Robin Ha (She/her) is a Korean American cartoonist based in Virginia. She is the author and the illustrator of Almost American Girl, a 2020 Harvey Award nominee and 2021 Walter Award honoree memoir, and Cook Korean!: A Comic Book With Recipes, a New York Times bestselling cookbook graphic novel. Her comics and illustrations have appeared in various publications including The Washington Post, and LA Times, as well as in anthologies highlighting Asian American culture including RISE: A Pop History of Asian America from the Nineties to Now, New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei, and Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology (Secret Identities).
Robin grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to the United States at age fourteen. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, she moved to New York City and worked in the fashion industry for several years before diving into comics. Robin has been an avid reader of comics since she was introduced to them by her mother as a young girl. She strives to make comics that are entertaining and also empower the readers to become more accepting of themselves and others. Robin is currently working on her third graphic novel inspired by the Korean folklore of Gumiho.
For her upcoming events and news, please follow her on Instagram.
Talks and workshops
Robin speaks on a host of exciting topics and has given talks and workshop presentations to groups across North America, including the National Museum of Asian Art, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the Center for Fiction, the University of Georgia, the New York Public Library, and many more.
Comics Career Talk
I have always wanted to be a cartoonist and went to an art school to learn how to draw. But newsflash: most colleges don't teach you how to become a professional artist. Self-doubt and financial stress pushed me to the brink of giving up on my dream countless times until I got my first book deal in my 30s. When I talk with my artist friends about our careers, it's apparent that there's no one way to 'make it' as an artist, and the definition of success is also subjective. But there are certain similarities in all of us that enabled us to keep pursuing our dreams. In this talk, I will share with you my personal journey from a comics-obsessed girl in South Korea to a best-selling graphic novelist in America.
When I was young, I thought cooking and drawing were not related to each other at all. It wasn't until I became an adult and started cooking for myself that I discovered that making food and making visual art is similar in many ways. Creativity lives in all of us and different people express it in different ways. In this visual presentation, we will explore how our creativity can help us connect with each other and find joy within ourselves in hopes that everyone can open themselves up to becoming more creative.
Asian American Identity
Do you consider yourself Korean or American? My answer is 'Both'. My Korean and American identities have become inseparable like a siamese twin. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing demographic in America and my multicultural experience is shared by millions of immigrants and their families yet we are still viewed as 'outsiders'. As a 1.5-generation Korean American author, I have been able to examine these two vastly different cultures from the inside and outside. This talk will explore the challenges and joy of being part of the Asian American community, and how we have contributed to shaping the current American culture.
Korean Food Adventure
The bold Korean flavors can level up your everyday meal If you are adventurous enough to try them. I am immensely proud of Korean food and determined to share it with everyone in the world. Since my cookbook comic book, Cook Korean! came out in 2016, many readers have shared with me their Korean home cooking through social media and their creativity inspires me. In this talk, we will learn about Korean food culture and discover how Korean ingredients and cooking techniques can be used to brighten up your everyday home cooking.
Memoir graphic novel workshop (All ages, no experience needed)
Is your diary brimming with exciting stories? And do you love to read comics? Walter-Award-Honoree graphic novelist, Robin Ha will walk you through how you can transform your life into a graphic novel. You'll learn a step-by-step process of selecting and refining your personal stories, planning out your graphic novel, and drawing the comics pages. This workshop can be presented in a single seminar or in multiple sessions with more in-depth lessons, in-class assignments, and critiques.
Intro to making comics (All ages, no experience needed)
Do you love to read comics and want to be a comic artist someday? This workshop is for you! You only need a paper and pencil and a story idea to start. NYT bestselling graphic novelist, Robin Ha will help you jump-start your comic book idea and bring it out onto paper. The workshop will examine comics as a powerful storytelling medium and teach you to use all the elements in comics in the most effective way to tell your story. From brainstorming your story, and developing your characters to page layouts, you'll get a comprehensive lesson on the creative process of making comics. This workshop can be presented in a single seminar or in multiple sessions with more in-depth lessons, in-class assignments, and critiques.
Mini-comics zines workshop (All ages, no experience needed)
Did you know that many established cartoonists started their careers by making mini-comics zines and selling them at art festivals and local comic book stores? Zines are self-published, small booklets that are photocopied, printed at home, and distributed by the maker and it is a fun, and low-cost way to explore your creativity and engage with your communities. This workshop will teach you the basic process of making mini-comics zines from idea to print and jump-start your zine project. You will learn how to refine your ideas for the zine, make the book layout, and explore various visual mediums including pen and ink and collages.
Easy Korean Home Cooking Workshop
This workshop is for everyone who is interested in cooking Korean food. No experience in cooking is needed. The participants will learn about the basics of Korean ingredients and make classic Korean dishes from my cookbook, Cook Korean!: A Comic Book With recipes. We'll also explore how you can make variations on these recipes to fit your dietary needs and what is in your fridge. Some of my favorite recipes for this workshop include Kimchi, Kimbap, Kimchi Fried Rice, Japchae (Sweet Potato Noodles), Cold noodle, and Bulgogi.
Immigration as Inspiration: Who Gets to Be an All-American Girl? https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/robin-ha-on-being-an-almost-american-girl
The Comics Beat
INTERVIEW: In ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL, the universal language of comics connected Robin Ha to her new culture
The Nerds of Color
A Conversation with ‘Almost American Girl’ Robin Ha
NPR: All Things Considered
Robin Ha's New Cookbook Mixes Korean Cuisine With Comics
How to Draw a Comic | ALMOST AMERICAN GIRL by Robin Ha
Jerry Craft and Robin Ha Author Takeover
Speak on It | Robin Ha
IARGS Spring Speaker Series: Celebrating Diversity with Graphic Novels