Seán Michael Wilson is an award winning graphic novel/comic book writer from Scotland. He has written more than 30 books, published by a variety of US, UK and Japanese publishers and translated into 12 languages. His books are of two broad types: 'western' style graphic novels of original story ideas and various books on social issues, and manga style books on Japanese history and culture. He does comic books outside the normal superhero/fantasy brands, going into areas such as history, biography, drama, and social issues, often in collaboration with universities, charities and book publishers. He often gives lectures and talks about comics in schools and colleges, and has written articles for such places as The Japan Times and The Herald Scotland.
"Sean Michael Wilson is a comic book renaissance man." - Publishers Weekly
Included in the list '10 Great Scottish Graphic Novel Creators' of the Scottish Book Trust
"Wilson, in tandem with various talented Japanese artists, has made a unique line of manga style books on Japanese themes, unmatched by any other English language comic book creator." - Davide Calzetti, Japanese history researcher.
A visual list of all books written by Seán Michael Wilson
Books in a series
The Story of Lee - Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3
Breaking the 10 - Vol 1 and 2
Illustrated Japanese History - No 1 and 2
Awards and notable work
Please allow me a bit of showing off about the various awards that my books have got...
I was the editor of the critically acclaimed AX: alternative manga (Top Shelf) , chosen as one of the ten best comic books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly, and placed number 2 in their critics poll of books of the year, behind only Chris Ware. It was also nominated for a Harvey Award, a long established award for comic books in the USA. My graphic novel version of the classic A Christmas Carol (with artists Mike Collins and David Roach) was in the Sunday Times 'Ten best books' list in 2008 and won the gold medal in the 2012 'Language Learner Literature Awards'. My visual adaptation of Sweeney Todd (with Declan Shalvey) won an award in the Stan Lee schools awards, 2013.
In 2015 our book Cold Mountain (with Akiko Shimojima) won an award in the 'China Animation and Comic Competition 12th Golden Dragon Award' (in the category of 'Best Overseas Comic'). In 2016 my book Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Faceless Ghost” and other Macabre Tales from Japan (with Michiru Morikawa) was placed in the '2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens' recommended reading list of this important library association in the USA: YALSA (The Young Adult Library Services Association). The book also received the Bronze Medal in the 2016 'Independent Publishers Book Awards', USA...and was nominated for a prestigious EISNER AWARD, in the category 'Best Adaptation from Another Medium.' At the end of 2016 our book, Secrets of the Ninja, got a medal in the '10th International Manga Award' 国際漫画賞 organised by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs 外務省. By chance I'm the first British person to get one of these awards.
In 2018 our sociology type book 'Portraits of Violence' received a medal in the 2018 'Independent Publishers Book Awards', graphic novel category.
My strip with Michiru Morikawa about the 2011 Japanese Tsunami was the first comic ever featured in the Asia Literary Review, and my books Musashi and The Book of Five Rings (with Chie Kutsuwada) are the only two manga in the Freer Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum. In 2014 I was, to my surprise, included in the list '10 Great Scottish Graphic Novel Creators' by the Scottish Book Trust ('Scotland's leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing'). I was especially pleased to be right next to my old childhood favourite 'Oor Wullie'. I hope Wullie will forgive me for all the showing off here.
I've given many talks on comic books and manga in the USA, UK, Sweden and Japan. I've received several grants from both the English arts council and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation in support of my Japan related publications. I studied Sociology and Psychology in Glasgow Caledonian University, then took a Masters in Social Anthropology in Edinburgh University (hope they don't want it back), finally qualifying as a college lecturer in those subjects at the University of London (UCL). My ideal job title, via the 1836 book Sartor Resartus: "Professor of Things in General". However, perhaps foolishly, rather than pursue an academic career I decided to focus on writing instead. What we see here are the products of that effort...
Get my books here
My books can be bought (or nicked if you're feeling adventurous) from all good book shops and also on this amazon page:
Or with free delivery from the Book Depository:
Have a look at my other site, Radical Fun, for various newspaper articles I've written
As well as this main web site for my books I also have a website which is for various articles on culture, history, politics, etc that I have written for newspapers such as The Japan Times, The Herald Scotland, PRI radio in the USA, web sites and special pieces just on that site: