Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here's some more homework sketches, plus some techincally non-homework sketches.

First we've got Harry Potter, because the kids love that sun-deprived dude. We've got another shot a chibifying my sketches, with a mini-Scott "Cyclops" Summers.

And then my local Genky supermarket has a ton of pen/pencil/paper testing stations, so I drew a Chopper on it using the various pens they have for customers to sample. And then a kid drew a Spongebob on their homework so I gave that character a try.

Below those are some blackboard draws of: Doraemon, an insanely popular character from Japan that has yet to make the transition to the US--see also the student's sketch of Ampanman, who is in a similar position of monstrous Japanese celebrity but non-existent US awareness; Majin Buu, of DBZ celebrity; and another Chopper, of One Piece. I drew the blackboard draws on a visit to an elementary school, where I did a guest teaching spot. The kids loved the sketches. It was hilarious, cute, and ridiculous.

To close, a student drew a character who I believe is related to the Vocaloid movement. So I tried drawing that character as an exercise in mimicry. Riffing on kids' drawings is a nice change of pace.

So there you go.

Happy Labor Thanksgiving Day,


Monday, November 28, 2011


Another postcard today, this one starring that one Incredibles character voiced by recently-minted Daily Show contributor, and John Hodgman half-a-man, Sarah Vowell, by day known as Violet.

Violet wasn't nearly as emotastic as I would have liked, but I do like the line about being gangly and only getting ganglier. (WOW! I just thought of a perfect character to postcard...!)

The kids liked this one, even though they couldn't think of her name during the 20-questions guessing portion of the game. Blew their minds when I gave them the hint: her name is a flower and a color. This one's my favorite postcard so far, but the one on deck is looking pretty neat...


Friday, November 25, 2011


Think globally, suck locally.

Zero Like Me #178:


Easter Eggs: "Yale" in panel 1. Today's setting is Fukui City's JR Station, in Japan.

Fun Facts: Oh, man. Posting this on a Monday cuz things are getting hectic.

Baa: Just when things felt hopeless, I got this current gig. I am extremely thankful for that. I pray to stay so fortunate and am ever cognizant of that fortune.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It's Thanksgiving today in Japan--Labor Thanksgiving Day--so everyone gets the day off from work, right in the middle of the week (no, it's not at all psychologically damaging to have a random Wednesday off with the expectation that we're back to the business week as usual in 24 hours. So here's the poster I made for the kids regarding Turkey Day.

It was not even Halloween and the stores and building facades were already sprucing up for Christmas--no love for the turkey. I've heard Japanese people even wonder what the "big chicken" was all about, being unaware of the delectable magnificence of the ever-regal, noble turkey. Since I work at two schools (one mainly, the other on a "visiting" basis), and my visiting school got the nicer poster last month, I decided to go all out on my "home" school's poster, and gave them a handsome turkey to anchor the poster.

In any case, tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US, of course. I think I'll have a giant pizza at my favorite pizza joint down the street and even get some giant fries at my favorite piza joint down the street, but I think I'll pass on giant pancakes at my favorite pizza joint down the street. My favorite pizza joint down the street has quite an eclectic menu. And then Friday is an enkai, a work party, so I guess I'm feasting twice this week. Which makes sense since Japan is all about the incrementals when it comes to food--no single huge food, just waves of it.



Monday, November 21, 2011


Last time we drew Supaman, and to continue the line of crazy-popular characters I've managed to avoid drawing for so long, I did this postcard of Mixi. He's standing on Chopper's hat, symbolizing his status as primordial cute-character of international renown.

Also, I'm not Canadian.


Friday, November 18, 2011


Instead of a comic this week, we have a video of how to draw a turkey in one stroke. I came up with this design while working on a poster for school and thought it would lend itself to a quick and easy Youtube video. I also tried testing out some stuff for future videos, like an intro sequence and some more music (intro music is by The Ivy League and main music is by 403). I went with my Doonesbury piece as the title card, but I might change it for future videos.

I didn't want to mess up while recording this, so I did a practice run through on a layer below the final work in Photoshop, dulled it to be as light as possible, and then basically inked it. But the design is pretty easy and simple to do.

But this is what he looked like on the first go around, along with some of his postery cohorts. More on this next week (a preview is underneath the four main attractions, though).


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Some more homework sketches today.

After I drew Doraemon (a popular character J-kids love) on the board, a kid copied it quite well onto their homework, so I decorated their rendition with a wanted poster styled after another popular anime, One Piece, which uses that distinctive "wanted" poster design for its criminal characters.

We also have an origami crane mashed up with Astro Boy because someone wrote on their sheet that, "Tezuka likes origami" (Tezuka is the name of the creator of Astro Boy). I hope the kid got it, but maybe not. Too insidery?

