By Jason S. Yadao
It’s been several months since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated parts of northeastern Japan, a tragedy that continues to play out to this day with what’s happening out at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. We’ve seen a number of benefit efforts pop up since then, from fundraisers to drives collecting items for area children.
Then there are the benefit art books that have been released. Viz, in particular, has already released one: Smile: Pray for Japan, a series of illustrations by artist Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk, Real, Vagabond). For its next benefit book, though, they’re turning to American manga fans/artists like you for contributions. Art for Hope will reflect the ways that different artists interpret and illustrate the theme of “hope,” with all of the proceeds going toward supporting disaster relief efforts in Japan.
Before you dig out those drawing materials, though, there’s one catch: To participate, you have to use Autodesk’s SketchBook software. Those of you who own Apple products have an edge in that regard: The company has a Sketchbook Express app available for free for Macs and iPads. PC owners, you’ll just have to shell out up to $79.99 for SketchBook Pro or cram in all your work through a 15-day free trial available for that program. (SketchBook Pro is also available in a Mac flavor for users looking for something more full-featured than the bare-bones Express can offer.)
If you’re still able to participate after that, here are some additional details:
- All characters must be your original creations. In other words, if you were entertaining thoughts of an inspirational team-up between Naruto, Monkey D. Luffy, Goku and Ichigo, banish those thoughts right now.
- Files should be created in an uncompressed format — PNG or PSD are preferred — with a minimum recommended canvas size of 1600×1200 pixels.
- Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with the title of the piece; a 50-word biography (include your website and any contact info you’d be willing to make public); additional contact info for Viz to contact you (in case there’s something you don’t want to make public); another 50-word essay on why the art you created represents hope for you; and the device/software you used to create your piece.
Nothing’s being awarded or paid for contributing, but really, it’s for a good cause … surely good karma trumps free swag any day, right? If you want more details, visit www.viz.com/artforhope.
Kahala cartoonist camaraderie
Back in mid-March, a bunch of local cartoonists got together at Kahala Mall to work on a mural promoting literacy. And I was there to take pictures … many of which have never seen the light of day because I’ve been alternately busy/lazy ever since. So here’s another random pic from the pile:
I bring this up again because, as I recall, it was a really fun time for everyone involved. (Also, if I do this enough, a sufficient number of pictures will be released to the point where I’ll have published my entire gallery. Granted, it’ll end up being spread across several dozen posts, but still …) It was so much fun, in fact, that in the months since, they’ve returned to the mall a few times to fellowship and draw stuff together.
Another one of those sessions is coming up Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. They’ll be meeting at the tables near Sunglass Hut — bring your drawing tools (you know, the ones that you put away after I told you about the Art for Hope anthology earlier in this post) and head toward the part of the mall with Macy’s and Longs. As noted on the Comic Art Jam Facebook page (Facebook login required to view):
For those that haven’t been to one, it’s a get together of cartoonists, illustrators, etc (professional and nonprofessional). Artists will start a cartoon or a drawing and then it gets passed around for others to add to it.
One of the artists attending — and the person from whom I got the heads-up on this item — will be Star-Advertiser cartoonist/Gordon Rider artist/friend of the blog Jon J. Murakami. And since I brought up Jon, this bears mentioning as well: It appears that a piece of cartooning history soon will be, well, history. Soon to join Borders, Rainbow Books, Book Rack, Suncoast Video’s Pearlridge store, Tokyopop and the newspaper column version of Cel Shaded in the “things that went kaput in 2011″ file is the original Mechahawaii/Sean’s Shop whiteboard where the adventures of Gordon Rider first came to life. “Maybe we’ll have a raffle to have the original GR white board or something,” Jon posted on Sunday to the Gordon Rider Facebook fan page.
So if you want a piece of recent cartooning history, stay tuned. And if you want to hang out and draw with a bunch of great cartoonists, by all means head out to Kahala on Saturday afternoon.
Meeting roll call
>> MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com.