NIHAO

A comic about memory, microagressions, and anger

Hourly Comic Day 2022

Selected comics from Hourly Comic Day 2022
Get it on Ko-fi (pay what you want)

Single Page Comics

Ocean in My Kitchen
Square (Lyrics from Mitski's "Square)

Chrysalis (excerpt)

Writer: Phillip Maira
Read the full comic in Crackle Vol. 3
Phillip's Twitter // Phillip's Website

Lettering Experience

Touch-up Artist and Letterer for Super Smartphone by Kentaro Hidano and Hiroki Tomisawa - Shonen Jump/Viz Media - Sci-fi/Mystery
Touch-up Artist and Letterer for RuriDragon (Ch. 3+) by Masaoki Shindo - Shonen Jump/Viz Media - Supernatural Slice-of-Life
Lettering Assistant for Everything is Fine, by Mike Birchall - Webtoon Original - Horror
Letterer for The Secret of the Ravens by Joanna Cacao - Middle Grade, Clarion/HarperCollins, 2023 - Fantasy
Creator (writer, illustrator, letterer) of Foxlight - Middle Grade, Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, 2024 - Fantasy
+ Additional Unannounced Books

Language Experience

› Mandarin Chinese (Traditional) to English translation for independant comic artist Julai (various comics)
› Critical Language Scholarship - 2018 - Finalist/Recipient - Xi'an, China
› Knowledge of Traditional and Simplified Chinese

› Fulbright Research Award - 2020 - Semifinalist - Japan
› CET Academic Programs - 2018 - Osaka, Japan

SUPER SMARTPHONE (weekly online simulpub)
by Kentaro Hidano and Hiroki Tomisawa

Touch-up Art and Lettering by Kyla Aiko
Translation by David Evelyn

Touch-up Art Highlights
› "Googugu" logo creation & replacement, Eye pattern recreation, Smartphone screen glare recreation, Hand-drawn SFX (in speech balloons), Handwritten journal entry, page layout

LOUIS' QUANDARY
by Julai

Lettering and Commissioned Mandarin Chinese to English Translation by Kyla Aiko

NIHAO

THE ORGAN HARVESTER

Story, Art, & Letters by JulaiMandarin Chinese to English Commissioned Translation by Kyla Aiko

Color Design

Comics and Illustration

DESIGN

Book Design (Mockups)

SUPER SMARTPHONE (weekly online simulpub)
by Kentaro Hidano and Hiroki Tomisawa

Touch-up Art and Lettering by Kyla Aiko, Translation by David Evelyn

For Super Smartphone, all text on screens is flattened into the provided art files, so part of my job is erasing the original Japanese text on the phone screens, retouching/replacing the screens with matching screentone, and laying out English text where the Japanese once was. Since this series releases simultaneously with the Japanese print edition on a weekly basis, all touch-up art and lettering is completed on an accelerated schedule.Touch-up Art Highlights
› "Googugu" logo creation & replacement, Eye pattern recreation, Smartphone screen moire recreation, Hand-drawn SFX (in speech balloons), Handwritten journal entry, page layout

NIHAO

A comic about memory, microagressions, and anger

1871 LA Chinatown Massacre Commemoration Event Design

Scripps College and Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles

Hourly Comic Day 2022

Selected comics from Hourly Comic Day 2022

Femme Divine Tarot

Branding for Femme Divine Tarot

Beyond the Horizon Literary Magazine

Logo Iterations for a middle school literary magazine

LOUIS' QUANDARY
Art and Story by Julai

Lettering and Commissioned Mandarin Chinese to English Translation by Kyla Aiko

Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society

Branding for CLSAS (Globe Icon is a CLSAS Asset)

Select Comics

Ocean in My Kitchen
Square (Lyrics from Mitski's "Square)

Color Design

Select Design

Inks and Ink Tests

This page is not public. Please do not share or distribute images on this page.
Deor by J.oori, unOrdinary by uru-chan

Color Tests

This page is not public. Please do not share or distribute images on this page.
The Kiss Bet by Ingrid Ochoa, Deor by J.oori

Click on a project to see more.

Author/Artist

Editor

Letterer

Foxlight

A middle grade fantasy graphic novel debut, coming Spring 2024 from Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan
Formerly known as Foxes, Fire, and Other Magic

Foxlight is set during the annual Obon Festival and follows a lost fox spirit and the nonbinary noodle maker who helps him find his way home.

