his family, Kelly is able to tackle the problems that life has in store for him.

“To be honest,” Lee says, “I just wanted to make a story about a kid.” Lee began drawing around age fourteen and found support from other artists in online communities. An artist with the username “dyemelikeasunset” inspired Lee with their original characters. “Senpai noticed me,” Lee jokes, “they were one of the first artists I followed that had such diverse character designs!” They became friends, and after dropping an earlier project a little while after high school, Lee invested more time in his own characters—some of which would make up the cast for Sunshine Boy.

Lee began to share his artwork with others after high school, but what prompted him to do so? “I enjoy making people laugh,” he says, “so that’s the main reason why I decided I wanted to share my work. I like when people tell me my work cheers them up.” He’s definitely succeeded! It’s hard not to laugh when Kelly’s own fifth grade teacher mistakes him for a kindergartner and is constantly being compared to a cuddly hamster. Not to mention the hysterical and memorable facial expressions sported by every character, big and small. It’s a diverse cast with a lot of charm. “Some of the characters and events are based on real experiences,” he says. If that’s the case, is there a character he relates to the most? “Grey! Because I was a bratty kid.”

It’s been a long journey but Sunshine Boy is making it onto the printed page. “It’s just about putting yourself out there,” Lee says. That’s solid advice for any aspiring writer or artist. Create. Share with others. Have a good time and smile. That last part is definitely a big chunk of the Sunshine Boy experience. What’s the rest of the experience? Well, read for yourself and find out!

Can’t wait for the physical copy of Sunshine Boy to come out? Start reading here: https://sparklermonthly.com/series/sunshine-boy/

Visit Moosopp on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Moosopp

Author, Cheyenne Lopex

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