Quake News From Elsewhere- A brief visit to Futaba-Machi, in Fukushima prefecture March 2015

A brief visit to the town of Futaba-machi, the evacuation zone within 2km of Fukushima Nuclear station, the reportage coming soon. More than talking about political/anti-nuclear issues, I witness complex human emotions exchange among the residents, volunteers and various associates. 放射能汚染により帰宅困難区域になってしまった双葉町への一時帰宅・・・住民の人々、寄りそうとする人達、政治的なテーマより,人としての様々な思いが交 錯する。

Other easy sketches

Illustration exercise- Kong Girl


Reviewing a sample- Malik Sajad's 'MUNNU- A boy from Kashimir' publsihed by 4th Estate

The other day I was asked to comment on a new up-coming graphic novel from 4th Estate .
 The tile is  'MUNNU- A boy from Kashimir' by Malik Sajad, a young artist who studied Visual Art at Goldsmiths in London.I'm not a man of words, not sure how well I can write about it... 

Rather closer to David B’s ‘Epilepsy’ than Marjane Satrapi’s 'Persepolis',this story of a young boy’s account over oppressed Kashmir during the early 90’s opened a new insight into this part of the world- an almost completely unknown territory for me personally(I wasn’t even aware that Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan.) 

The first time I heard the name ‘Kashmir’ was from one of the Led Zeppelin classics but that was it. How embarrassing it was after reading this sample sent to me.

Firstly what I liked about Malik Sajad’s artwork was that his depiction of Kashmiri people as deer and how he gave other human characters such as Indians and Pakistanis normal human features- quite an influence from Spiegelman’s ‘Maus’ but the tale’s feel isn’t as deadly and dark as 'Maus' thanks to the fact that the protagonist is a small child and his innocent dream to be an artist lifts the atmosphere, brings upbeat and easier access.

Of course there’s a strong sense of cynicism in the scene where the main character, Munnu opts to draw AK-47 than photos of disfigured victims from the conflict on newspaper. This scene subtly tells what an extraordinary environment he lives in. It doesn’t mean Munnu is violent but he lives so closely to these things- familiar no longer shocking. Kids draw the most familiar things. Luckily in Japan they draw Manga and Anime characters instead of guns. However it remains hopeful as his parents step in to make sure all of his children don’t get affected or involved with the craziness going around in their daily lives.

  It’s a growing up story but also a tale of one family’s everyday in the middle of an unsolvable political destruction.


It is also quite noticeable that the artist’s first visual influence came from woodcut printing and his father, an artisan in this, teaches young Munnu rather reluctantly. It gives me a smile the author doesn’t hesitate to show his influence but rather turned it into his own strength and artistic personality. It comes to its full strength when the pages start to tell the legend of Kashmir and how the country got established, and subsequently invaded, ruled, and divided into in the recent history. To me these pages give lasting impression with classic, old scroll like layouts-elaborate but powerful.

How fascinating it is to find out what the next chapters will talk about Kashmir and how Munnu will learn to fulfill his dream to be an artist.

Lastly it is the power of comic books to enable us to access easily to a difficult subject matter. It certainly gives us some hint of how a survival can be done.

The book is coming out on 4th June.


Illustrations for the Slate Book Review

Renowned American online magazine, The Slate Magazine has just reviewed the US version of Just So Happens. And they also commissioned me to do illustrations for several book reviews too. Each time they review a graphic novel they ask the comic artist to illustrate for other articles - I loved this routine and very pleased to put my name among some of the big up-coming names.

This is for the article about the on-foot trip from Munich to Paris by the renown German filmmaker Werner Herzog during the Winter of 1974.

This is about a book by an American celebrity Kim Kardashian who is mad about doing selfie and ended up publishing photo compilation of herself.

This is for a book discussing about how fascinating some stationery are such as highlight pans, paper clips,sellotape, and erasers etc, their histories and backgrounds.

It's for a review about yet another novel about Zombies but this reviewer, Joshua Levin, happened to share the same name as the protagonist of the very story. 

This is the most resonating one. The review writes how to teach young children about death

This is about Kathy Acker and her last correspondence with Mackenzie Wark.The great period of experimental novels in the late 90's.

Illustration for the review about Kate Atkinson's new novel, A God in Ruins.The book talks about a RFF veteran who goes through all the changes in the world around him.