Add it on GoodreadsAuthor/Illustrator: Kyla Aiko
Editor: Emily Settle

Freddie Mercury: Lover of Life, Singer of Songs

Coming 2022 from Z2 Comics // Rolling Stone Press ReleasePreorder here! http://z2comics.com/freddiemercury
Add it on Goodreads
For the first time in comics format, Freddie Mercury: Lover of Life, Singer of Songs will be a journey through Freddie’s life; from his childhood in Zanzibar, through his formative years in England, to becoming the rock star known and loved by millions around the globe. The story is told in his own words, with each chapter giving a glimpse into the many facets of his life.

Artists: Kyla Aiko, Robin Richardson, Safiya Zerrougui, Tammy Wang, and Amy Liu
Writer: Tres Dean
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Camilla Zhang
Designers: Tyler Boss, Jason Ullmeyer
Cover Artist: David Mack

The Out Side

Fully funded on Kickstarter
More info here!
I'm excited to be a part of The Out Side, a comic anthology of trans and nonbinary comic artists.

Artists: Apakilyspe, Ashi, Jam Aden, Kyla Aiko, Lae Schäfer, Liam Coballes, Maddie Tacobus, Man Time, Min Christensen, Nifty Fox, Sage Coffey, Tara Madison Avery, Toonie, Veronica Triumphant, Wey, and ZhenOrganizers: The Kao, Min Christensen, and David Daneman
Cover: The Kao and Min Christensen

Star Tales Mag

Fully crowdfunded! Thank you for your support.
Check out the website here.
I'm an editor, web designer, and oneshot creator for Star Tales, an upcoming magazine featuring serialized black and white comics.

Project Big Hype Vol 2

Check out the LIVE campaign here.I'm an editor for a mecha comic, They're After Aster by Oliver Ono and Aaron Sullivan, in Project Big Hype Volume 2, a black and white, action-oriented comic anthology.

Super Smartphone

Read it for free on VIZ Media/Shonen Jump!I letter Super Smartphone, a weekly simulpub manga. Lettering entails laying out text and interior pages as well as doing non-SFX touch-up art on a weekly basis.

A high schooler finds a phone that can search for anything on Earth and uses it to solve difficult crime cases!Art: Kentaro Hidano
Story: Hiroki Tomisawa
Translation: David Evelyn
Lettering: Kyla Aiko

RuriDragon

Read it for free on VIZ Media/Shonen Jump!I letter RuriDragon (Ch. 3 and on), a weekly simulpub manga. Lettering entails laying out text and interior pages as well as doing non-SFX touch-up art on a weekly basis.

Ruri faces the usual issues: pushy classmates, annoying teachers and...waking up with dragon horns?!Art and Story: Masaoki ShindoTranslation: Caleb Cook
Lettering: Kyla Aiko (Ch. 3+)

Dandadan

Read it for free on VIZ Media/Shonen Jump!I letter Dandadan (Ch. 62 and on), a weekly simulpub manga. Lettering entails laying out text and interior pages as well as doing non-SFX touch-up art on a weekly basis.

Momo Ayase and Okarun are on opposite sides of the paranormal spectrum regarding what they’ll believe in and what they won’t. Their quest to prove each other wrong leads them down a path of secret crushes and paranormal battles they’ll have to participate in to believe!Story and Art: Yukinobu TatsuTranslation: Kumar Sivasubramanian
Lettering: Kyla Aiko (Ch. 62+)

Love's in Sight!

VIZ Media Announcement

Love blooms between a tough delinquent boy and a spunky girl with a vision impairment! Love’s in Sight!, by Uoyama, releases Spring 2023.Art and Story: UoyamaTranslation: Nova Skipper
Lettering: Kyla Aiko

Everything is Fine

Read it for free on Webtoon!
Season 2 premieres on July 3, 2022.
I'm a lettering assistant on Mike Birchall's Everything is Fine, a Webtoon Original series (Ch. 26+).

Sam and Maggie are a normal couple, in a normal house, in a normal neighborhood. There is nothing strange about their heads, their neighbors or their sweet little dog. Everything is Fine.Creator: Mike Birchall

Frequently Asked Questions

I am staunchly anti-NFT and anti-crypto. Do not contact me about making NFTs.

