Chap Yaep sketches out his life -- We profile the penciller for Image's ''Team Youngblood''

By Frank Lovece
Updated April 08, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

You know the story: Young kid hears Keith Richards’ opening licks on ”Satisfaction,” decides to be a rock & roll star. Trade a pencil for the guitar, and it’s the story of Chap Yaep.

Yaep (pronounced Yape), who debuted last summer as a 19-year-old penciller for Image’s Team Youngblood, may be the comics industry’s youngest full-time professional. ”In high school, I started getting into comics art-wise,” he says. ”I used to do sketches on the back of my homework and on tests and stuff.”

Last summer he took his portfolio to a couple of comic-book conventions and found a ready audience in Image, itself founded by artists in their 20s. Yaep relocated last August from Oakland, where his parents own a Chinese restaurant, to Anaheim, where Image is based.

Yaep’s flashy art could earn him six figures his first year, but money is far from his sole motivation. ”One of these days,” he says, ”I’ll create my own books and characters and keep having fun with them. That’s why I got into comics in the first place.”

So what’s next? ”I want to take some life-drawing classes,” he muses. ”Anybody who’s serious about this needs some professional art training.”