Mike writes,


Well, I’m back from Japan, which was amazing and exhausting. It was great to get caught up on my sodium and fish intake for the entire year in just 12 days. What I mean is, the Japanese are big fans of the salt. Don’t know what Japan looks like? Here is an aerial photo:

In between Karaoke and scouring the used book stores for Taro Gomi (五味太郎) books, I was able to get some drawing/journaling done and am hoping to post a few pages over the next few days. I’ll also post some images of the incredible books, stationary sets, ads, and other great stuff I saw. I’ve never been to a country that loves illustration so much (adorable characters are on everything from train tickets to dentist’s offices and banks), so it was great to go back.

I took my friend Colin (who happens to be a rabbit) with me. Here he is getting ready for the trip (we later learned some of the characters he’d written were wrong):

Here’s what we had for breakfast in the hotels and hostels:

And here’s the progression of Colin’s facial hair while in Japan:

(A few small notes about this drawing. When Colin says “100?!” he’s talking about being overcharged for laundry services in Nagoya. Also notice the repeated v-neck shirt. I…oops, I mean..He wore that shirt a LOT in Japan.)

I’ll be sure to send more images soon!”


Friday: Carolyn Gavin’s studio


  • Mike, you’ve made me want to go back to Tokyo right now! Heading over in November thankfully. Love your sketches, always puts a smile on my face :)

    by jill
    July 29, 2009
  • You lucky duck, Mike! Love this ‘trip to japan in pictures’! I want to go NOW! mmmm… sodium overload… stationery… cute taken seriously (so to speak)…can’t wait to see all the neat stuff you collected:)

    July 29, 2009
  • Can’t wait to see all the pics! Loving colin’s facial hair :)

    July 30, 2009
  • oh the depatos and the stationery stores– mike, you completely brought me back to my time in japan!

    August 5, 2009

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