19 May 2013
I am very excited, and so proud to work with Annie Koyama (and intrepid P.A. Ed. Kanerva) on this book. It will look cool. It will be FUN TO READ. Perhaps you will feel upon reading the book, in the words of poet Mary Oliver in her poem The Summer Day:
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Read about it, as well as the other books that I am so proud to be released alongside, at Koyama Press.
7 November 2012
I’d love to sell you an original drawn page from one of my books. What do you say?
Prices range from $30 for a small page to $200 for a double spread. If there’s something you like, drop me a line. I can bring it to Brooklyn with me.
I’ll put up a proper page with Paypal buttons after I get back from the show. For now, I’ll just show you some photos:
5 November 2012
First of all, I’m going to the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival! It’s the first time I’ve been to the US in several years. I am so excited to see my friends in New York, and then to visit my family in North Carolina. This trip is pitifully short – only 8 days total! But I’ll make the most of it. :)
I have work in a few anthologies at the moment! First is Secret Prison #7, the manga/GARO-inspired tribute issue published by Retrofit Comics. Box Brown and Ian Harker asked me to make the cover, so I drew it and then printed it in 4 risograph colors. I am happy with how it turned out! Some of the people who donated on Kickstarter got original risograph prints that I made. I hope they like them.
I also contributed a small piece to the Latvian comics anthology š! #12 ‘Future 2.0’. They publish amazing, full-color books which I am so happy to be part of. This piece was also made with a risograph – I double printed the same layer in two different inks to get a weird sort of color combination (on different papers, too). This issue was co-edited by Annie Koyama. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to post my pages on the net!!?? Here is the cover:
By the way, Koyama Press is helping me re-publish SF #1! So I will have a new edition printed by Ryan Sands in San Francisco, available at BCGF!
16 April 2012
I’ve noticed a bad habit I have when making comics. Usually the first page that I draw is page number 1. Then I do pages 2 and 3. Then I do pages 4 and 5. But I don’t always finish the pages! If I leave a couple of panels unfinished with one spread, then it becomes more easy to leave a few more panels unfinished in the next spread. This creates a problem because if I can’t read my story sequentially and completely, then I can’t use my mind to clearly write/draw the next page very well. Part of the reason is that the story has a lot of rhythms that balance through each other, and if I’m missing one piece of one part, then it throws all the other parts off. Know what I mean?
So for me, it seems that I can work best when I’m going straight through the story, without skipping pages. I could possibly be okay if I skip to the next chapter. But if I have to hop a few panels or a few pages, then I can really get confused, even if I thought I knew what I was doing.
This week I’ve been going through SF #2 and making a bunch of corrections that I should have finished a long time ago. That includes small issues with the art as well as unfinished lettering. As you know, I usually don’t use computers in the process of making books. That’s because logistically it’s a lot simpler for me to go to print. Working without computers also means that I have to keep my original drawings very clean.
Fixing problems with the lettering is tough. It would be good to script everything out exactly correct before I draw the final page, but sometimes I make things up or add little touches as I go along and then my lines are off-balance. My newest and best way to fix bad lettering is to draw on the backs of receipts and paste them into the balloons. It’s the best paper I know! It’s very white, it’s opaque, it accepts the ink well, and it dries quickly. Most importantly, of course, the paper is thin so it doesn’t leave a big shadow when scanned.
I’m sure professional mangaka have a paper that’s perfect for this use, if not made for it, but I don’t know about it! For now I’m just holding onto my receipts, but I’m sure I can buy a roll of the stuff somewhere. This is the kind of receipt paper that is printed with heat. Not the stuff you print on with blue or purple ink in an old cash register. Oh and lemme say one more thing about professional mangaka – they don’t rewrite the dialogue as they draw each panel! (This is a bad habit for me, too. I’m sure this is natural for some people, but I really think I do better work when I complete a script the way I want it, and then EXECUTE.)
So after I’ve corrected all of my lettering, I can read the whole story of SF#2 (that’s been finished so far), understand the rhythm, and move forward.
14 February 2012
I’m sorry I’ve neglected this site for too long! You see, Tumblr is a much easier platform to post entries to, and also provides a good method of feedback. So find me there, if you can! But I really should keep this website updated with the main events, don’t you agree?
First of all, SF#1 is temporarily out of stock, as of this writing. I’m in the middle of reprinting and assembling a new batch. It’s almost done, so I’m taking orders again, but I can’t ship them for about 1 week. If that’s okay with you, then by all means please order a fresh copy!
I’m currently drawing SF#2. It should be done before the next convention, which looks to be MOCCA Festival in NY, this April. Closed Caption Comics will be there. I won’t be able to attend, but Conor and Molly will be there with several of their own new books in addition to all my most recent zines. I’m reluctant to post pages from SF#2, because the non-spoilery stuff requires the most tinkering. Okay, okay, here are a couple panels, but no guarantees they’ll be in the finished product!!
This winter I published a 3-part minicomic called SF Supplementary File #2. It’s an ode to Matsumoto Leiji and is kinda a part of the SF “universe,” or it will be. This was an adventure in printmaking, with over a dozen different colors used throughout the 3 books. This is one of my favorites, from the center spread in SFSF#2 C:
I recently answered questions in 2 different interviews. I wrote emails back and forth with Mark P. Hensel, an Austin-based cartoonist who I’ve seen on the net for a long time. We are both “process nerds” so if you read the conversation that came out of those emails you can learn a little bit about my totally analog printmaking process. Click through to his site:
I also spoke to Ao Meng of NOVI Magazine. He is a student at U of Texas and he writes a comics column for their newspaper. NOVI is a very good web project about comics. I think they’ll be hosting or publishing comics somehow digitally in the future, but for now they’re a great site to follow for (alt-)comic interviews and discussion. Read all about it here.
