In 2009, I posted the first Odori Park comic strip online. Since then, for the past five years, I've shared the romantic culture shock tales of Japanese Arisa Nishimori and American Colin Easton, their bilingual bouncing boy Sprout, their ever-suffering used bookshop, and their eclectic cast of friends and family. Now, in 2014, I'd like to celebrate five years of Odori Park with an attractive and comprehensive print collection: The Odori Park Omnibus.
:: Odori Park ::
My wife and two young sons are, naturally, constant inspiration for the strip. In fact, doing a comic about the trials and translations of our daily life together was originally my wife's idea. I like telling stories with my characters, the Eastons, that feel true, even when they're not (and aren't false half as often as they're true... or something), and I like telling jokes with them that zing, but with a core of something sweet or honest (like a wasabi pea... or a Sour Patch Kid...). I think too many "romantic" comedy serials (pick your sit-com) deliver laughs at the expense of the affection. As a reflection of my own true experience, I write Odori Park to show Colin and Arisa as genuinely in love, in spite of the chaos around them (or created by them).
:: The Omnibus ::
Maybe it's the metric semi-divisibility of it, but there's something about five years that feels like a milestone (if only to me). The art of Odori Park, the characters, the writing, have all evolved over the past five years, and after many gags and many story arcs, I'm at a point of natural reflection. It feels like the perfect time to pull all that evolution together into a single volume, that's as much for me as an artist as it is for the folks (that's you) who I hope will enjoy it.
This is a good time to note there will be over 600 comics in the Omnibus! That's nearly 250 pages! I can't wait for you to hold a volume like that in your hands. (Or my hands, for that matter.)
With as harried as Arisa and Colin are in the strip, I often feel even more stretched thin, between a family, a day job, and a regular comic to update. I have other comic projects I'd like to realize, chief of which at the moment is a children's graphic novel (written for my kids, but meant for all kids and kid-minded grown-ups), which I'd like to finish before my boys aren't boys anymore. So, on top of everything else, The Odori Park Omnibus is intended to be a cap on a body of work, and--perhaps, depending on response to this Kickstarter--a chapter marker preceding a new era for the Odori Park comic.
:: The Goods ::
The whole idea behind this Kickstarter campaign is, of course, to print a fancy (and/or schmancy) comprehensive collection of the Odori Park comic strip. Naturally, for backing the effort, I'm going to send copies of this book out to as many of you as I can.
On top of that, though, I've dreamed up (or gently ripped off) several other ideas to thank you for funding the Omnibus: wallpapers, bookmarks, artist edition books, prints, original artwork, and copies of my first book, Odori Park: East Marries West (collecting the first year of the strip with scads of behind-the-scenes sketches, artwork, and a 24 page "24-hour comic" to make it worth your while).
Please have a look through the reward tiers to the right and pick something nice for yourself, or someone you love! (Or like. Or just don't hate madly. I'm not fussy.)
Most of all, thank you all for checking out Odori Park, to my readers for five kind years, and to you backers out there for making The Odori Park Omnibus happen! (Knock on wood!)
Risks and challenges
The good thing about a comic strip collection is that the vast majority of the work--all the comic strip goodness--is already done and ready to print. I have a printer lined up with whom I've worked quite happily before. Aside from finishing the cover artwork and compiling everything together (which will be done in short order), The Odori Park Omnibus is basically ready and waiting for the funds to go to print.
I plan to debut The Odori Park Omnibus at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in May (and have prepared an interim funding source to foot the bill until Kickstarter funds are released) so as soon as the Kickstarter ends, I intend to ship the production-ready files off to the printer, which should deliver me books in hand within a tidy turnaround. Naturally, I'll keep backers posted on developments!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)