This blog entry is going up as I reach the end of a two-week stay in Fukuoka, my old stomping grounds and the setting of my graphic novel Tonoharu: Part One. I’ve been busy attending a language school, taking photos for use as reference in Tonoharu: Part Two, and seeing old friends and going to old restaurants. So as with last week’s entry, this week’s entry is being phoned in at the eleventh hour, by-and-large only to fulfill the promise of weekly updates that can be found on the lower right-hand corner of the masthead for this site.
Beginning next week I should be able to return to more “substantial” blog updates of thinly veiled self-promotion & narisicism. Next week will be a press release (oh boy!), and the week after will begin a series of posts in the form of an informal “how-to” guide about my experiences self-publishing. So see you then, dear readers.
I’m in Fukuoka this and the following week, studying at a Japanese language school and seeing old friends. I didn’t really have time to prepare a blog entry, so I’m jotting off this half-assed one at the eleventh hour. Please enjoy the following three pictures from Fukuoka:
Flower names, on the side of a cafe. The second word is probably just to see if you’re paying attention.
Finally! A butter-margarine mix with the least appetizing name imaginable!
The bathroom lock where I’m staying looks like a smiling metal duck.
Er… that’s it! See ya next Friday!
I’m lazily pawning off a bunch of links as my blog entry this week:
I recently conducted an e-mail interview with Tim O’Shea for his blog Talking with Tim. Check that out here.
I was also recently interviewed by Paulo Patrício for his blog Entrevista Súbita, which can be found here. Included is the original English version (halfway down the page), as well as a Portuguese translation. I just get a kick out of the fact that someone bothered translating what I have to say into another language.
Additionally, I recently updated the “Press” tab of this website to include a listing of all the interviews, profiles, and reviews Tonoharu has received (that I’m aware of). So check that out here.
The critical reception for Tonoharu has been positive (overall), but in the interest of painting an honest portrait of the response to my book, I’ve included the negative reviews as well. (I’m not going to tell you which ones are negative, though, you’ll have to muddle through them yourself.)
Also, if anyone knows of any media coverage that I’m missing, please let me know. For example, I think Giant Robot had something about my book, but I don’t know what issue #, and it doesn’t seem to be online…
Pssssssst… (I like you.)
In last week’s blog entry, I wrote about the first of two cultural surprises I encountered during my current stay in Japan to study calligraphy at Shikoku University. The subject of this entry is the second surprise, which involved…
Attitudes towards Dating
A while back I was talking with a friend/classmate, and during the course of our conversation he offhandedly mentioned that two people in our class that were dating. He saw I was surprised to hear this, and inquired “Well at least you know that So-and-so & So-and-so have hooked up, right?” This piece of what was apparently common knowledge was also news to me.
I wasn’t so much surprised that I was out of the loop; my Japanese comprehension isn’t exactly perfect so I miss a lot, and my classmates have several other classes together that I’m not in. What really surprised me is that I can’t remember ever seeing the respective boyfriends & girlfriends so much as even talk to each other. Like, ever. Continue reading
Prior to coming to Tokushima to study calligraphy earlier this year, I had lived in Japan on four separate occasions. With more than three years of experience under my belt, I figured my grasp of Japanese culture was pretty solid, and didn’t expect any real surprises this time around. Having been here for just four months now, I’ve already seen this assumption get proven wrong twice (and counting).
It was pure arrogance to assume that my knowledge of Japanese culture was somehow comprehensive (or even could be), but especially considering the narrow scope of my previous experience. I was unable to communicate beyond caveman grunts for most of it, and my contact with Japanese people my own age was all but nonexistent. Working as an assistant English teacher, most of the people I met were either students or teachers, so everyone was either ten years old, or in their fifties.
This time around I’m in a university setting, so I’m surrounded by people my own age (actually most of them are five or ten years younger than me, but as I’m a cartoonist & blogger, it’s probably safe to assume we’re at about the same maturity level). And my Japanese is just starting to approach the level where I can actually make friends with people who don’t know any English. So I’m getting a glimpse of Japan I didn’t have access to before, leading to the two before-mentioned instances of mini-culture shock.
The first one being… Continue reading