Tell us about yourself
I currently live in Lexington, KY, where I work as a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and writer. I am also the first American to work in Japan as a full-time manga assistant. I illustrated on Souten no Ken (“Fist of the Blue Sky”) volumes 13, 14 and 15.
How did the manga for this week’s issue come about?
Recently, I had the idea of writing an article about my experiences working under legendary manga-ka, Tetsuo Hara. I figured Metropolis would be the perfect place to tell my story. An editor suggested I do the story in manga format rather than a written article. I thought it was a great idea, and voila, the first five pages appear in this very magazine. We plan to serialize the manga in Metropolis on a regular basis.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Got something to say about this article? Send a letter to the editor at email@example.com.
I'm also working on an “epic picture-book” of sorts titled Black Forest of the Sleeping Giant, which tells a similar tale but in a totally different context. It follows a young American boy who one day wakes up in Japan confronted by mythological Japanese forest creatures and giant monsters. I’ve always wanted to do a kaiju story, and I thought it would be interesting to tell it with large paneled artwork like a children’s picture book, but one with more of an narrative approach geared toward older readers.
What do you miss most about Tokyo?
I miss performing death-metal shows around Tokyo with my ex-band Detritum, shopping for vinyl Godzilla toys in Akihabara, eating at Ten-ya, and taking long train rides into the Japanese countryside during sunset.
For more info, see myspace.com/gojera_designs. ST
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