Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Today, four years ago, I first stepped foot on Japanese soil. I love Japan with all my heart. I am the legitimately happiest I've ever been in my whole life, including my Yale years. This is unbelievable to me.

But on to the show!  The jKids wrote little letters to me for their composition practice, their first time writing directly to me, rather than responding to some prompt and then me riffing on their responses.  So many jPeeps took the opportunity to ask for sketches, so this is a special, request-line edition of Homework Sketches.

First up is some K-On!!, a series I've heard much about and have seen a ton of incredible promo art for, but I've never actually read/seen the comic or show aside from clips from the JapanCast podcast.  But it's inspirational how accurate the art is to real-life: costume, setting, situation, all of it makes you want to see Japan, live Japan.

One jBandito asked which comics I like, so I recommended the under-appreciated mangaka behind Oumagadoki Doubutsuen, Kōhei Horikoshi. He(?)'s got a new SF series that debuted just recently in Weekly Jump, but from what I've seen, it's not terribly gripping...hope it gets better! Speaking of animals, one dude asked about my favorite jFood, and it's gotta be that fish on a stick, easy.  All day, man, bring it. Fish on a momofuku stick.

An aspiring artist asked me for advice so I wrote back a bunch of tips plus titles/artists to check out, and even included a grammatical diagram for a new base word: "illustration." 

One jCat asked if I "played" kendo, and although I want to give kendo a ken-go, unfortunately I haven't been able to.  I think it's mainly a high school club sport... Anyway, for a kid who asked about my video gaming habits, I drew a hybrid Pokemario dealio. I haven't played vidja games with any intensity since maybe my first few months of Yale.

I got a request for a Zoro and a Luffy, so that was a snap. Trickier was a request for Brook, a character I had no experience with: when I left the US, we'd just met Robin on TV, and she was still a villain; in the comics, we'd just got Sanji on the team!  Next we got Naruto, who I had to squeeze in between lines of text.  The draw looks cool peeking out of the paper, though, sneakily like a ninja.  I have to say, I'm so used to the first generation of these time-jumped series, all my Choppers wear the cuter pink top hat, none of my Narutos are tall and lanky. Gotta brush up on the new hotness...

Last question I got: what do I think about Japan?  Guess, my little jCrew member, guess.


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