Cover image for Uncomfortably happily / Yeon-sik Hong ; translated by Hellen Jo.
Uncomfortably happily / Yeon-sik Hong ; translated by Hellen Jo.
Publication Information:
Montreal, Québec : Drawn & Quarterly, 2017.

Physical Description:
572 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Bul-pyeon-ha-go haeng-bo-ka-ge.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
HON Graphic Novel Adult Graphic Novels

On Order



When the gentler pace and stillness of the countryside replace the roar of the city, but your editor keeps callingWith gorgeously detailed yet minimal art, cartoonist Yeon-Sik Hong explores his move with his wife to a small house atop a rural mountain, replacing the high-rent hubbub of Seoul with the quiet murmur of the country. With their dog, cats, and chickens by their side, the simple life and isolation they so desperately craved proves to present new anxieties. Hong paints a beautiful portrait of the Korean countryside, changing seasons, and the universal relationships humans have with each other as well as nature, both of which are sometimes frustrating but always rewarding.

Uncomfortably Happily is translated by American cartoonist Hellen Jo from the acclaimed Manhwa Today award-winning Korean edition.

Author Notes

Yeon-Sik Hong was born in 1971. He began apprenticing in a manga studio in 1990, and wrote his first short stories (in comics form) in 1992, but commercial projects kept him from his personal work for another decade.

In 2005, Hong and his partner tried to move to the countryside. Two years later, Hong began work on a graphic novel inspired by these experiences. Uncomfortably Happily was published in two volumes in 2012: it quickly became a critical success, going back for a second printing and receiving the Manhwa Today Award.

While they'd still like to move back to the countryside someday, for now Yeon-Sik Hong and his partner are living on the outskirts of Seoul.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The story is as simple as they come: Hong draws himself and his wife, both struggling artists, going about daily life after they move from overcrowded, overpriced Seoul to a run-down house on a forested mountain. But a tale is in the telling, and this irresistible graphic novel turns every mundane moment into an adventure. Hong's art suggests an unpredictable mash-up of comic strips, indie comics, and animated cartoons like Steven Universe. When Hong tries to concentrate on drawing, his head cracks open and distractions pop out; when he's frustrated, his characters climb out of the pages and harangue him. As winter drags on and money runs out, life on the mountain becomes less idyllic, but husband and wife approach every challenge as allies in a possibly doomed cause. Acclaimed American cartoonist Hellen Jo provides a loose, natural translation. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.