‘Kansai mini tour’ of comic book stuff in Osaka and Kobe.

I’m going to build a nice new blog about my comic books here on wordpress, from October 2015 on. So, to get started:

Back from my ‘Kansai mini tour’ of comic book stuff in Osaka and Kobe.

It was pretty good in general, I think. Taught 8 classes on comic books to various ages at the excellent Osaka International School. The kids were good in all classes (expect the older bunch who were a bit cool – it’s really interesting how behaviour changes from the direct enthusiasm of a 12 year old to the cool, detached distance of a 15 year old).

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But the younger kids were great. I was very impressed with their questions – which their teacher had got them to prepare before but then they went off into ad hoc ones that were just as interesting. For example the Grade 4 and 5 kids, at only 9 or 10 years old, asked really detailed and insightful questions about how to make comics, how to combine text and art, even on what the financial situation is like! 

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We did an activity in which i had taken out the text from one page of our comics, and they had to fill in the words with what ever they thought appropriate. Then the reverse – the words were there but I’d taken off the art – so they drew what the wanted that time. They did really well. One young girl wrote hers in Hebrew as she has only been in Japan a few months and her English and Japanese are not good enough yet.

The kids were very nice to me when they saw me in the halls or at lunch time, and treated me like I was a visiting celebrity (even crowding round me for about 50 autographs, as the photo shows). Not that this is my aim, but it was nice to be the recepient of their cute enthusiasm.

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Ninja, racism and halloween

Not that those three are connected!

Not in this case anyway…

  1. “To celebrate the launch of SECRETS OF THE NINJA book on July 7th, author Sean Michael Wilson explains to readers how comic books and manga are actually written. Using examples from his own book, he guides us through each step!”

The publisher asked me to do this – it outlines the basic steps of writing a comic, since most people have no idea of even these basic aspects. I also include what these stages are called in Japanese, just for fun.

Notice that this focuses on just the writing aspect of comics. Which is, of course, in no way to suggest that the art aspect is of lesser importance! And, indeed, with some clever people who can do both the words and the art the process maybe be very different from what I outline here:

https://www.northatlanticbooks.com/…/how-to-write-a-manga-…/


2. ‘If you dont like it – Get out my Country!’ … my article in ‘The London Economic’ newspaper on why that racist attitude is a mistake.

“If wrong, to be set right, to be made right, improved on when there is some problem. And how can some wrong habit, position, erroneous view etc be understood and set right if people are not allowed to express their opinion freely? All people, regardless of which country they happened to have been born in.”

…dedicated to certain people I know in Japan, the US and the UK.

http://thelondoneconomic.com/news/get-out-my-country

me article london economic


3. これは私の日本語の記事です ハロウイーン

Here i am teaching the Japanese kids about halloween in Scotland, including the fun game ‘apple dooking’ – my article in the main Kumamoto newspaper, ‘Kumanichi shinbun’ October 2015.

Halloween article 2015

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First review of volume 2 of THE STORY OF LEE

The first review of volume 2 of THE STORY OF LEE has come in:

Publisher: NBM   Writer: SEAN MICHAEL WILSON    Art/Cover: NAMI TAMURA  $11.99

“Finally Lee’s dream comes true, as she moves from her native Hong Kong to her dream location: the UK. And with her dream handsome guy: Matt. Exciting! But of course, then comes the reality of being in a new country, of actually living together, and that might not be so easy, especially as Matt’s best friend, Richard, seems more than a little jealous. And once again, wise Uncle Jun turns up to offer his advice. With art by Nami Tamura, a Japanese artist published by Kodansha.

The first volume of Story of Lee was about the joy, hope and infinite possibility we feel in young love, whereas this one takes the relationship between Lee and Matt to the next level, where the freshness has worn off and the hard part of building a lasting relationship begins.

And frankly, I’m not sure Matt has what it takes. I’m many years past my own courtship days, but he appears to be something of a thoughtless jerk, and perhaps a bit commitment-averse. Given that Lee is now in a foreign land with uncertain command of the language, his selfishness crosses over into cruelty. If not for Lee’s uncle, things would have take a natural turn with the characters breaking up and Lee returning to Hong Kong. (The uncle’s wisdom and insight borders on the magical, making him a sort of oracle that I’m guessing is a stock character in manga.)

So despite disliking Matt more and more, I found myself plowing on until the end, and wanting to know what happens next. I think that means I still like The Story of Lee.”

http://captaincomics.ning.com/forum/topics/comics-guide-for-oct-28-2015

SOL 2 cover lo


SOL screenshot p38


SOL screenshot p90


SOL screenshot p42

My comment:

I expect that most readers, especially female, will dislike Matt.

But that can be useful if it keeps them focusing on the story, as it did with this person above. And, anyway, not ALL characters have to be likeable – otherwise we would have to scrap a very large amount of fictional characters throughout history.

Also, in volume 3 of THE STORY OF LEE…Lee will become even more assertive yet. She already started to be more confident in volume 2. So, over the three volumes there will be a satisfying sense of her having grown and that she has pushed Matt to adjust his behaviour.

As to the uncle – I am not sure if that sort of oracle figure is a stock character in manga, but he is a ‘wise old man’ figure in this book, yes. Him and Lee even joke about that. But that is not so much taken from manga, but from the classic archetype of wise old men who enters the story at key points, of the type that Joseph Campbell talks of.

SOL screenshot p99

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Sean in Japan

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New blog

From October 2015 onwards I will make my blog posts here

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