Yeong-Shin Ma lived in what’s known as a “kangaroo tribe.” The growing phenomenon sees young adults living with their parents to save money. The arrangement usually ends with a child getting married and moving out. In the South Korean cartoonist’s case, he lived with his mom, Soyeon, until he was nearly 30.
“I never had a good relationship with my mom,” he told The Guardian. “But deep inside, we’ve always felt sorry for each other.”
Like many young adults living at home, Yeong-Shin felt nagged by his mom’s endless requests. It wasn’t until he moved out that he understood what it was really about. She was trying to impart to him the life skills he would need to be on his own. He quickly realized he’d absorbed practically nothing.
With that, Yeong-Shin gave his mom a blank notebook. He asked her to fill it with everything to know about her daily life, in her most truthful terms. She returned the notebook to him less than a month later. What he read became the basis for his new graphic novels, Moms.