The Very Scary Hu Gu Po
My intent is to create a children’s book that simplifies the idea of empathy and compassion even for people society deems as villains. My inspiration behind The Very Scary Hu Gu Po is from a folklore in Taiwan, called Hu Gu Po. It is a story that features a Tiger Ghoul named Hu Gu Po who eats children. The tiger changes into an old lady to trick two siblings into opening the door. The story is meant to scare children from opening doors to strangers, but I wanted to rewrite this story in a modern context. In my version of the story, Hu Gu Po is a child tiger spirit who is misunderstood for eating children. The rewrite of this story is inspired by the films Joker (2019) and Cruella (2021) and how the lack of compassion and empathy in modern society produces villains. A story always has different viewpoints, and sometimes learning to listen to other’s stories is the best way to have empathy for others as well as yourself.
These are some sketches done for the story.
Spreads in the finished book.