Finally, I submitted my comics for critique by the guys at Deconstructing Comics. They gave me some good feedback on SF#1 and SF SF#1. I don’t know why you should listen to this, but I was very excited to hear strangers laugh at the jokes that I drew. :)
See you until next time!
26 October 2011
This is a small minicomic with the right sense of tactility. I love it.
There are many drawn objects, there are some designs, and he uses different tools. You can detect traces of his construction all over the book, in a good way.
For example, you can see where he pencilled in the dimensions of the page along the edges of the photocopies. This is really nice, low-tech minicomic style. He also includes 2 glowing silver patches, using die cuts. High-tech minicomic style!
Andy’s got a tumblr but I don’t see his minicomics on there anywhere. So, if you want one of these sweet minicomics just go there and email him. (I guess that’ll do it!)
9 October 2011
I made a comic for my first year students.
4 October 2011
Hong Kong was great. The city is a lot more like New York than Osaka or Tokyo. Lots of ethnicities – Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Arabs, Europeans… very different from Japan, and very refreshing! There are lots of different types of people, doing different things, always busy.
I was surprised by how safe and hassle free was the city. Even in the tourist swarms in Kowloon around Chungking Mansions, guys would approach me as I walked by and ask “Young man, need a tailor? Copy watch? Hash?” BUT I would just walk by and there was no hassle.
In Hong Kong, businessmen don’t all wear identical black suits. Also the construction workers don’t wear uniforms! Some guys building a house worked with their shirts off. Students wear uniforms just like in Japan, with more intricate, English-style school badges. I saw a fair number of sheiks in turbans, women in saris, and also young people in Japanese fashion.
There is a lot of Japanese culture everywhere. Someone told me that although Chinese people hate Japanese people (just like the Japanese hate the Chinese), they DO love their culture. So I saw a lot of Japanese restaurants, Japanese magazines and Japanese-inspired fashion, and Japanese entertainment. I like this very much because we really don’t see it so much in America. Oh, oh, some kids were cosplaying!! Hey Noel check it out!
In Hong Kong, especially in the Central business district, there are a LOT more white guys than in Japan! And they work in real jobs in big buildings, and they speak English but not so much Chinese. Also worth noting is that there are more BIG and HANDSOME white guys than in Japan (i.e. much bigger and more handsome than me). I’m serious! I attract attention in Japan but in HK I am just another nerd (same as America).
My hostel was bare-bones but it was good. A single room cost 30 bucks a night. The room had a single-sized bed, and space enough to stand and shift your luggage around, but that’s it. I was on the 10th floor in a joint in Mong Kok. The front door was right next to a very stinky street-food place. After a week of this, I found the smell just awful. The taste was okay though.
One more thing – Repulse Bay is a great beach with WARM water! I haven’t been in ocean water so warm in many years! It took like an hour, and $2 in subway & bus fare, to get down there. I’ll set aside more beach time on the next trip.
I’ll tell you some stories another time, and I’ll show you some more pictures.
6 September 2011
Did you know I’ve been in Japan for 3 years?!! I had no expectations when I graduated from MICA in 2008 but things are working out okay right now. Every day I draw (not enough though), I make smoothies (at a regular pace), and I check Google Reader (too much).
School just started again after summer vacation. It’s better now that I don’t have to commute to another city twice a week. A typhoon came by this weekend, but we’re okay here. It’s not hot every night anymore, and I look forward to cooler weather.
Tucker Stone reviewed SF#1 on TCJ.com. This makes me feel compelled to finish and publish more comics. So I’m working on Two Eyes of the Beautiful III now. It’s coming along in fits and starts. I’ve thrown out a lot of pages on the way. Of course it would be great to be able to just draw it easily and quickly, but the current draft is better than the first draft, so I am glad. Here’s a sequence:
On Saturday we went to hang out at Sayaka’s house with her dad. He and I can’t communicate perfectly, but he is a real cool guy. He recently installed a new bathroom and a new porch. The porch is great. The bathroom is an amazing super-Japanese bathroom. When you open the door, the toilet lid is lifted automatically, electronically. The seat warms up for you. The bathtub is good, too: it has a speaker that connects to the kitchen so you can chat while your girlfriend makes dinner. The rest of the house is very cool: it’s old, kind of traditional, and also kind of foreign to me (I live in a modern rectangular shoebox wedged into a monotonous apartment complex).
Next weekend I’m going to Hong Kong for “research” – i.e. basically a vacation with as much drawing as possible. 11 days in the middle of the semester. I had to ask permission from every teacher to do it, but I’m really excited and sure it’ll be worth it. My ideal vacation is to spend a little too much time in one place (haha, similar to my life in Nishinomiya). I’ll let you know how it goes. :)
14 August 2011
This is a really fun baseball manga in the cute tradition of Touch!
- The poses are really gesturey, and loose
- I like the really thin pen and light watercolors.
- The action spreads are so sweet
- The characters are so cute
- I like it when the perspective bends and sways, but not so much as it does in One Piece (the perspective gets crazy any time a character might laugh, or reach their hand out to one side, or cough, or any small action). Tezuka does it really smartly, this artist is on the extreme side but it’s usually done with a purpose so I think it’s good.
- Sometimes there are 3 panels, sometimes there are like 40 panels
- See this pitch here: THIS PITCH GOES ON FOR 15 PAGES!!