What programs do you use to letter?
It depends on the project, but for traditionally published comics/graphic novels I typically usually use Adobe InDesign to lay out text and Clip Studio Paint or Adobe Illustrator to draw speech balloons and sound effects.
Adobe software is the industry-standard in traditional book publishing.If you're looking for non-subscription model alternatives, Affinity Publisher is similar to Adobe InDesign and Affinity Designer is similar to Adobe Illustrator (and both go on sale frequently).

Are you available for an interview?
Please feel free to email me at hello [@] aikosmith [.] com to coordinate an interview :)

What digital brushes do you use?
In Procreate I usually use brushes from these packs.
Matt's Sketching Set
Trisketched Ink Brushes
I also usually use Procreate Pencil and Derwent (both are included with Procreate).In Clip Studio Paint, I usually use these brushes:
Content ID: 1850295 文字ペン (second pen) from 主線と文字ペン pack by 塩分ウホウホ
Content ID: 1730414 6pencil-soft by Rollermets

Resources (all links open in new tabs)

All About Literary Agents (comic creator specific)
Danielle Chuatico and JesnCin's "Comic Creator's Guide to Literary Agents" (downloadable pdf, pay what you want)
Wendy Xu's "Why You Should Get an Agent and How to Present Yourself to One: A Primer for Comic Artists"
Victoria Ying's "Finding an Agent as a Graphic Novelist"

How to Put Together a Graphic Novel Pitch
Go Komikimok!!'s "Comics Creator's Guide to Graphic Novel Pitch Packet" (Part 1)
Go Komikimok!!'s FAQ About Pitch Packets (Part 2)
Go Komikimok!!'s How to Submit Your Pitch to Publishers, Editors, and Agents (Part 3)
Ethan M. Aldridge's GN Pitch Packet Twitter Thread
Literary Agent Maria Vicente's "Creating a Graphic Novel Pitch Package"
Victoria Ying's "Scripting a Graphic Novel"
Victoria Ying's "What's in a Graphic Novel Proposal?"

Complete graphic novel pitch packets usually have these components (there's no standard order):
› Sample Cover Page
› About the Book (back cover copy, page count, b&w/color, genre, demographic, comp titles)
› About the Author (include relevant publishing credits)
› 5 to 20 Completed Sample Pages
› Sample Script
› Character Descriptions and Drawings
› Full Outline/Synopsis
› Extras (concept sketches, thumbnails)

Lettering Tips
Sara Linsley's Manga Lettering Wiki
Sara Linsley's Manga Lettering Scripts for Adobe InDesign
Nate Piekos's "Lettering Tips"
Nate Piekos's "Comic Book Grammar and Tradition"
Phil Christie's "The Basics of Manga Punctuation"
Phil Christie's "Manga Balloon Basics"

Kyla is an Asian American writer, artist, and editor who lives in a town with an ocean view.

When not writing or drawing, you might find Kyla learning the zhonghu, making handmade noodles, or listening to Mitski and Mao Buyi.

CONTACT

Literary Agent: Jennifer Azantian of Azantian Literary Agency.
Please direct all professional inquiries to Jen (@) AzantianLitAgency (.) com

Other inquiries: hello (@) aikosmith (.) com

SELECT WORK

Foxlight - Author/Artist - Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan - Spring 2024
Freddie Mercury: Lover of Life, Singer of Songs - Artist (select chapters) - Z2 Comics - 2022
Super Smartphone by Kentaro Hidano and Hiroki Tomisawa - Letterer - Shonen Jump/VIZ Media
RuriDragon (Ch. 3+) by Masaoki Shindo - Letterer - Shonen Jump/VIZ Media
Dandadan (Ch. 62+) by Yukinobu Tatsu - Letterer - Shonen Jump/VIZ Media
Love's in Sight! by Uoyama - Touch-Up Artist and Letterer - VIZ Media - 2023
The Secret of the Ravens by Joanna Cacao - Letterer - Clarion/HarperCollins - 2023
Everything is Fine by Mike Birchall - Lettering Assistant - Webtoon Original - Ongoing
They're After Aster by Oliver Ono and Aaron Sullivan - Editor - Big Hype Vol 2 - 2022
Battle Road by Darren Vogt - Editor - Star Tales Mag - 2022

I also maintain the Manga Font Directory, a small repository of fonts commonly used in North American English manga localization.