"My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy: The Comic Book" is the autobiographical misadventures of a native Texan freelancer (Grace) and her Japanese "salaryman" husband (Ryosuke): in comic book form.
From earthquakes and crowded trains, to hilarious cultural faux pas, this comic explores the joys of living and working abroad, intercultural marriages, and trying to make a decent pot roast on Thanksgiving.
What is this?
"My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy: The Comic Book" is a collection of stories and comics written by Grace Buchele Mineta, a freelancer living in Tokyo. About half of the content has already been published on her popular blog, "Texan in Tokyo;" half of the stuff is new and only for this book.
Simply put, this is a comic book.
It's an autobiographical comic book, though. So aside from the imaginary talking rabbit (Marvin), everything in these pages is true. It's all about "us."
"My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy: The Comic Book" is a comic book... but it is more than just a comic book.
- It is an entertaining look into the life of an interracial and intercultural marriage (between a Japanese person and a Texan).
- It is a social commentary on millennials, who would rather travel and have personal freedom than the 'American Dream of a white picket fence and 2.5 children.'
- It is a window into the daily life of a 外人 (foreigner) in Japan.
- It is the authentic representation of the hardships and joys of being a freelancer.
So why a book? (and blog)?
Like most "good things" my blog came from an abundance of free time and the desire to create something interesting and purposeful... three years ago while I was studying abroad in Tokyo.
I ended up never leaving Tokyo. My husband and I tied the knot after a couple of years together - now we live happily in Tokyo.
I started drawing comics as a buffer (so I didn't have to write "real" blog posts every day. While cleaning up the Texas house, my husband found one of my sketchbooks from middle school and told me I should start putting comics on my blog.
I assumed he was saying it because he was obligated to say nice things (because, married).
My comics have become the backbone of my blog.
All of the comics are drawn "freestyle" on pen and paper.
Let's talk about Rewards!
$5 - PDF
$10 - PDF + "My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy" digital wallpaper
$25 - Physical (signed) copy of the book + wallpaper + PDF
$35 - Signed book + postcard from Japan + wallpaper +PDF
$50 - I draw you on the first page of the book (send me your photo) + signed book + postcard from Japan + wallpaper +PDF
$100 - I draw a FULL PAGE original comic of your life/of your choosing (send me reference photos for up to three people, sample dialogue, or a funny story and I will draw you in a comic!) + I draw you on the first page of the book + signed book + postcard from Japan + wallpaper +PDF
$150 - I draw a FULL PAGE original comic of your life/of your choosing IN COLOR (send me reference photos for up to five people, sample dialogue, or a funny story and I will draw you in a comic!) + I draw whatever/whoever you want on the first page of the book + signed book + postcard from Japan + wallpaper +PDF
$250 - I draw FIVE PAGES of original comics of your life/of your choosing (send me reference photos for up to ten people, sample dialogue, or a funny story and I will draw you in a comic!) + I draw whatever/whoever you want on the first page of the book + signed book + postcard from Japan + wallpaper +PDF
$500 - You become a part-time character for five upcoming "Texan in Tokyo" comics on my blog (and in future books). Send me a photo of yourself, a description of your personality, and a couple funny things that have happened to you (that you think are comic-worthy) and you will become a part-time character in the "Texan in Tokyo" webcomic (by pledging this reward, you consent to letting me use your likeness for a future comic that will be uploaded on the internet and sold in future books).
Cost breakdown for the $6485 Kickstarter Campaign
I calculated the minimum cost it would take to pull this off. Sadly, because I live in Japan, shipping is quite a bit more expensive.
The cost breakdown for the $6485 that I'm asking looks like this:
- $1763: Cost of printing 500 books and shipping them to Japan
- $2385: Estimated cost of shipping the books/rewards to each person (shipping internationally from Tokyo worldwide. I assume 60% of the orders will come from the US, 25% from Japan, and 15% from other countries)
- $250: Kickstarter promotional video and book cover design (I already paid this one out of pocket)
- $75: Manufacturing rewards
- +10% Kickstarter and Amazon.com payment fees
- +30% US income tax (even though I mostly live in Japan, I still have to pay American taxes)
- +5% card errors, insufficient funds, unexpected costs
Total Cost: $6485
I realize this is a lot of money. However, this is a project I truly believe in.
Specific details for the book
"My Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy" will be a 120-page perfect-bound softcover book with color covers and black + white interior.
80 of the pages are comics. Roughly one third of the comics been previously published on the blog "Texan in Tokyo;" the other two-thirds are completely new and strictly for this book.
35 of the pages are short articles (like a blog post) that teach the reader a bit about living in Japan, interracial marriages, and freelancing (examples of the short "blog posts" are "How to enjoy Japanese hanabi [花火] without dying," "8 Tips for Job Hunting in Japan," "Explaining Japanese chikan" and "7 signs you are not cut out to be a Freelancer.")
5 of the pages are "assorted other." They contain the introduction, table of contents, shout-outs to notable donors, and my author bio.
$10,000 - I will add 50 new pages to the book! So instead, it will be 100 pages of comics and 55 pages of short articles!
$20,000 - I will draw anyone who pledged $25+ on the front page of the book. Since this is already a "reward" for people who pledged $50+, I will draw up to three people (you, your loved one, perhaps your cat?) for the higher level tiers.
Risks and challenges
I guess the biggest risk is the boat carrying the 500 books (printed in America, shipped to Japan) gets lost as sea or delayed.
But I doubt that will happen.
I've completed about 85% of the book - and, depending on whether we reach any of the stretch goals, will be able to send the PDF to print in early September (after the kickstarter closes at the end of August).
- (33 days)