Headin’ off to Japan! / Book Release Party Reminder / Review Roundup


This is the last entry to go up while I’m still on American soil; next Tuesday, I’m boarding a plane and heading off to Japan, to study Calligraphy at Shikoku University for two years!

What’s that you say, Twin Cities residents? You just couldn’t live with yourself if you didn’t see me at least one more time before I go? In that case, why not join me tomorrow, Saturday March 29 from 4pm to 7pm! I’m throwing a joint book release party with fellow graphic novelist Tim Sievert at Big Brain Comics in Minneapolis, to celebrate the release of our respective graphic novels, Tonoharu: Part One and That Salty Air! For more details, see this post.

But in case my imminent departure from the USA isn’t enough to convince the Minnesotans among my readership to come out to my little soirée, then how’s about these reviews/coverage for my book, Tonoharu: Part One?

The Daily Crosshatch / Brain Heater
Comics Waiting Room / Marc Mason
Comic Book Bin / Leroy Douresseaux
Read About Comics / Greg McElhatton
The Japan Times / David Cozy
Best Shots / Micheal C Lorah (Review of Tonoharu a little less than halfway down the page)
Booklist also reviewed Tonoharu, but I can’t seem to find a link to that…

Other Coverage
JETAANY / Alexei Esikoff
Roseville Review / George Fairbanks

It’s both bizarre and exciting to have complete strangers comment on my work; it gives me a whole other perspective than friends and family, whose criticisms naturally soften when confronted by my large, puppy dog eyes. I’ve been very happy with the critical response Tonoharu has received thus far. Most of the reviews I’ve seen have been quite positive, and I’m glad that I managed to communicate something successfully with Tonoharu. Thanks to all the reviewers & reporters for taking the time to read and evaluate it.

This entry is pretty short, but I tell ya, this month was exhausting with all the preparations for this trip, the book release party, the book marketing… I’m beat. So I think I’ll end it here. Hope to see you tomorrow at the party, otherwise, sayonara!

Actually, one more quick note: I figure for my first few weeks in Japan, I probably won’t want to have to worry about updating this blog, so I’ve prepared six blog entries to autopost for the next six Fridays. So continue to stop on by for those, (the first two of which will include shocking revelations that I dared not admit while still on American soil). And to read about my new life in Japan, check back on May 16 when I’ll post an entry about that.

Taking Stock of 2007

Image from
Tonoharu: Part One

At the end of 2006, I returned from Japan exhausted, unemployed & heartbroken. It wasn’t a very auspicious start to 2007, but I decided to make the best of my total lack of attachments with an experiment.

For the whole of 2007, I would remain willfully unemployed. I wouldn’t devote the slighted effort to a job hunt, or an apartment search, or anything else that a responsible twenty-nine year old in my situation would do. Instead, I would swallow my pride and hole up in my parents’ basement, and devote myself completely to my calling of drawing comics.

My hope was to somehow turn full-time cartooning a financially self-sustaining endeavor. I wasn’t sure if that was possible, but thought a year would be enough time to at least give me some idea. If things seemed to be going well at the end of 2007, I’d continue pursuing comics. If things looked less promising, I’d consider a different path.

So as 2007 came to a close this week, I took stock of where my little experiment has left me.

Continue reading Taking Stock of 2007



The reason I decided to update this blog on a strictly weekly basis is that I figured it would be often enough so that people might visit regularly, but infrequently enough so I could write (somewhat) interesting entries without having the blog take over my life. For the most part I think it’s worked out pretty good so far.

This week, however, I’ve been really busy preparing the files for my forthcoming graphic novel Tonoharu: Part One to send to my printer. I’m anxious to get the files off to the printer because there’s an eight-week turnaround time from when they get the files to when I get the books back from them, and I want to start that process as soon as possible. So getting those files in order has been my number one priority.

Because of that, the old blog took a backseat this week. So with these few measly lines, I bring this phoned-in entry to a close. By early next week I should have the files delivered to the printer, and will resume writing the interesting entries you’ve come to expect (*cough, cough*), starting with the forth part of my Creating Tonoharu series. So check back for that.

In the meantime, check out a couple press releases I took a stab at writing here. If anyone who actually knows how to write a press release has any suggestions for edits, please let me know.

First Entry: What I’m up to these days

If you’re reading this on or around the date that it was put up, then I probably know you personally and you’re probably among the dozen or so people who I mentioned this blog to. Of those twelve or so people, about half probably already have a pretty good idea about what I’m up to, so I guess I’m writing these words for the benefit of about six people (who are presumably barely interested in the first place). But I suppose it’s good practice for my newfound intention to blog regularly, so here we go.

So here’s what’s going on in my life recently. For about a year now I’ve been unemployed and have been living off my savings. This state of unemployment has been willful, and is part of a greater plan to determine the economic and logistic feasibly of a career as a cartoonist. For the past twelve months I’ve devoted myself to the production of a lengthy, (yet unfinished) graphic novel, as well as applying for various scholarships and grants to help me in the pursuit of a comics career (more about all this nonsense in blog entries to come). It is my intention to continue this irresponsible lifestyle at least until the end of this year, and possibly longer depending on how things go.
Continue reading First Entry: What I’m up to these days