Monday, October 25, 2010

Another reason why I live in Japan 日本に住んでいる理由第二

For more on this subject please check out my other blog: 日本にいる

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why I live in Japan... なぜ日本に暮らしているの?

An answer to a frequently asked question.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Due to a perceived general apathy and lack of interest I’ve decided to just throw the rest of the project up here. My plan was to build momentum and enthusiasm for this comic by releasing it a page at a time, but this has obviously failed. (I don’t know why? Jason Brubaker makes it look so easy) Anyway, I’m eternally grateful for the few kind e-mails I did get about this project (thank you so much and I hope you enjoy the ending). But now, It’s literally time to go back to the drawing board…
興味がないというか、無関心の方が多いと感じていますので、このプロジェクトをさっさと終わらせたいと思います。この漫画をだんだん盛り上げて行きたいと思って一ページずつ載せましたが、明らかな失敗になりました。(なぜか分からないですけど、Jason Brubakerはこのことを簡単そうにしているけど)。まあ、少なかったけど、優しいメールをくれた方に感謝しています。(本当にありがとう、この漫画の終わりも気になるといいですけどね)。でも、そろそろ他のプロジェクトを始める時です。

…and speaking of going back to the drawing board, I’ve decided to go back to my original blog to chronicle my latest project. For more on that please visit:
「他のプロジェクト」というと元のブログに戻って、今新しく作っている漫画について、語ろうとしました。詳しいことは、こちらですので、 に行って見てくださいね。

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Comic Convention Report コミケの報告

Last month I attended a Comic Convention in Mito (Ibaraki's capitol city). It was a "special version" of the bi-annual Comiket, Japan's biggest comic convention.
Anyway, I'm using the word "comic" here, but to be more exact I should be saying, "dojinshi." Dojinshi are self-published manga or comics. I've heard that many professional manga artists got their start making these, and, since I'm already making comics for myself here on the web, I thought it would be cool to go and meet other Japanese people who were doing the same thing. ...and who knows, maybe I could even get some information and actually try to sell my work at one of these conventions the next time around...

But it was all a big mistake...

My girlfriend and I arrived in Mito around noon (apparently the convention started at 11) The first surprise was a huge line progressing down main street. We joined in but after progressing a few blocks we were told that we had cut and needed to get in the back of the line… Was it really this popular?
We started to make our way to the back but then decided this was ridiculous and approached the building from the next block over. This technique was more successful, but once outside the building there was no avoiding the crowd of people waiting to get in. We had to wait for about an hour, just standing there. fun.

At about 1:30 we finally got to the entrance of the building but then we realized we didn’t have the catalogue which was necessary for admission. Fortunately, they were selling these at the door but this was the last straw for my girl. She told me she would meet me back out here in an hour and a half, but there was no way she was going in. I knew if we went in together I would just have to listen to her complain the whole time, so I agreed.

…and it was a good thing I did.

Inside were 6 floors of tightly packed sweaty Otaku (a Japanese word that could loosely be translated as "geek") looking at and buying amateur porn. It was just like I had feared… only worse. It was gross.
Fortunately, there was at least one ‘non-porn’ floor. A place where you could find stuff like train schedules and military otaku. It was here that I found the only manga that I bought. A short story about a girl who leaves her younger brother at a shrine and the adventure he has in her absence. It was a simple story and well drawn, just like most of the stuff I aspire to do on this site. But it was the only one...

Feeling discouraged and despair (and slightly dirty) I quickly left.
There were still about 45min before I had to meet Tomo so I just wandered around outside in a daze. Unfortunately, being a tall gaijin I can't help but stick out wherever I go, and it wasn’t long before I found myself cornered by a television crew and being asked for an interview...
I was reluctant of course. I mean, just being here was embarrassing enough. But to be honest, I was also half excited. I wanted to vent some of my frustration. ...and what better place to do that than on television?

It went something like this:
After a few questions about where I was from they got down to business...
So, what brings you here?
Well, as you can imagine I like comics and anime.
So what did you think?
(All this was in Japanese and I was extremely nervous. I had so much I wanted to say here but all I could manage was...) Err,… It was different than my expectations.
In what way?
It was poorly organized. There were too many people in too small a space. Also there seemed to be a lot of child porn. It sort of made me feel uncomfortable.
What were you expecting?
I don’t know. I guess more Science Fiction and Fantasy (meaning Swords and Sorcery) type stuff.
Ok, thank you. 分かりました。時間をありがとうございました。」
What? that’s it? Ok, thank you. Sorry I didn’t have a good impression.

