SBCF 2023 Interview: Cynthia Yuan Cheng

Throughout the month of October, the Cartoonist Cooperative will be sharing interviews with members of the Co-op who have a new comic available at the ShortBox Comics Fair 2023

NOTE: The Cartoonist Cooperative is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way formally connected with ShortBox.

Cartoonist Cooperative: We’d love it if you could introduce yourself and tell us about your background in comics.

Cynthia Yuan Cheng: I’m Cynthia Yuan Cheng (they/them), a cartoonist and illustrator currently based in New Jersey. I love pulling inspiration from daily life to create stories that make your heart feel full and to make you laugh! 

I’ve loved making my own lil comics since elementary school, have been selling my own comics zines since 2016, and I have so much fun tabling at indie comics fests and meeting fellow cartoonists. My debut graphic novel, The Baby-Sitters Club #13: Mary Anne’s Bad Luck Mystery, released in December 2022.

CC: Tell us more about your new comic!

CYC: Wee Wanderings: My Solo Trip in Scotland, is a 60-page black-and-white autobio comic about my first international solo trip. It’s part travelog, part survival drama, part shojo manga, part poetic musings, and full of comedy. 

I had a lot of fun creating it, and it’s my favorite autobio comic and some of my favorite cartooning work to date!

CC: Tell us about your creative process; how did you develop this comic and what are the steps you took to bring it to the final stage?

CYC: When I was on my trip to Scotland back in May 2022, I already had the idea to create a comic about it. So I took lots of photos, sketched out ideas, and wrote down notes on what happened every day of the 10-day trip. All that documentation and prep work was a huge help when I was ready to start on this comic over a year later. 

Rather than explaining every little thing that happened to me on each day of the trip, I sectioned the overall comic into four parts: one for each city I visited, and recounted the most memorable experience at each location. I treated the comic the same way that I might recount my travel stories to my own friends: sharing the highlights (and challenges!) to make it entertaining.

CC: Can you tell us about your newest projects/projects you have in development? Feel free to plug anything here as well eg. socials, website, etc.

CYC: My current project is a YA memoir graphic novel with First Second, which is about my time in high school playing on the boys’ football team. 

You can find my website at or follow me on IG or Twitter @cynthiaycheng!