Talk at Glasgow

SOL step by stepI came back from Glasgow, where I attended Glasgow Film Festival and talked about manga in general and my work, of course including the Story of Lee,  with Paul Gravett and Sean (via Skype!), last night.

At the talk, I showed this image to the audience and explained my working process.

When I create stories by myself, I automatically know who the main characters are and how they act and react. But when I’m working with the writers, in this case Sean, I need to read the script again and again and again, then digest it until I feel familiar with the characters and understand why they act like as the writer wrote. This process is very very important to me and sometimes it takes me quite long time to go through some scripts.

Once I do this part deeply, the rest is easier. When I’m ready and feel like  I can see what the characters look like and how they move etc, I naturally start making memos and sketches.

At the stage of a page arrangement, one of the most important things for me is the position of speech bubbles. They will lead the eyes of the readers and make a flow of a page and the entire story. So I am very careful where I put them.

Well, I can explain how I do forever so I’ll stop here.

At Glasgow, the talk was successful and I really enjoyed my stay.

Oh if you are around the area, you can buy a copy of the Story of Lee from Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow while the Film festival is on (and you should have lunch at the CCA cafe since they serve some wonderful meals!).

(Chie.K)

“An appealing cross-cultural love story.”

 
 
Story of Lee handles its appealing cross-cultural love story with a deft sweetness.”
Says Bill Sherman of Blogcritics, also on Seattle Post Intelligencer
Salvatore gets a “Highly recommended!” from Sequential Tart with a grade of 8/10.
And yet another review for The Broadcast from Rob Clough over at The Comics Journal. Interestingly, he went in the opposite direction of most. While he was not entirely bowled over by Eric Hobbs’ characterizations, he enthuses over artist Tuazon’s rendition:

“Tuazon’s scribbly, scratchy line is the book’s secret weapon.  He transforms what is otherwise a conventional narrative into a story viewed through a driving rainstorm or distorted sheet of glass.  Everyone is a little fuzzy and instinct, even as he has an uncanny way of providing just enough identifiers for the reader to quickly decode each scene and immediately understand what’s happening and who’s acting.  I’m usually not a huge fan of greyscaling, but Tuazon finds an ideal balance between light and dark.  Tuazon captures both the naturalism of the setting and its characters as well as the expressionistic nature of the human conflict.  In the hands of a lesser artist, The Broadcast might have been trite and too on-the-nose.  Thanks to Tuazon, it has a raw and visceral energy that raises the stakes for the reader.”

Back from Tokyo

Back from a week in Tokyo, and a successful week it was (with one surprising exception, that i wont gossip about!).

The manga great that i met there was none other than YOSHIRO TATSUMI, the originator of the mature manga GEKIGA style, way back in the mid 50’s. Myself, Asakawa-san and a couple of other lads conducted a taped conversation, discussing gekiga, manga in general, Tatsumi’s influences and intentions, my own books (including THE STORY OF LEE). It was a very illuminating chat, which will appear in AX Japan in April maybe. This photo is Tatsumi sketching for us – its a dark cafe as you can (not) see.

A real honour to be with Tatsumi-sensei.

And my other business in Tokyo was good too – a lecture in Lakeland college about mature manga,a magazine interview (all mentioning THE STORY OF LEE, of course) and a radio broadcast appearance at the ‘Whisky live’ event,where our 4 big manga pages showing how whisky is made where out on display for the public in Roppongi (art by Akiko Shimojima), and yesterday (barely one hour before i had to leave the catch the plane)  my new book with Kodansha International arrived at their offices – YAKUZA MOON, and it looks wonderful (art by Michiru Morikawa). Very happy to see that!

NBM in April: A much lighter Dungeon Monstres

Here’s what we’ve got being solicited for in comics stores this month, to ship in April:

The Dungeon series takes a much lighter turn after its increasingly dark stories:

DUNGEON Monstres
Vol. 4: Night of the Ladykiller
Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim,
J-E. Vermot-Desroches, Yoann
Vulture sorcerer Horus, a ladykiller? Who knew? Yet, as the first story in this volume shows, he is accused of impregnating a slew of women. The second story takes a much lighter tone starring Grogro the big always hungry goofball seen in many stories before, especially in the Parade series. Here, he’s the hero, or at least tries to be, on a mission to fix a mess with a bunch of beer brewers. Question is: will he solve the problem… or just eat (and drink) it?
6 1/2 x 9, 96pp., full color trade pb.: $14.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-608-2

See the preview pages

You can also  order this month from your comics store the previous volume 3 in this series AND, just in time for Easter, Brooke Allen’s irresistible and highly acclaimed debut A Home for Mr. Easter.

