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Tokyo Events November 2017!

November 12th, 2017

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This month I’ll be at several events in Tokyo and you can get my new book Cool Tokyo Guide early, as it is already available there. If you’re in Tokyo, please attend and say hello!

November 23rd: Tokyo International Comic Festival 11AM-4PM @ TOKYO BIG SIGHT 3-11-1 Ariake, Koutou-ku, Tokyo – The Kinokuniya booth will have the book for sale, just ask them for me if you want it signed.

November 25th: Comic Art Tokyo 11AM-6PM @ Temple University Japan Campus Azabu School Building (2-8-12 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo) – I will be on a panel at the Main Stage 11:30 Am with Yuuko Koyama and others aboutInternational Collaboration and will be exhibiting at Artist Alley with her and Matt Loux.

November 26th: Brave and the Bold 11AM-7PM @ Kyodo Printing Co., Ltd. Harimasaka Studio 4-15-7 Koishikawa Bunkyo ku, Tokyo 112-0002 – I’ll be exhibiting with Matt Loux.

My new book – Cool Tokyo Guide – is available to order now!

October 4th, 2017

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Great news! I have a new book coming out in March 2018. It’s Cool Tokyo Guide! Similar in format to my last book, Cool Japan Guide, this fun and fully illustrated book will take you on a deep dive into Tokyo with myself, Matt, Yuuko, and Kitty Sweet Tooth there to guide you! If you enjoyed Cool Japan Guide, or if you are looking for a more Tokyo-specific resource, this is for you! It includes attractions for children, a high-tech toilet guide, seasonal festivals, food (my favorite), and much more! Pre-order it here.

My 20 Years of Friendship and Japan

September 12th, 2017

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Yuuko and I at Comic Market in Tokyo the summer of 1997

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In Toronto for TCAF in 2017

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At Comitia in Tokyo the fall of 2010

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This summer is the twentieth anniversary of my first time traveling to Japan and meeting my good friend Yuuko Koyama. In 1997 I went to Tokyo for Sophia University’s summer session. The trip changed my life in many positive ways! Being a cartoonist, I had been a fan of manga and became interested in Japanese culture. I was excited by women’s comics culture in Japan which seemed so much stronger and more vast than American comics culture in the 1990s. Yuuko and I met by lucky coincidence. I had printed 50 copies of my mini-comic Tough Love in 1996. I had put it for sale in some local record and zine shops. Yuuko bought a copy at Other Music when she was on vacation in NYC. She wrote to me, and we struck up a pen-pal friendship, mailing our comics to each other. Then, I made a plan to study in Tokyo the summer of 1997 and Yuuko and I collaborated on a comic to sell at Comic Market. That was such a memorable time for me and there are many small details that still spring to my mind freshly.

I remember meeting Yuuko in person for the first time. I was staying at Asia Center, as was arranged for my student program. I had faxed her instructions to the hotel. Yuuko brought snacks to share while we worked on our comic. You can read the full comic here now!  A package of senbei rice crackers and bottled iced tea, unsweetened. It was my first time trying those things. Unsweetened bottled tea was not common in the US in the ‘90s.

I remember going to a noodle restaurant and Yuuko showing me how to buy noodles with a ticket from a vending machine.

I fondly remember hugging Yuuko on the street and her surprised reaction, as public hugging isn’t so common in Japan.

Those are just a few of the great memories I have from that first trip.

Reflecting on that time, I feel incredibly lucky that our paths have crossed and to still have her in my life as a friend and collaborator. Since that first time, I’ve visited Yuuko many times in Japan, she has visited me in New York, and we’ve made international trips together in France, Belgium, and Canada. She has accompanied myself and my husband on trips to Nikko and Hakone. She brought me to my first onsen, and helped me to feel comfortable with many of my new experiences in Japan. Now she appears as a character in my Japan travel books. I’m looking forward to many more years of friendship together!

Cool Japan Guide is featured in this month’s Tanoyaku magazine!

August 23rd, 2017

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See You at Emerald City Comicon March 3-5!

February 23rd, 2017

Seattle-area folks: I’ll be at Emerald City Comicon March 3rd-5th. Looking forward to it! I’ll be in Artist Alley with Matthew Loux at table # FF2, and signing at the Kinokuniya Booth Sunday at 1PM. Please come over to visit us! :D