Electric Reads | Shin/Electromilk on Kanto.com.ph

Electric Reads

Comic artist Electromilk shares how his love for books started, what makes him pick one up and put it down

Interview Danielle Austria
Images Electromilk

Shin, the artist behind @electromilk

Hello, Shin! What’s been the highlight of your week so far?

I try to make a fruit smoothie every day and it’s pretty much always my day’s highlight. I like pretending to live healthily.

Safe to assume that most people would know you through your art via @electromilk, but you also regularly share book reflections via @ok.milk. Were you always a big reader? How and when did you start reading books?

I liked to read since I was in Grade 6. I had this classmate who brought Choose Your Own Adventure books to school and I was so jealous I wanted to kill him and wear his face so his mom would get me books instead. I like reading because it calms my nerves. When I’m not reading I get too uneasy.

What pulls you into a book? Are there certain themes or genres that you gravitate to?

The book cover! I like books that make me seem cool to strangers. Honestly I only read books to let people know I’m better than them.

I also like books that celebrate the terrifying and fascinating parts of life.

Alternatively, what would make you put down a book without finishing it?

When the bookstore staff starts becoming suspicious.

As we age, our preferences change. Are there books that you previously enjoyed but now find hard to appreciate, and vice versa?

I always had good taste but I used to only be able to read books that are on sale. Now I can spend more money to prove myself to people I ride the bus with (I always make sure they see the price tag when I’m in public).

The role of books as a refuge for truth and knowledge can’t be stressed enough in this era of fake news and misinformation. What qualities would you say enable books to be ideal receptacles for ideas and effective mediums for spreading them?

Books are great because they take a lot of time and work to be published. Unlike social media articles that just pop out whenever, books actually give value to (the writer’s) truth. There’s earnest sincerity in them.

How can one become a more discerning reader?

I had a high school teacher who would say “Read more, be more.”

Is there a creative—dead or alive—whose personal library you’d love to raid?

There’s this brilliant artist Mark Ryden who has a collection of weird dolls and odd figurines. So I want not his books per se but all those strange trinkets.

Please show us your TBR pile! What’s the oldest-bought-but-yet-to-read book you have and what’s stopping you from finally getting to it?

I’ve always wanted to read Edgar Allan Poe’s stories but I can’t get around it cause his name has the ugliest sounds ever. •

Follow Shin on Instagram @electromilk and read his comic Ang Manananggal on penlab.ink.

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