With over 430k followers, 24-year-old Alvin Juano from Jakarta, Indonesia is the brilliant mind behind The Square Comics; short, darkly hilarious comics that take you through a range of emotions in just 3 or 4 frames. his easy-to-digest little stories have become a hit on Instagram, the perfect medium for regular doses of bite-sized comedy. The comics often begin full of cheer and optimism but hit you hard with a dark twist that has become Alvin’s trademark.
In an article to Bored Panda, Alvin expressed his journey so far, “I started The Square Comics in 2014, I was doing so badly at school that I was almost kicked out of the course. It was one of the lowest periods of my life and I needed something to get out of the funk. Making comics was it.”
“Some of my inspirations are Ricky Gervais, I enjoy how honest and unfiltered he is with his opinions and his sarcasm when delivering his jokes. When growing up, my favorite cartoon was Doraemon & Crayon Shin-Chan, and Cyanide & Happiness, Safely Endangered and War and Peas are great webcomic inspirations for me!”
“Usually before I sleep, I’d try to think of things that could be funny and write it on a notebook/phone,” he explained.
“The next day, I’ll pick out the ones that I find interesting and work on it. I’ll then show a sketch of the strip to my friends & see what they think. If they don’t find it funny, I’ll work on it further or scrap it. But, if I think it’s funny and they don’t, I’ll ignore them and post it. I try to have this process, but sometimes good ideas come at random times.”
“For the process, I usually sketch out a couple of things on paper, take a photo of it and then draw the digital version of it on photoshop. I use pens and papers to sketch. To digitize it, I use Wacom Intuos Comic. It’s really small so it’s easy to carry around and it’s also cheaper than the other models. And a MacBook.”
“As for my humor, I think it’s definitely on the darker side. I hear it can be sometimes depressing. Definitely not something my mom would approve!