EUROTICA meanwhile will offer an elegant and steamy collection of Chinese erotic comics:

The Jade Door
Chaiko & other Chinese artists
Erotic stories from ancient China by leading Chinese artists. Beautiful Asian women opening themselves to forbidden temptations, delicately rendered in exquisite watercolors and painting. A beautiful and very arousing album from the Middle Kingdom.
9 x 12, 64pp., full color hardcover: $17.99,
ISBN 978-1-56163-606-8

And stores will be able to reorder for you our other top erotica: First Time and The Story of O.

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And so you know as well, our sister Papercutz has this for April:

THE SMURFS #6
“The Smurfs and the Howlibird”
Peyo – writer and artist/
Gos – writer

The Howlibird is coming, and the Smurfs are going! When one of Papa Smurf’s experiments goes terribly wrong, it indirectly leads to the creation of the high-flying terror known as the Howlibird — a monster determined to destroy all Smurfs! Also, the return of Gargamel in “The Smurf Express”!

6 1/2 x 9, 56pp., full color paperback: $5.99,
ISBN: 978-1-59707-260-1
Also in collector’s hardcover: $10.99,
ISBN 978-1-56163-261-836

see the preview pages

CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #13 “Ivanhoe”
By Sir Walter Scott
Adapted by Mark Wayne Harris and Ray Lago

Mark Wayne Harris adapts the classic novel that brought the Age of Chivalry to dramatic life and added to the mythology of Robin Hood. Ray Lago’s beautiful full-color renderings depict all the romance and ation of this timeless tale in an impressively dynamic fashion. Lago’s breath-taking watercolor work makes “Ivanhoe” one of the most handsomely illustrated editions in CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED history.

61/2 x 9, 56pp,. full-color hardcover: $9.99
ISBN 978-1-59707-248-9

see the beautiful previews

Award Season is upon us.

…And we’d like to remind you, if you’re an artist or professional who can vote for the Harvey Awards who now have their ballot for nominations up or the Eisners when their noms come up, as to the great stuff we’ve brought out last year:

The Axe-Man of New Orleans, Rick Geary

Boneyard vol.7, Richard Moore

The Broadcast, Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon

Dungeon Monsters 3 by Joann Sfar & Lewis Trondheim art by Carlos Nine and Patrice Killoffer, Dungeon Twilight 3 art by Kerascoet and Obion

Elephant Man, Greg Houston

A Home for Mr. Easter, Brooke Allen

Little Nothings 3, Lewis Trondheim

Miss Don’t Touch Me 2, Hubert, Kerascoet

Networked: Carabella on the Run, Mark Badger and Gerard Jones

On the Odd Hours, Eric Liberge

Salvatore vol.1, Nicolas De Crecy

The Story of Lee, Sean Michael Wilson, Chie Kutsuwada

“Outrageous plot twists and offbeat characters”: Library Journal on Miss Don’t Touch Me; press roundup

“The plot fairly gallops in this naughty adult soap opera; snappy dialog keeps up the pace. Richly detailed full-color art offers both humor and pathos, creating engaging characters and a strong sense of place. [Those] who like outrageous plot twists and offbeat characters should enjoy this romp.”

The Library Journal on Miss Don’t Touch Me 2.

Salvatore by De Crecy elicits a fun Siskel & Ebert like exchange between two critics over at Manga Critic (just excerpting here):

“I think my strongest impression of Salvatore is that it makes me a little anxious, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Most of Joann Sfar’s work – Klezmer, The Rabbi’s Cat, Vampire Loves – and Taiyo Matsumoto’s comics – TekkonKinkreet and Gogo Monster – also have that effect. I suspect the anxiety partly comes from how visually dense de Crécy’s comics tend to be, sort of dragging your eye in a bunch of different directions at once, and how morally vague his characters and their situations are.

Almost every adjective I could come up with to describe the lines sounds very unflattering (e.g. “spidery,” “shaky”), but I actually find de Crécy’s work quite beautiful in its idiosyncracies.

I’m on the fence about Salvatore, in part because I find it a little over-scripted; de Crécy has a very strong urge to narrate, even though he’s a terrific visual storyteller. The scene in which the sow catapults down the snowy mountain, lands on top of a plane, then sails back down to Earth is just the sort of wordless (or largely wordless) sequence that I wish de Crécy did more of; it’s a gorgeous bit of visual choreography that nicely underscores what a space cadet Amandine really is.”

Manga Worth Reading, a part of Comics Worth Reading, has an exclusive preview of The Story of Lee. And Jazma Online has this interview of Sean, the writer.