Illustrator and author Victoria Ying’s graphic novel City of Secrets wowed me with her imagination and lovely storytelling. The upcoming sequel, City of Illusions, along with her forthcoming graphic novel Hungry Ghost, are worth waiting for.
Victoria Ying has worked for Disney Animation, her credits including Paperman and Wreck-It Ralph. She’s the illustrator of Diana Princess of the Amazons and has created comics like Mother Tongue. Her fluid art combines well with her consistent narrative structures.
Her background and scenic illustrations, which you can view in her gallery page and Instagram, are detailed and dynamic. She’s a graduate of the ArtCenter College of Design, having majored in illustration with a minor in entertainment design. An up-and-coming graphic novelist, Victoria’s new and recent works hold promise.
I had the pleasure of reading Victoria’s debut original graphic novel City of Secrets last year. It’s a delightful middle grade story that contains adventure, friendship, and plenty of action and endearing moments. City of Secrets follows the story of Ever Barnes, who guards a secret in the bowels of a Switchboard Operating Facility. When a girl named Hannah catches sight of Ever, she follows him and eventually joins in protecting this secret from falling into the wrong hands.
Of course, the story is aimed at a younger audience, but that hadn’t deterred me away from reading it. Reading it feels like watching a Pixar film as an adult: fun, heartwarming, and just enjoyable. Ever and Hannah remain vivid in my mind long after my first reading, and I’m excited to get my hands on the sequel once it’s out!
Victoria Ying is represented by Jennifer Azantian from the Azantian Literary Agency. The sequel to City of Secrets, City of Illusions, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House and Viking Books for Young Readers, on August 31, 2021. Her graphic novel Hungry Ghost — about a Chinese American girl named Chu who is struggling with an eating disorder — is coming from First Second Books, in 2023. She’s open to speaking opportunities. You can learn more about her here.
Artists and creators interested in honing their craft can take Victoria’s Introduction to Visual Development course (online).
Author: Brahidaliz Martinez
Brahidaliz (pronounced Bra-da-leez) is a 2019 graduate of American University’s MFA in creative writing program. Their cross-genre chapbook, Coquí’s Song, is forthcoming (2023) from Mason Jar Press.
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