Angry Reader of the Week: Irene Koh

"The joke amongst my friends is that my "brand" is Emotional Lesbians, which I am totally okay with."

Hello, good people of the internet! It is time, once again, to meet the Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Irene Koh.

Who are you?

To most people, I'm Irene. To my family and my friends who knew me before I moved to the US, I'm Sun-Joo. To my parents, I'm "kkoma," which is Korean for "little one."

What are you?

I'm a pint-sized bisexual Korean-American with a multicultural upbringing. I'm also a wanderer, artist, musician (violin and piano like a good Asian), karaoke queen (my repertoire is diva pop or gangsta rap), judoka, equestrian, and red meat enthusiast.

Where are you?

I just relocated to Sunnyvale, CA to be with my partner after living in LA for two years. I miss it, but so far I am placated by rainy weather and my current neighborhood food options. I am feeling particularly blessed by the Nepali momo truck that has decided to park near my apartment.

Where are you from?

My life so far has felt like a constant search for home. I was born in Seoul and moved to Tokyo as a baby, where I spent my early childhood. Because my first memories are of Japan, there is a sense of home but also a disconnect that I feel with it, since, well, I'm not Japanese. I've spent enough time in Seoul that I am very attached to it, but there is still a similar disconnect, in large part due to my not-so-great Korean. I spent the majority of my life in a small, very white town in Connecticut (which is now infamous for a very tragic incident) which I will always look at fondly, but it's hard to want that life again after living in and around so many brown communities. I went to school in Rhode Island, lived in Boston and San Francisco, and found the closest sense of belonging I've ever had in Los Angeles. (I don't know what that says about me, but I'm happy to identify with the rest of the taco-breathing heathens.)

What do you do?

I draw comics, which is, I recognize, a weird and cool profession. Currently, I'm drawing The Legend of Korra graphic novels for Dark Horse with the co-creators, Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. It's been a helluva ride so far.

What are you all about?

The joke amongst my friends is that my "brand" is Emotional Lesbians, which I am totally okay with. The Korra job is perfect for me, as a queer Asian martial artist, so when I move on to doing original works, I'm hoping to bring that audience with me. As for general passions, I am really into grappling sports and MMA (K1 and Pride were my gateway drugs); whodunits and rewatching all of Law & Order: Criminal Intent; first person shooters (I am an embarrassingly huge fan of Bungie games especially -- Halo: Reach forever, baby); and fashion (I am currently trying to find a space for my four boxes worth of shoes). Oh, and empathy. That probably shouldn't be the footnote to this, but yeah, empathy is a Good Thing.

What makes you angry?

Lack of empathy, animal cruelty, food snobbery, and, of course, the cyclical nature of politics, fascism, and violence. Oh, and toilet paper rolls facing the wrong way (over, not under!). I always fix them.

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