Graphic novelist and illustrator Fumio Obata is currently reporting his experience of travelling to Japan this summer, detailing the journey and quarantine measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic being taken in Japan.
Sharing his experience in a series of reportage strips, his “mini sketch comics” recount the process initiated by Japan’s Ministry of Health Labour and Welfare, starting from leaving Heathrow to arriving at Haneda airport in Tokyo.
The fascinating strips, cutting through some of the hyperbole surrounding news stories about the pandemic in Japan, posted to Facebook, offer a visual insight into the challenges of current air travel, and will be illuminating for anyone considering attending the Olympics this summer.
Fumio says he’s planning to do a similar comic strip during the Olympic games next month, too. “I hope it will be interesting”. I’m sure it will, given the huge interest!
Fumio is a specialist in sequential image design, inspired by both Japanese and European aesthetics. He is a published author in eight different languages, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. His work has encompassed a wide range of subject matter, from straightforward reportage to poetic interpretations.
He also creates illustrations that range from humour to fantasy, and lectures in Illustration at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK.
His latest graphic novel The Garden, written by a Japan-based Scottish author Sean Michael Wilson, explores wellbeing and meditation through gardening – a subject matter that aims towards new readership and was supported by the Arts Council of England.
All art copyright Fumio Obata
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.