The Cel Shaded report, 11/24: Say a prayer for Mr. Thorne

November 24th, 2011

This particular edition of the Cel Shaded report was supposed to be a bit more lighthearted, a bit of a celebration of our beloved anime and manga and our local art community in honor of Thanksgiving. A note posted by cartoonist/friend of the blog Jon Murakami early Tuesday evening on Facebook, though, prompted me to take a more reflective turn.

The note was about Dave Thorne, fellow cartoonist, fellow friend of the blog, and teacher and inspiration to a whole bunch of other local cartoonists out there. He’s also the creative mind behind “Thorney’s Zoo,” one of three local comic strips rotating in the Star-Advertiser every Sunday. (Go ahead, feel free to take a look around that archive I linked to — contrary to what I reported this year, I’m happy to report that it looks like our local Sunday comics archives aren’t behind the paywall, after all.) Here he is lecturing at McCully-Moiliili Library back in April.

Those of you who keep track of such things may have noticed that there hasn’t been a new “Thorney’s Zoo” strip yet this month. There’s a reason for that. From Jon’s note:

About November 8, 2011 DAVE THORNE was rushed into emergency surgery for a torn aorta.

Since the open heart surgery, he is doing fine (last talk with Lorraine his wife on 11/23 shows that he is healing very well.)

Earlier he was available for visitation but was sent back to ICU due to complications with his diaphragm so he is unable to breathe properly and finds himself short of breath and gets tired easily. His lungs aren’t completely filling with air, but Lorraine assures us that he is fine and despite using oxygen -  is getting rest and healing properly.

The “Dave Thorne Get Well Page” posted on Facebook (note: you must be signed in to view it) garnered 32 members in a span of about four hours and stands at 75 members as of this writing, with a whole stack of get-well notes and drawings piling up.

I’ve only known Dave personally since the Cartoon Art Mural event at Kahala Mall in March. That’s only about eight months. And yet, I love the guy. Meeting him for the first time felt like I had known him for forever. There’s just a childlike innocence and enthusiasm to him whenever I see him drawing, and the big-eyed anthropomorphic animals can please people of all ages. I linked to this video back in June, but I think it’s worth posting here again so we can see him in action. (Besides, it’s only had 12 views since then! Twelve! Okay, so I’ve actually had the thing on semi-private mode, only accessible through that one post, but still!)

He’s applied that art to a lot of things over the years, including comic books (naturally) …

… as well as T-shirts, milk caps, even informational brochures.

As I mentioned before, he’s taught a lot of cartoonists over the years, too. Here he is at McCully-Moiliili Library’s Mini Con in September, chatting with one of his proteges, nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi.

And here he is talking to several people from local art group Pen & Ink Works. If you look really closely at the paper in front of him, you can see one of those trademark elephants that he often draws.

While we certainly have a lot to be thankful for in this season, I think the one thing we can all be thankful for more than anything else is being able to live for another day on this lovely little planet of ours. Sure, there are aggravations, obstacles and setbacks that we encounter — some days more than others — but in the end, as Arumi Asahina said in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, “Bein’ human, havin’ your health … that’s the most important thing.” And we’re all certainly thankful that Dave’s still with us and recovering nicely.

Here’s praying for your continued speedy recovery, Mr. Thorne. And I say that with hands folded and a little nod and bow. Just like he would, really.

Crafting craziness continues

It looks like the place to be to get your holiday craft fair groove on this weekend will be the Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center, where nemu*nemu co-creators Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga and idkwhat2wear will both be exhibiting. Audra and Scott will be unveiling some new charms, along with a customizable, made-to-order charm bracelet at the event; while idk will have their usual selection of buttons, T-shirts and hats. Show times are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; general admission is $4, with military and senior citizens 65 and older getting in for $3 and children under 12 getting free admission.

If you can’t make it out to the Blaisdell (or don’t want to … and I can’t say I blame you there, because the one time I took my mom out to that fair, the crowds were insaaaaane) you can also catch the idk crew at the Hawaii Okinawa Center Winter Craft Fair (94-587 Ukee St. in Waipio Gentry; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday), or Christmas in Honolulu at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (2454 S. Beretania St. in the Manoa Grand Ballroom, 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday). Both of those events are free. Also, a few tips for the Okinawa Center fair: A $5 donation will allow you admission to the exhibition hall a half-hour early. Bring some canned goods, too, and you can exchange those for a free andagi.

For more information, visit or

Anime around town

>> 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

>> Oahu Anime Explorer: The group is making plans for its annual Christmas party, being held Dec. 3 at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu, 1239 Olomea St. Cost is $15 per person and includes a no-doubt-lovely meal spread from Tanioka’s. RSVP to

One Response to “The Cel Shaded report, 11/24: Say a prayer for Mr. Thorne”

  1. Otaku Ohana | Celebrating Dave Thorne: The legacy of the “Zoo” keeper (part 2 of 2) | Otaku Ohana | | Honolulu, Hawaii:

    [...] two months later, on Nov. 8, he was rushed into emergency surgery for a torn aorta, as detailed in this post; months of convalescing followed before he suffered a major stroke and died on July 22, 2012. [...]

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