THE STORY OF LEE versus CAPITALISM!

I was pleased by a very positive review of THE STORY OF LEE in the Midwest Book Review recently. I’m keen on having my stuff in more libraries, since I rather like libraries – they have books there! The reviewer hoped for sequels, and that is of course our plan – 3 volumes in total.

One of the pleasurable things about  THE STORY OF LEE for me is the large amount of ‘artistic’ references i could put in, thanks to the characters preferences or discussions.  Including, for instance, the songs ‘Losing Haringey’, ‘(I Can’t Seem) To Make You Mine’, and ‘Bookshop Casanova’ – all by a band called The Clientele. You may have heard them on the haunting opening song to the film ‘The Lakehouse’.

The Clientele’s singer and main song writer, Alasdair MacLean is a friend of mine from my days at Edinburgh University. We used to go to the Florentine Cafe, just off Edinburgh’s historic high street,  and discuss our creative dreams. That was in the mid 90’s. How odd and wonderful it is that so many years later we have both managed to keep going within those creative tracks, and make a decent success of it. Especially as most people do not manage to make their young dreams come to fruition (but don’t start me on the way capitalism crushes people’s dreams! Except to say: it very often does…)

Anyway, I’m doing what I always wanted to do, make comic books, and Alasdair is doing what he always wanted to do: make music. Not only that but we even got our worlds to mix, by having him featured in THE STORY OF LEE. He also discussed the book on US radio when the interviewer asked him: “So, tell me about this manga you are in…” He proceeded to enthral her with tales of our old connection back in Scotland, the highs and the lows of it. Art and life intermingling, indeed.

 

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About the Author

Sean Michael Wilson/ Chie Kutsuwada
Sean Michael Wilson/ Chie Kutsuwada
SEAN MICHAEL WILSON is a comic book writer from Scotland, who now lives and works in Japan. He has had more than a dozen books published so far, from a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers. Although also writing 'western' style graphic novels, such as adaptations of classical novels, he often works with Japanese and Chinese artists on manga style books. He is the editor of the influential collection 'Ax: alternative manga' (Top Shelf). Currently he is writing books for Kodansha International, being the only British comic book writer working with them. He has attempted to do comic books that are different from the normal superhero/fantasy brands, working with a variety of 'non-comic book' organisations in the process. His book with War on Want, 'Iraq:Operation Corporate Takeover' was reported on by a variety of mainstream agencies - such as Reuters, CCTV in China and several Middle Eastern magazines. His main influences remain British and American creators - such as Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell and Harvey Pekar. 'The Story of Lee' is his second published book working with artist Chie Kutsuwada, the first being 'Hagakure' (Kodansha International).

CHIE KUTSUWADA was born and brought up in Japan. After graduating from the Royal College of Art, she now lives and works in London as a manga artist. She also attends some manga-related events and runs manga workshops at schools, libraries, and museums around the UK, such as at British Libraries and the Victoria and Albert Museum. She usually creates story and illustration on her own like King of a Miniature Garden (2007), her first manga, but also works with story writers, such as on the adaptation of 'As You Like It' (2008 SelfMadeHero, London) by Shakespeare and the Japanese classic tale 'Hagakure' by T. Yamamoto (adapted by Sean Michael Wilson, 2010 Kodansha International, Tokyo).

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