November 30, 2010

Pirates of Mars Special Edition

Hi everyone!

I am so happy that Pirates of Mars is completely finished after many months of hard work.  Woohoo!

We've released a special edition issue which includes:
  • all 32 glorious pages of issue #1
  • character sketches and production notes from my process work
  • and excerpts from JJ's hilarious "Wunk & Fagnalls Guide for the Aspiring Freebooter"


a quick look at the cover's humble beginnings...



hope you guys enjoy the book! 
i think it'll knock your socks off!
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November 28, 2010

Japan in 35mm - Horizontally


 These are photographs taken in both Tokyo (Nihombashi, Shibuya, Dogenzaka) and Nagoya (Osu Kannon, Hirabari) using a Superheadz 35mm [site]



 This cat hanging out in Osu Market had two different colored eyes!

November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


How was your holiday, American friends?  

Thanksgiving was really special for us this year, we got to see our family from Japan (we thought we wouldn't be together again for another few years!) my adorable youngest sister is home from college, and we made a really great dinner with our friend Alison.  It was a great day!



Alison's home is exceptionally cool - so I have to share...

 Alison's cat Brad. Brad is a girl.

We made roasted turkey leg, mashed potatoes, butternut squash and peas, oatmeal rolls, and stuffing with sauteéd onion and apple pieces.   Then gingerbread cake with confectioner sugar and pizelles for dessert...


and lastly -- 
BLACK FRIDAY ART SALE
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I added a new drawing to the store this morning!  
The drawing in the post below ("Amelia") is now available at 50% off just for this weekend [here]
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November 24, 2010

Mori-girls and the Concept of Time

original study 

Found a cool cape at Lowry's Farm in Parco and kind of based the style on this:


 This really is my favorite time of year, here in New England.  While I really hate the brutal winters - can't lie about that, it's the seasonal food and change in lifestyle that I love.  Making cider, toasting pumpkin seeds, baking lovely things.
I feel like when I was a kid, I had no concept of time.  Played outside all day, or drawing in my notebooks, or reading Goosebumps for many hours.  What happened to that?  Now my life is totally ruled by numbers - how much our electric bill is, how much I weigh, what my account numbers are because I forgot, deadlines, if I'm too old to play Secret of Mana...

Can I go back to living like the day is infinite?

Fall seems to be the best time for that - as you can see below:
I found a cat sleeping in our backyard the other day
 he looks so peaceful

a door decoration at a bank in Nihombashi

the final painting

If you are interested in purchasing this piece, please contact Gallery 1988 SF!
This and 7 other of my works will be on display as part of the group show

Sailing Through Shadows - Dec 4, 2010
the very last show at the Gallery 1988 San Francisco location
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in the meantime

HAPPY THANKSGIVING
 

November 22, 2010

Vintage Americana in Japan


I really enjoyed looking at the Japanese fashion scene during our trip.  Backpacks, hiking boots, fox-tails and other kind of old rustic Americana were popular - but kind of re-purposed into city fashion.  Like the idea of a camping getaway is stylish, instead of incredibly geeky like I used to feel as a kid.

Seeing so many Japanese girls into vintage Davey Crockett made me actually really want to go hiking with my dad again!



After being in Japan for only a few hours, I noticed that the cool trend for travelers is vintage-style luggage.  Since I had drastically underestimated just how much cool stuff I'd buy in Japan, I needed another suitcase.  Sadly, ones I pined for were just too expensive.  And as the exchange rate fell even lower during our stay, I had to give it up in favor of another style, though equally cool and probably more durable. If I was smarter, I would have bought from SteamLine Luggage before the honeymoon...

But if you are looking for new luggage, you should definitely check these out; I think they are pretty sweet:

SteamLine Luggage [site]
Here are some places you can buy designer luggage in Japan - vintage style, with complimentary fox-tail!

November 19, 2010

Mr. Donut


We love to eat.  I mean, Andy and I love food like it was a person and we'd marry it except we are already married to each other.

We went to various Mr. Donut locations about 4 times in two weeks - Akihabara, Nagoya, Shibuya - and all of them were really fun.  I didn't accumulate enough on my point card to get a toy, so we just bought one!  It made me laugh that my sister-in-law had enough to get two mugs!  So we had our morning coffees in Mr. Donut mugs every day.

They definitely taste different than American donuts - a bit spongier and lighter, but very good.  I even tried a "curry" donut in Akiba (spoiler: it was awesome)


November 18, 2010

Ameyoko-cho



One of our hotels was in an area of Northern Tokyo; Ueno. Ueno has many characteristics, a kind of a shady spot for hostess clubs and bars in the urban strip, but also the lovely and serene Ueno Park, and the Ameyoko open air market near Okachimachi.

Ueno is definitely a working-man's Tokyo, and has been for it's entire history (Thank you, Lonely Planet) It remains one of the many places in Tokyo you can eat and bargain shop until full and broke, then stay in a capsule hotel and do it all over again the next day.

At first I didn't care for it - clean and shiny Shibuya had my heart, but we quickly came to love Ueno, as it reminded us of the Lower East Side, NYC.


Above, Andy checks out "America-Store" haha
If you are here and love toys like we do, you have to check out Yamashiroya across from JR Ueno Station

November 17, 2010

Superheroes


I was very happy to be asked to participate in the 5th Annual Wonder Woman Day Art Auction held in Portland, Oregon, October 24th, 2010.  A benefit wherein all proceeds going to domestic violence charities, Wonder Woman Day is a great event. 

Above is the art I donated, and it was so great to find out superstars like Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, and one of my comic artist heroes - P. Craig Russel were also donating work.  Hope it went to a good home!

In Japan, Andy and I came across lots of superhero-related mascots - have you seen Mini Mini Man?


Can you guess what kind of business Mini Mini is?
answer below ...



In our jet-laggy mornings, Andy and I watched a great deal of Japanese TV.  And you know what?  It's kind of insane.  Like, really silly, nonsense.

<<< Look at this kid's show over here, what is this like a dog and a girl live on the moon and all these kids come to visit them? ... on the moon?

Japan is big on needless panel discussions on TV shows, so they discuss a particular story but all pretty much decide to agree "Yes, that story was interesting" less one guy decides "No, that story was not as interesting as I had hoped" and the entire panel is thrown into disarray.

But it greatly helped my Japanese and the understanding of how to listen for different accents and regional slang.  I'd watch non-sense panel shows if I had a cable dish!

We had a great time visiting with family in Nagoya.  Wow - my brother-in-law and sister-in-law now!  Woohoo!

They live in Hirabari, a sweet neighborhood just southeast of Nagoya center.  Seeing their daily lives was so fascinating - like familiar but totally alien, if that makes any sense.

I'll post this week about our 6 days with them - which will always remain such happy memories for us both.


Answer : A realty agency!