Next is Jessie from Team Rocket combined with some nifty stickers I found in my desk. I drew a quick little mini Superman and balloon cuz it was getting late in the night, but also cuz I wanna see if I can develop a sort of chibi style for quicker improvised sketches. It looks kinda cute and effective, not unsuccessful...

To cap it off, we have a giant red torii in the sea because the kids had to write about their field trip to just such a thing. I'm pretty sure there's more to a torii design than what I have here, but since I was going off of memory, I'd say it worked--I heard the kid cheer upon receiving the sketch, so I felt pretty warm and/or fuzzy.

So there you go.

Until next time,


Monday, November 14, 2011


Another postcard marker sketch for the people. This was my second one, after that Batman turned out reasonable. I don't really care for Superman, or superhero comics in general, but figured I'd give this guy a shot, considering my limited marker selection.

Coincidentally, one of the saddest, most beautiful songs out there, and one of my absolute favorites, was done for kicks for the Superman Returns soundtrack, set in motion by these city slickers. I actually kinda enjoyed that movie, come to think of it.

Anyway, this one goes out to you, Swing Space c.2008, my favorite accident.


Friday, November 11, 2011


When dealing with personal issues, everyone needs an outlet.

Zero Like Me #177:
Death Cab with Cutie


Easter Eggs: "Yale" in panel 3. Today's setting is roughly a Japan Airlines (JAL) flight. Today's comic has next to nothing to do with DCFC.

Fun Facts: Today's comic had to be rushed out a bit, so I really felt like I was back at the YDN, except rather than coming down to the wire to get this thing inked so it could go to print, it was to get it inked in time to scan at work so I could finish it up digitally at home. Line quality suffered the rush, but I also realized my main inking pen is at its limits; it's time to try a new one. Speaking of new things, next week will be our first brand new, non-recycled script since July!

Baa: I recently learned my old dean is leaving Yale for a job in Sydney, Australia. He was definitely a reason Yale was a wonderful place to be. Feel bad for future JEsters, especially those who need people in their corners.

Happy (apparently) "Pocky Day" (11/11/11),


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011


I saw some postcards laying around and thought I'd try some draws on 'em, inspired by the pride of Princeton, Jim Lee and his fantastic marker pieces. So of course up first is the Bat. Not because I'm a huge fan (which I am) but because Batman's secretly a super safe draw: black and white and go. Like your mom.

Shout out to Harkenss Tower in the back. And your mom.

I started with pencils, of course, before markering this dood up, and then double-dipped by using this in class as a visual for a game-oo. The art experiment went well enough that I went back for a few more, but that'll be for another day. Like your mom.

And yes, it's a Canadian postcard of all places. I know that cheapens the art but so does your mom.


Friday, November 4, 2011


Now poop on them, Oliver.

Zero Like Me #176:
Indie Comic


Easter Eggs: "Yale" and shout out to Ralph in panel 1. Today's setting is still an airport, but it's actually the one after the monorail after the train after the walk after the hotel after the bus after the plane to Narita airport. Was that confusing enough? Have you been high today?

Fun Facts: Only one comic left in Record script reserves before we hit the new stuff I've written in Japan.

Baa: I've been in Japan long enough that some of the wackiness doesn't register as quite so wacky anymore. For instance, the kids write in their textbook-companion notetaking pads branded "Joyful English." So teachers always say "take out your Joyfuls!" This used to make me crack up because of how cute and kinda-but-not-really-English it is, but now it's just as everyday to me as saying, "take out your notes."

For an in-class activity, I named a girl character Joy, but she was smoking in the picture, so the kids would laugh when I'd say, "The girl smoking is Joy" because in their budding English-brains, I believe that sentence translates to them as meaning, "the girl who is smoking is currently in a state of joy." I always get homework that say things like, "It was enjoy," further verifying my suspicions regarding what passes as logical English for Japanese people.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Found out the other day that my classmate died.

I didn't know him well, but we were in a sitcom-writing class at Yale for a semester, one of my favorite classes of my Yale career. Apparently it was just a year before he found out something was wrong. That guy had an incredible energy about him. Made you feel like a million bucks, even if you're just an acquaintance. Makes you want to smile, but yours could never compete with his. I still have the sitcom pitch he delivered during class; however fun and funny it was, it was his in-person delivery of it that made you want to check out his show immediately. I remember thinking, man this would rock as an animated show. He's the kind of guy that fires you up to do your best, the kind of guy I would love to work for or with.

Tenchi is Japanese for "heaven and earth," I learned the other day. Tenshi is "angel." So this Tenchi Muyo fan art I did recently for a kid at school seemed fitting for today.

Goodbye, sir. Enjoy a pain-free eternity.

With respect and admiration,