Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wonderlost #1 On Sale Today

Hey, all-

The day has finally come... WONDERLOST #1, the first issue of my autobiographical comic anthology, goes on on sale today!

I'm terrible at hyping my own work, especially one as personal as this, but I hope you'll all give it a shot and at least flip through it in the comic shop. Anyone who has ever been in high school and/or in love, should be able to relate to some of the stories I have to tell. Yes, they're about me, but the comments I've been getting most from folks who have read advanced copies have been along the lines of "Wow, this really brought me back and made me think about when I was a teenager."

It features the beautiful artwork of Paul Azaceta, Martin Montiel & Juan Castro, Alina Urusov, Khoi Pham, Jon Luna and Ethan Young, with a Leinil Yu cover!!

And here's an early review by Augie over at CBR:

I hope you'll check it out! And please let me know what you thought if you do.

Thanks for your support!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bathing Ape

I had some free time in Tokyo, so I hit up the Bathing Ape store in Harajuku with Aki and Sana. It was actually pretty cool. Nigo's much-hyped sneaker museum was in full effect on the second floor...

I was willing to drop the $60.00 on a t-shirt as a souvenir, but they had nothing in my size. And before you make any jokes, the only sizes they had left for anything was S or M. But since I didn't want to go home empty handed, I bought the cutest, and cheapest, thing they had in the store. 680 yen got me four rolls of Bathing Ape toilet paper....


Even Japan's Most Wanted posters are glossy, colorful and well-designed! :)


I always find places like this funny, especially in Tokyo...

I live two blocks from H&H Bagels and if you ever com eto NYC, be sure to make the trip there. Hot bagels 24/7!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Burger Time!

So Aki found the last remaining Mos C, the upscale restaurant version of Mos Burger, in Tokyo near Iidabashi and we went with the girls from Gurihiru one afternoon to enjoy their double chili cheeseburgers! They were everything I expected them to be!!

And the day before I was leaving, McDonald's started offering the Mega Mac, which was a double Big Mac, but I didn't have the time to get in and try one. Maybe that's for the better anyway...

Bubble Man!

No, it's not bubble bath. It's not soap for blowing bubbles. It's not even liquid gum. It's a carbonated soda-like beverage that tastes like bubble gum! It just caught my eye in the cooler at Lawson's so I had to pull out a bottle and see what it was. And the cute characters on the label sealed the deal. I had to buy it!

I had no intention of drinking it, but Mutsumi made me feel guilty after I spent the money on it, so I tried it. Boy, did I regret it. Even before twisting the cap open, I knew it would taste horrible... but it was worse than I could have imagined. If you're ever in Japan, stay away from this toxic shit!

At home in NYC

Yup, Mutsumi and I have been home a little over a week now, back in NYC after our Japan adventures. It was quite an eventful trip, to say the least, and I owe you all a lot of info and pictures, I know. It's coming. I'll be posting some random leftover pics up over the next few days to start. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but I'm up in Tokyo and it has just been a whirlwind. I don't have a moment to myself from morning till past midnight, not that that's a bad thing though as I've been having a blast!

Here's the view from the hotel during the day...

And at night...

I have to say, I've learned more about the Japanese manga industry in the last two days than I have in the last ten years. More updates with all kinds of juicy details soon...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

When in Rome...

Who am I to break Japanese tradition, right?

Even though I felt dumb doing it, I put on my best face and squeezed into a yukata and geta for our visits to the local hot springs. The woman at our inn was finally able to find one that fit me, just in time too, as I was getting sick of hearing "sumo size" jokes...

So once you've wrapped yourself up in this get up, you're free to walk around Kinosaki and visit any of the 30 or so different indoor and outdoor hot springs you'll find in the area. The first one we visited had this cool cave that you could go into, but I much preferred the second one, which was an outdoor spring with a nice rock pool that was filled by this beautiful cascading waterfall that came down into it.

I kinda got the short end of the stick though as Mutsumi was with her mother and had someone to talk to as they went into the women's sides of the springs (yes, they are separated by sex), whereas I had to go in alone and get weird looks from Japanese men. I always find that a little unnerving, as they're not used to seeing foreigners in places like that to begin with... especially fat, fully nude ones!

Speaking of being naked, while I'm no prude, I do have a little bit of a hang-up about public nudity, so while many people choose to go commando under their yukata to make it easier to undress at the springs, I decided to wear a pair of shorts under mine as we walked around town deciding which ones to visit. Turns out it was a wise move, because after the first hot spring, we stopped off for a beer. There at the bar, my obi, that red belt that ties the yukata together, slipped loose and I was standing there open and exposed for all to see... luckily with shorts on. Phew! The last thing I needed on this trip was an indecent exposure charge.

Although given some of the more adult items she's been lending her likeness to these days, I bet Hello Kitty here was hoping for a peak...

Kani Kani Express

While famous for its hot springs, the other thing that Kinosaki is just as well known for is its delicious crab. And as you can see, we had plenty of it at the traditional Japanese spa we were staying at there. Raw, boiled, steamed, creamed and grilled...

Stormy Weather

So as I was mentioning, me, Mutsumi and her mom headed up to Kinosaki on the Japan Sea side for the weekend. It was a two-part trip; first to see some family, visit her father's grave and pay our respects, and then to go to the famous hot springs the area is know for. It started off just fine, but the weather quickly took a turn for the worse as it evident from the rough waters here. These are shot overlooking the aforementioned Japan Sea, with China and North Korea being due west from here...

With A Cherry On Top

Just when I think I've seen every crazy thing possible the Japanese can think to put on pizza, from corn to tuna to mayonaise to beef jerky to raw fish, they surprise me with something cute...

Fugu For Dummies

I never learn.

Even after my possible poisoning on New Years, I was tempted by a friend to go back out for more fugu last week, so I did. Made it safe and sound through this feast though.

Maybe if I'd had a handy-danady guide to fugu like this restaurant provided, I would have never gotten sick in the first place... :)


I was away for the weekend in Kinosaki on the Japan Sea side of the island, so I apologize for the lack of blogging. I brought my laptop thinking I could jack a wireless connection somewhere, but there were no connections whatsoever up there in crab country. I'll post a bunch of stuff now to make up for it...

Some people have been asking why I haven't posted any pictures of myself. Well, for better or worse, I'll change that now. Here's a shot of me drinking sake...

What a surprise, right?

This was taken on New Year's Day, where the consumption of sake to ring in the New Year is very customary. The cup I'm holding here is made of gold, and while many other family's may have gold cups that they raise their toasts with, this one is special to our family here. It was Mutsumi's grandmother's and we inherited it when she passed away. Her tradition was that she and all the members of her family would drink a cupful of sake from this golden "choko" on New Year's Day. Her toast was always to making it through the year with her health and living a long and fruitful life. Well, she lived past 100! So every year, Mutsumi's brother brings over a bottle of nice expensive sake, usually even with gold leaf in it for good measure, and we toast to long lives from the "100 Year Cup".

I hope it works out.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Kitty Strikes Again!

The last thing I expected to do today on my brother-in-law's last day in town was go bowling. But that's what he wanted to do, so that's what we did. Finding these balls made it all worth it though...

I would have posed with one, but they didn't have my size...

Taking Fetishes Too Far

I'm used to going into toy stores here and finding all kinds of crazy, new things, like the maid action figures and costumes or the hardcore bondage statues, but I think the market for fetishists has finally gone a little too far this time. One of the most popular items I found prominently displayed in many showcases this week were... collectible asses!

From what I can tell, they come in all shapes and sizes, so you can buy whatever type you're into. There are also plenty of skin colors to choose from, as well as clothing options. You can pick from all kinds of varieties of bathing suits, cotton panties, sexy lingerie, thongs, bloomers, gym outfits, shorts and who knows what else...

Gotta catch 'em all?

Withdrawal's Over

I finally made it to Mos Burger for my beloved Mos Cheesburgers and Chicken Sandwiches... Phew!

They tasted so good after SO LONG!!

So Far, So Good

So here it is January 3rd, two days into my resolution, and I'm doing well so far. Wrapped two scripts already this year. Granted both were already in the works when I got here and needed some final massaging, but I got them done and got them in, so I feel like my personal pledge is working so far.

Now on to Fairy Tales and Legion of Monsters...

Monday, January 01, 2007

One Resolution

I know some people don't believe in making New Years' resolutions because they're usually not kept and/or are waste of time... but I actually like making them. I'm a big believer in more spiritual things, like signs, senses and the seasons, and I feel that making resolutions help put you in a good frame of mind and help motivate from within. But this year I'm only making one, and it's work related...

Less Procrastination, More Productivity

That's mine. Plain and simple. You see, I'm a huge procrastinator. I can find ways to talk myself out of doing anything. But the weird thing is, I can never figure out why.

I love to write. It's what I've always wanted to do. And now I'm doing it for a living. All I have to do is take my ideas, sit down and write them out. It's not that hard. And when I get into a groove, I can move on scripts. I get into the zone, start typing and just go. The problem is I have to talk myself into that groove. And it takes quite a lot of talking. Even though I love it, getting started is the hardest part of writing for me. I'll find any excuse to keep myself from launching into a script, be it that I need to see the last episode of Lost I taped so it doesn't get spoiled online for me, or watching Star Wars for the 250th time will inspire me, or brushing my cat will put me in a good state of mind. I subconsciously try and find ways from having to sit down in front of the computer. It's almost like I don't want to take the ideas that are floating around in my head and put them on paper.

And I'm aware of the fact that this is unfortunately slowly starting to affect my writing career. I know that I'm starting to drive some of my editors crazy and developing a bad rep of being hard to get scripts out of. I'm never so late that I leave an artist waiting, but I'm never all that early and tend to never get things in on time. It's a precarious place to be in the comics industry right now with so many talented new writers beating down the doors to break in. And as an ex-editor myself, I of course know this is a terrible position to be in. No matter how good any writer's ideas are, if you can't be depended on to deliver them in a timely fashion, you're not going to get work. I've seen too many other late writers develop bad reps and slowly see work dry up, so I'm determined not to let that happen to me.

I'm making a conscious effort starting here and now to get my ass in gear and start delivering.

I have too much work lined up in 2007 to start blowing things now. I want these projects to lead to bigger and better things. I have my foot on the bottom rung of the comics' ladder and want to start making my way up it. And the best way to do that is to prove to my editors that I'm a writer that they can trust to get the job done. I want to be the guy who can deliver the quality scripts they're looking for in a timely fashion.

So I'm putting it out there. Issuing this as a challenge to myself, if you will. I'm putting all distractions aside and getting my editors and artists their scripts to ensure that 2007 will be an extremely productive year for me as a comic book writer.

'Nuff said!