Some actions in life have the longest reaching consequences. Even amid the chaos and the melting horizon, if one person extends their hand. It is in the darkest time that a hero is born. A spark setting hearts ablaze, and it is true, not all heroes wear a cape. Some hold a graphic pen, brightening the world with colours that imprints in the depths of hearts. Whether the first attempt at art was the engravings of Homo Erectus dating back to 500,000 years ago or the Neanderthal art or the creative revolution in the Palaeolithic Era, art has come a long way. From bones, stones, and caves, art has come to the tiny screens of our phone and Aidyn Anh Huynh is one such artist who has delivered the right meaning to his profession on a personal level.

Beginning in the Renaissance Era, art started being pursued as a profession and in today’s day and age, it has a new and growing vocation called Webcomic Artists. The Vietnamese American artist’s life was not a bed of roses. Sharing with his fans in a comic strip over his social media, Aidyn mentioned: “I sat across dinner tables with some shady characters that I never want to cross paths with again.” Merely because if he did not, he would not be eating in the least that day. It was through sheer perseverance and ardent devotion to art that Aidyn, also known by his alias Snailords, treaded through the harsh water of life to build a stable audience that loved his work. His first public comic ‘Snail it’ on Tapas made its debut on 28th January 2014. Followed by becoming an Original Creator on one of the biggest webtoon platforms in South Korea and popular around the world Line Webtoon launched by Naver Corporation. The slice of life webtoon ‘Snailogy’ published from 11th February 2015 gained love from fans around the globe for its humour as well as its realism. 

Even as he progressed in the industry of webcomics, his journey was put on hold when his most valuable resource had a major setback. After working for long hours over the years, hand strain caught up to him, resulting in a repetitive strain injury. Forcing him to be out of commission for a year. What would have had most people reconsider their journey only resulted in getting a better plan of action for Aidyn. His undying love for art and the strength to fight against odds as he had for the majority of his life, made him stand up again. For all the hard work and passion, it paid off when Aidyn rose to popularity with his second webcomic and first larger webtoon ‘Nightmare Factory’, followed by his best-performed webtoon to date, his ongoing webtoon series ‘Freaking Romance’. He has come to be best known for creating fantasy genre webtoons, his latter two series receiving acclaims from fans around the world.

His ongoing series has a following of over 2.6 million followers and growing. Standing tall on number 1 in the genres of comedy and supernatural. Number 2 in the genres of drama and fantasy. Number 3 in the genre of romance. As well as number 2 for the most popular series on Line Webtoon, with a rating of 9.79 out of 10. Well received for the storytelling, beautiful art and complex characters, Aidyn does more than just putting faces on readers’ phones. His webcomics are packed with real issues faced by people. Giving comfort that his readers are not alone in their struggles. His first webtoon ‘Snailogy’ was “Lighthouse for lost souls with social anxiety, depression and gender dysphoria… and more.” Topics that few like to touch at all, let alone at the beginning of their careers. Having dealt with it all in his own life, fans have come to see Aidyn as a safe place without judgements. His ongoing webtoon ‘Freaking Romance’ deals with a topic that hits home for most people – healthy love. In parental relationships, friendship and romance. For his fans, going through something similar, Aidyn has become a beacon of hope. To others, his rawness and sense of humour excite them to seek out the brains behind the sensitive and developed webcomics. Only to be surprised by a young man coupled with an introvert personality that most would call chaotic good. His 307K followers on Instagram alone are always excited to see him interact with them throughout the day. 

Since making his mark in the webtoons industry, Aidyn has also been known as a generous human being by his fans. Safe to say, his ideologies behind giving back to society are as progressive as his webcomics. While most people only start working for the greater good well settled in their careers at the ripe age of 30s or 40s. When they have a home to call their own, a car to drive, and a few children running around, Aidyn had been different. He began giving back to society as soon as he could. Over the years not only has he donated parts of his income from Webtoon but also donated through the income earned by other platforms like Patreon, etc. Save the Children U.K, International Rescue Committee, Lebanese Red Cross are organizations to name a few where he had been a generous donor. He has also actively raised awareness for Hong Kong, Palestine, Philippines, and Yemen crisis through his social media. Asking people to share donation links with legitimate sources with his following. An active voice during the Black Lives Matter movement. He has also bought to his follower’s attention the injustice the LGBTQ+ community faced in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic as the healthcare system was allowed to refuse to treat them in the United States, further strengthening the disparities they already faced. Being a proud part of the community as Bigender, Aidyn has been vocal about the basic rights and proper treatment of the community. His struggles that continue to date has made his voice stronger.

On a more private level, Aidyn shared suicide helpline numbers on his social media. Along with it, he has been more than generous to budding artists, letting them share their work with his following on his social media, for them to build an audience for themselves. 

With every milestone he has achieved – small or huge, he has always shown his deepest appreciation to fans, whom he calls ‘Anglers’, “… who light my dark nights”. His fans in return shower him with love with a nickname given by the community ‘Milord’. The growing fanbase is what Aidyn considers the best part of his job, calling them “Magical, lyrical… beautiful creatures”. 

Even as he continues to grow in the webcomic industry, his story is not as well known. Neither are the small but meaningful ways in which he contributes to society. He remains in the shadow as the unsung hero of thousands of people. His fans and the people he saved. As Aidyn stated: “I pursued happiness all my life. When she appeared in my arms, I grew too fond of loneliness and sorrow to understand. I almost chased her away out of fear”, shows the depths and complexities of his own life. Behind the charming smile and an inimitable personality is a man with a heart of gold, climbing the difficult mountain that is life as he leaves smiles not only on faces but in the hearts of people.

References :

1 .Huynh, Aidyn Anh. “Instagram Post.” Instagram, 22 Sept. 2019, www.instagram.com/p/B2sk43wHaF1/.

2.  Huynh, Aidyn Anh. “Snailogy.” Www.webtoons.com, Line Webtoon, 11 Feb. 2015, www.webtoons.com/en/slice-of-life/snailogy/list?title_no=387.

 Huynh, Aidyn Anh. “Snailogy.” Www.webtoons.com, Line Webtoon, 11 Feb. 2015, www.webtoons.com/en/slice-of-life/snailogy/list?title_no=387.

 Line Webtoon. “From the creator of Freaking Romance”. WEBTOON Now, Webtoons, https://www.webtoons.com/en/tiptoon/webtoon-now/from-the-creator-of-freaking-romance/viewer?title_no=2025&episode_no=11

 Huynh, Aidyn Anh. “Snailords Quotes (Author of Freaking Romance).” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/16670714.Snailords.

By Disha Walia, Noida

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