Monday, 27 August 2012

OUAT Artist Interview - Becca Hillburn

What is your story about?

My story is a retelling of the classic Japanese fairytale, Momotaro.  In the original tale, a childless elderly couple couple desperately wish for a child.  The husband goes out fishing one day and comes across a beautiful giant peach floating down the river.  He takes it home, attempts to slice it up, and ends up slicing the little boy inside!  This child, whom they name Momotaro, bears this scar for the rest of his life, and goes on to become a man of Japanese legend.   My retelling is much simpler- an elderly couple in Occupied Japan recieve notice that their son has passed away.  The wife falls into a horrible despair, and the husband tries his best to cheer her up.  With the last of their money, he goes to a black market and happens upon a peach.  In better times, he, his wife, and their son would share peaches beneath the peach tree by their home, and he purchases it for her as a last resort.  As he returns home, the peach grows and grows, glowing in the cold moonlight, until he's doubled over with this happy burden.  His wife perks up a bit from her futon when he enters, and when he slices it, the beautiful baby inside is happily unharmed, and together they can start to make a new life.

Where did you get your ideas and inspiration for your story?

I've always loved mythology from all over the world, and I was introduced to Japanese folklore at an early age in my grandparent's copy of Childcraft.  Last December, I was fortunate enough to travel to Japan with a school group, and we were required to create an 8 page comic as part of the assignment.  This retelling was inspired directly by a trip tothe Meiji Era museum, which is full of scale models and life size replicas of Meiji Japan, so reference for this story was a snap.

What made you decide to do a story for Gurukitty Studios anthology project?
I've wanted to participate in an anthology project for awhile, and I love fairytales!

What other comics have you done?
I've done several mini comics, which are available in both digital and garage print format.  I'm working on an autobiographical series right now, as well as preparing for my Masters thesis, which is a reimagining of stories involving little people, heavily inspired by classics such as The Littles, The Borrowers, The Indian in the Cupboard series, and Gulliver's Travels.

Where else can people find your work? Are you included in any other publications or a website?
My work is online at, and I have a process/inspiration/tutorial blog (
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