If you are stuck at home, and have a little more time on your hands, perhaps you are thinking of developing or honing new skills. The Japan Society has many resources online for those interested in finding out more about manga, or hearing from artists.
As part of this programming, they’re now offering their first free online manga workshop with UK-based manga artist, Fumio Obata, taking place on Tuesday 11th August 2020, which will focus on the healing aspects of creativity and being mindful of your surroundings, something much needed in times like these.
The workshop also reflects on Fumio’s recent work, The Garden, created in collaboration with writer Sean Michael Wilson and published in May this year by Liminal 11.
The Garden is a story of healing through mindfulness and gardening, in which a career-driven protagonist finds peace and a new sense of calm through nurturing her garden as part of the process of recovering from a nervous breakdown.
As well as being a manga artist, Fumio Obata has had a career as an animator, working with Duran Duran, Channel4 and Redkite Animations.
In 2010, he started tutoring as a visiting lecturer for BA courses in the UK to support young talents to develop their own/unique artistic voices in various sequential contexts such as animation, graphic novel and children’s book. He’s also previously worked with Japan Society, giving a keynote lecture at Sixth Form Japan Day 2019.
The Japan Society is the leading independent body in the United Kingdom dedicated to the enhancement of the British-Japanese relationship. With a history stretching back to 1891, its members are committed to promoting deep and lasting understanding between our two countries.
• Watch The Japan Society’s interview with Fumio Obata, in which he talks about his highly acclaimed graphic novel Just So Happens, which has been translated into seven languages and published in eight different countries
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.