My colleague Dr Brad Evans of our Portraits of Violence book chatting about ideas around terror in a video with yer man Russell Brand. They mention our comic together and will discuss it more in their next chat.
Out today! The latest in our line of Japanese history comic books is released published today.
"On the 14th of July, 1853, the USS Plymouth, Mississippi, Saratoga, and Susquehanna sailed into Yokosuka, Japan. The mysterious "Black Ships" had arrived.
In this stirring account of a pivotal moment in modern Japanese history, award-winning author and illustrator team Sean Michael Wilson and Akiko Shimojima tell the story of the four American "Black Ships" that arrived in Japan in 1853 under the command of Commodore Perry to force Japan to open up to trade..."
Check out our page about it here folks:
Thanks to the Scottish Government for writing about me and my books on their official web site.
Scots wha hae!
"Sean has also recently been invited to be a guest at Tokyo’s second annual ‘Scotland Day’ in November. Scotland Day 2017 will build on the success of last year’s event which was introduced by the Japan Scotland Association. The 2017 event is expected to feature visual arts and cultural performances, displays promoting Scottish products, and Scotland as a tourism destination and place to study, plus talks on Scotland and Japan’s shared history.This is just another excellent example of the close ties between Scotland and Japan that continue to strengthen the two countries."
This is why I like Corbyn, because he has good taste in music and TV.
Here we see him doing his Tommy Cooper impression, and in his jacket pocket a Fela Kuti CD!
(1978’s ‘Suffering and Smiling’ album maybe?)
My interview in Kettle Mag, out Feb 25th
"Money is the key thing which holds all those things back. It’s not ideas. There’s no shortage of ideas. So I’ve never had any problem coming up with interesting things to write about. The only problem is converting those ideas into something which a publisher will support because they think there will be enough sales in it."
The award ceremony for the International Manga Awards 国際漫画賞 in Tokyo was held yesterday. Our SECRETS OF THE NINJA book got bronze award from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs 外務省
Here is my artist comrade, Akiko Shimojima, accepting the award on stage... the inside of my copy of the award... and close up of a board that was signed by all winners and a bunch of well known Japanese manga-ka creators who came along to the ceremony.
A wee thing from me focusing on the good aspects of Japan.
Here is a guy I saw today happily fishing by the Tsuboi river. Notice that his scooter is on the ridge. As i walked past I saw that he had left his keys in it. Here in Japan there is a 99% chance that it will be fine. Even if he fishes there all day no one will steal his scooter. But in many parts of the UK i would only give his chances as 50/50.
My own wee story as an example:
My first Vespa Scooter was stolen, from right outside my house. And this was in a quiet street in Morningside ( the so called ‘posh’ safe area of Edinburgh). I just went out the house one morning, and it was gone. Nicked! Oh, the heart break...I wonder where it is now.
My 2nd Vespa was stolen in broad day light outside my friend’s flat in the Kilburn area of London by two teenage black lads (and before anyone thinks I’m therefore saying all young black Londoners are criminals, or any such racist bollocks - I’m not! It just so happens that, on this occasion, they were young black guys). The upstairs neighbour saw them do it and phoned down to say so. But, rather stupidly, my friend’s girlfriend forgot i was in the flat (we were in another room, working on editing a documentary), and said ‘Oh, we dont have a scooter’. I can imagine the lads nicked it for fun, because that scooter was from 1959, a real vintage one, and the two young guys probably thought to themselves: ‘What the hell is this old thing?…. Let’s nick it… Yeah!’
And my third Scooter was - amazingly enough - NOT stolen! I lived in the Shepherd’s Bush area of London then, and though it did not get stolen, a gang of teenage thugs from the infamously rough council estates behind the old BBC area took a worrying interest in that scooter. It was from 1969 and therefore also looked like a weird old relic to them.
One day I shouted at them to get off it, and unlike Japanese teenagers who meekly cower away saying sorry, these thugs shouted right back at me:
‘Get yer hair cut, yer fackin hippie!’
It was a mixed race gang of poor white kids and poor black kids (at least they were equal opportunity hooligans!) . So, i followed them back to their council estate to see where they lived (and found myself in the exact place shown on Pete Townsend’s ‘White city’ album cover - they were on the third floor of the building to the right).
They saw me and I shouted up to them (bravely but stupidly):
‘Right - I know where live now. Touch my scooter again and i’ll get the police round here.’
To which they replied, with not a moment’s hesitation:
‘Call them then, you Scots cunt - we don’t give a fuck!’
And meanwhile, in safe Japan, the man goes on quietly fishing…
My article on manga for THE HERALD SCOTLAND newspaper:
Our book has been nominated for the prestigious EISNER AWARD in the USA.
In the category of: 'No 15. Best Adaptation from Another Medium'
This is my first time to get nominated for an Eisner (though I got a Harvey Award nomination once already, which is perhaps the 2nd best one to get, but the Eisner is probably the top award in the USA for comics/graphic novels). I'm very pleased!
Our book also won a prize in the USA:
The 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards
'RECOGNIZING EXCELLENCE IN INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING'
We got a prize in this section:
55. GRAPHIC NOVEL/DRAWN BOOK – DRAMA/DOCUMENTARY
Only the bronze medal but still good - nice to be recognised by that type of publisher organisation:
AND made it to the recommended reading list of this important library association the USA:
'2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens' of YALSA
(The Young Adult Library Services Association).
Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Faceless Ghost” and other Macabre Tales from Japan: A Graphic Novel. By Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa
Our book is recommended reading there, alongside other great book such as:
The Motherless Oven. By Rob Davis.
The Sculptor. By Scott McCloud.
Nanjing: The Burning City. By Ethan Young. Illus by the author.
March, Book Two. By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell.
Terrorist: Gavrilo Princip, the Assassin Who Ignited World War I. By Henrik Rehr.
Halfway Home: Drawing My Way Through Japan. By Christine Mari Inzer.
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. By Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanine. Illus by Claudia Davila.
Satoshi Kon’s: Opus. By Satoshi Kon.
Get them for your library:
As I was caught up in the great Kumamoto earthquakes of spring 2016 I appeared on various media talking about it, the BBC, US radio, Japanese and Scottish newspapers.
This is a clip from a BBC programme:
And my report in The Japan Times newspaper about the situation, quite literally on the ground:
Welcome to the latest news about the books and activities of Sean Michael Wilson, professional comic book writer from Scotland, living in Japan.
'I just nicked these two books' pose
Review of the film 'HANCOCK' by the legendary Gandry Macallan:
" My enjoyment of this otherwise excellent film was somewhat marred by the fact that Tony - 'the lad himself' - did not appear anywhere in it!"
'Finger glued to the face' pose.
Review of the film 'INVASION' by the legendary Gandry Macallan:
" My enjoyment of this otherwise excellent film was somewhat marred by the actual invasion of planet earth by aliens from the andromeda
system - during the film, no less!"
'Wish i was oot playing fitba wi ma pals' pose.
Review of the musical 'RENT' by the legendary Gandry Macallan:
" My enjoyment of this otherwise excellent musical was somewhat marred by the arrival of my landlord to collect 9 weeks over due rent on my small apartment in Notting hill - during the event, no less!"