Pictured: Detail of an self-portrait done for Fukuoka Now
I had planned to skip this week’s blog entry because I’m busy preparing presentations, but coincidentally two interviews with me just went live yesterday, so I figured I could link to them in lieu of my weekly entry:
Secondly, Fukuoka Now, the monthly magazine for expats living in Fukuoka, Japan, named me as their “Gekkan Gaijin” (i.e. “foreigner of the month”) for February! A lengthy interview with me can be found over at their website: http://www.fukuoka-now.com/articles/show/4535
Thanks to Jessica Armbruster at City Pages, and Nick Szasz & Alanna Schubach at Fukuoka Now for the coverage, and the great interview questions!
Just a reminder that I have two presentations that are just around the corner:
This Friday, January 28th, 2011, I’ll be speaking at the University of Minnesota about Japanese Calligraphy and how it has benefited me as a cartoonist. All the details can be found here.
Then just a few days later on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011, I’ll be talking at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design about my comics, and my experiences with self-publishing. Details for that one can be found here.
So if you’re in the Twin Cities area, come out if you can!
(Note: I’m running myself ragged trying to finish up these presentations, so there will be no new blog entry this Friday.)
Living in a foreign country is a premise that is ripe with dramatic & comedic potential. Many prose books have tackled the subject, but not so much in the realm of visual narrative (i.e. movies, tv shows, and comics). One of the reasons I created my graphic novel series Tonoharu was to try to fill this baffling gap. I’ve never understood why there are dozens of mediocre medical dramas and cop shows on tv, but not really any that depict the unique & exciting experience of life abroad.
A notable exception debuted late last year, in the form of the web series entitled English Teachers. Each of the eight episodes is about seven minutes long, so the whole run can be watched in less than an hour.
I have mixed feelings about the show. For one, the characters are written a little too broadly for my tastes. Also, the stories feel a bit rushed; they try to cram in standard sitcom plots into a third the running time, so conflicts are often introduced only to be immediately, unsatisfyingly resolved in the next scene.
But hey, it often takes a while for a show to hit its stride. And overall, I like English Teachers, and think it has potential. The casting and acting are good, as are the production values. And while there are aspects of the writing that frustrate me, I have to admit I want to keep watching. Here’s hoping the series is popular enough to warrant a second season.
Every January, the Japan America Society of Minnesota has a Shinnenkai, or New Year’s Celebration. It’s the group’s big event of the year, with Japan-related demonstrations and performances and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a good time.
This year’s Shinnenkai takes place this Sunday, January 16th 2011. I’ll be there with a booth, selling my comics… maybe. It takes place way out in Hopkins, and buses aren’t an option since I’d be lugging a bunch of books (and it’d take two hours one way). So if I can get a ride, I’ll be there. If not, not. :-)
But you, dear reader, should go anyway! It’s a lot of fun.
Event Details What: JASM’s Shinnenkai When: Sunday, January 16th from 4-8pm Where: Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 Minnesota 7, Hopkins, MN 55305 [Google Maps] Admission: $12 adult ($17 for non-members), $12 college student/senior, $7 for children (6-17 years), children 5 years & under free
I’d never thought of it before until I saw the above video posted on Boing Boing about a month ago, but since a lighter-than-air gas (like helium) makes your voice higher, a denser-than-air gas makes your voice lower. Neato!