JEREMY HOLT MAKING HIS DREAM A REALITY
By Sophia Hsu
Photos provided by Jeremy Holt
New neighbors were in the process of moving in next door to me in Brooklyn. I quickly packed up some food and knocked on their door. The meals were accepted with sincere gratitude and overt exhaustion. This is how I met Jeremy Holt. Over the next few months, we discussed television shows, graphic novels, music, and all of the pop culture that shaped us like ‘90s grunge and junk food from all over Asia. I wanted to write about food and educate about culture through my writing. He was unwavering in his dream to become a published graphic novelist and is now a published author of “Southern Dog”, “After Houdini”, “Pulp”, “Skinned”, and “Skip to the End”.
Jeremy Holt is a Korean-American author, and he wants you to know that despite his very neutral American name. His otherness, his Asian identity, is never more in focus and high-def as when he is among other Asians, yet not when among a diverse group of people. Born an identical triplet in Korea and all three brothers adopted together by Caucasian parents, Jeremy has had the joy of being part of a large family with lots of siblings both older and younger. He has had the privilege of living in four different countries and visiting at least a dozen more. He attended the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design and moved to New York City with friends immediately after graduation. He worked several odd jobs while in New York and even became a tech at the megabrand identified by a piece of fruit with bright white and shiny retail outlets all over the world. All of these experiences shape his writing.
To read his works, one would assume that he had been immersed in comic books and graphic novels since elementary school. Surprisingly, his older brother, who is an avid fan and modest collector of comic books, introduced him to this universe rather recently in adulthood. A relatively short exposure time by most standards, but since that initial introduction, Jeremy hasn’t stopped. Writing became both his purpose and creative outlet. Because of his experiences living abroad, identifying as non-binary, and his blended family, he gravitated more to stories of racism, identity, and what defines a family in the 21st century.
Once Jeremy found the words and committed them to paper, he went on to search for the artists who could bring his words to life in pen and ink. The search for an artist for a creator-owned project can be very difficult – mainly because a writer has to determine if they have the means to pay page rates. For every 100 artists that he reached out to about collaborating, only one might say yes because the intellectual property would have to be split proportionally and working out a back-end sales agreement can get very complex. However, that did not stop Jeremy, and he went on to find artist Alex Diotto in Italy and colorist Renzo Podesta in Argentina to collaborate with him on several projects. When asked for advice for others who want to get into making comics, Jeremy provided this: “There’s only one rule in making comics: Do not quit. This is easier said than done. I don’t know a single creator that hasn’t been on the brink of desertion…have the perseverance to produce complete work…And be prepared for copious amounts of rejection.”
Follow him on social media at Jeremy Holt Books on Facebook and ClumpofTrees.Tumblr.com. More book signings to come, and meet him at New York Comic Con this fall!