It felt good to get all that off my chest.
but it didn’t end there... They actually aired the interview on the local news. And of course, they didn't air the whole thing. They just showed the part where I said I liked anime and comics. It was cut in with a bunch of clips of Japanese nerds and anime girls with huge breasts. "Look, gaijin like this stuff too," seemed to be the message. And so the next day I found myself explaining to my adult students that I wasn't a pervert.


I just want to draw manga for a living. Why is it so hard?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Manga in Japan日本の漫画について

It's strange, In America it always seemed like I was reading manga. But, now that I actually live in Japan, I barley pick it up. I do occasionally check out some of the monthly magazines just to see what's current though. Let's take a look...

I'm no expert, but these three magazines seem to be the best; Kodansha's Afternoon, Shueisha's Ultra Jump, and Shogakukan's Ikki. There are also weekly magazines, but let's stick with the monthlies for now.

One of my favorite mangaka is Daisuke Igarashi. He's probably best know in the states for Children of the Sea. Anyway, his work (and for a while Matsumoto Taiyo's too) is published in Ikki. I bought the issue you see above because it has what looks like a new series by him. Unfortunately he just did that cover and a poster... No story yet. A giant advertisement... I felt duped. But it wasn't a total loss. There was some pretty strange cool stuff (see below) by a guy named Murai.

Ultra Jump is also pretty consistently good. Right now Cloth Road by okama and Dogs by Shirow Miwa stand out to me.
ウルトラジャンプにも期待できる。今、OKAMAが描いているCLOTH ROADと三輪士郎のDOGSが目立つ。

...and finally there is Afternoon. This has one of my favorite comics, Hiroaki Samura's Blade of the Immortal. It also has another one of my favorite mangaka's latest work. Tsutomu Nihei's Knights of Sidonia.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The plot thickens... 筋が厚くなる

I have no idea if anyone can tell what's going on here. The pace of this manga is slowwwwwwwww...

I might have to re-think my strategy. ...It might just be better to release these pages on my deviantART account and collect them here when they're done.

I'm starting to think it might be cool to use this blog as a place to write about "the Japanese manga scene" as I set about trying to figure it out.





Monday, February 22, 2010

A Manga and a Plan... この漫画の計画

...well, I think it's a plan.

I'll probably just end up embarrassing myself, but that's what blogs are for right?

..wait, I'm rambling already and I haven't even started...

OK, here's the deal. I'm going to try to update this guy once or twice a week. I have an old old manga I'll release a page at a time as I do this. The purpose is to provide content and try to increase page views (how do you even check this? I'll have to look into this if I'm going to be serious).

I think the less I say about the manga itself at this point the better, but I will say that I was heavily influenced by Tsutomu Nihei at the time I made it.


Hope you enjoy.

きちんとしたブログの計画があった …かもしれません。



でも、どうやってアクセス数を調べるかはまだ分からない… (もっと、真剣に考えないと…)




Thursday, February 4, 2010

The blog title… 題名について...

“A manga addict.”

…It came to me in a flash. It was perfect. If anyone is a manga addict it’s me. I love reading them, I love creating them…
…but it’s more than that…

I mean, there are many people all over the globe who enjoy creating and reading manga. They lead happy, healthy, fulfilling lives. They call themselves fans or Otaku,… maybe even, geeks…
…but for me it’s not that simple…
…you see, I really am addicted.

If I’m not reading or creating manga I go through withdraw… I‘m inpatient, irritable. At best everything just seems like a waist of time. But at worst, everything becomes an obstacle standing in the way of me and my next fix.
I need it.

I need to escape into another place:
A place where you can explore the depths of space, with out having to worry about an oxygen tank, or distances physically impossible to traverse…
A place where you can be shot but not bleed…
A place where magic is real (more than just a parlor tricks)…
A place where you can see things that you can’t imagine…

...that’s where I need to be.

That’s why (it may not be the most positive of titles but) I’m…

…a manga addict.