american mangaka

5

Phew! I’ve made it to Japan and survived my first week! I don’t have Internet in my apartment, so I’ve been hunting free wifi whenever I can. I’ve made some videos I would love to upload and share my experience as a manga student, but it’ll have to wait till I can figure out my internet situation! If you are interested in following my YouTube please go and subscribe to… Magickal Mangaka ;)

More to share soon! Hugs and lots of loooove~

Asahi Newspaper: Kumamoto edition. June 4, 2012.


S
tand Out Individual. American Mangaka Exhibition

25-year-old Zachary Johnson, an American ALT from Illinois currently working at Kawaura Middle and Elementary schools in Amakusa, organized and exhibited ten American comic artists at the Amakusa Cultural Exchange Center.  Johnson studied contemporary art history as well as arts business in college. “Artworks and artists are intertwined. Through these artworks, I want people to feel the humanity of the artists,” he commented on the exhibition.

The work on exhibition focused on works by artists born in the 1980’s and 90’s. The pieces were different from general Japanese manga in their simple panel division, but the fact that the work inspired thoughts of pictures books and woodcuts, and in their humorous touches and other qualities, they made each of the individual artists stand out.

Of the ten, Johnson had only met two in person. He discovered the remaining eight online. Similarly, nine of the ten artists’ works were sent and received electronically.

Johnson has been interested in Japan, China, and Asian nations in general since childhood. During high school, he spent two months in Niigata prefecture on a home stay. Japanese architecture in particular, has been an interest of his. “I love Karatsu Castle. It’s small size and age are really nice.”

He arrived in Japan last August.  At Kawaura Middle School he works to incorporate art into the classroom. Speaking on the satisfaction that comes with life in Amakusa surrounded by the sea and mountains, he said, “I’ve never lived in a place this beautiful before.” Though it’s the same country as Niigata and the sight-seeing areas of Tokyo, he said he finds happiness in the fact that unlike those places, here strangers talk to each other.