May Newsletter: Open Your Heart

Hi, it’s Mari. How have you been?

I’ve been good. Busy. My days have been filled working on my next book, doing some side projects to pay the bills, scheduling my next three book tours, plus I’ve been dabbling a bit in animal rescue.

To be specific, I’ve been trapping/fixing/releasing (and feeding) some cats that were abandoned by their guardians in a house in my neighborhood (nice, huh?). If you know me at all, you know that I love me some animals, so this probably isn’t a surprise. Even so, it’s kind of turned my world upside down.

I intend to write more about this someday, suffice to say that helping others can be pretty overwhelming. And no matter how many you help, there will always be more.

I’ve noticed that some of the other volunteers seem to have contempt for those who don’t want to get involved, but I don’t share their views. I can see the appeal of shutting one’s eyes and pretending there’s not a problem, la la la. Once you’ve opened your heart a little bit to those in need, so many more come flooding in. I’ve lost a lot of sleep in these last couple of weeks, but I can’t go back. My heart has been opened, for better or for worse. There’s no stopping it now.

But enough of all that. Let me tell you about some comics.


My publisher is now taking pre-orders for Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (coming out this September), and they also have a special bundle that includes a signed/numbered dust jacket/poster (limit: 100), designed by Raighne Hogan, plus my zine Said While Talking. The dust jacket is really lovely, despite the fact that my likeness is plastered all over it. More details can be found here.


Pre-order the book without the dust jacket/poster and zine here. 

They’ve also started releasing my 2015 graphic memoir, Turning Japanese, on the internet!

Turning Japanese Part 1 
Turning Japanese Part 2 


In my second attempt at animation, I spent hours and hours and hours and hours (this stuff takes a long time!) putting together a video of my short (true) story, “What’s New, Pussycat?” This video also serves as a book trailer for my upcoming book, Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories. Please take a look. I worked really hard at it, and I think it looks nice. Watch it here. 


Here’s a painting I made, an ode to Seaman, which is a Sega Dreamcast video game I was intimately involved in the making of. This painting (or maybe the ink drawing version of it, I’m not sure yet) will be for sale at Giant Robot in Los Angeles in their Video Game Art Show exhibit. 



If you follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or if you “like” my Facebook art page, you might have noticed me live-tweeting (for want of a better word) the creation of my next graphic novel. To see all the posts I’ve made so far, you can search Instagram or Tumblr under the hashtag #LosingtheGirlGN. Or just follow this link. 


I’ve also been doing some illustrated reviews for the LA Review of Books.

1) Over Easy by Mimi Pond 
2) On Loving Women by Diane Obomsawin 


I participated in a blog tour, where I answered a few generic questions. This might be interesting to you if you care at all about artistic process. I enjoyed doing it because it gave me the opportunity to gush about my hero and friend, Rob Kirby. Read it here. 



This Friday I’m doing a reading at Quimby’s in Chicago, with Elisha Lim and Mike Dawson.

Over the weekend at CAKE, from 2 to 4 each day, I’ll be signing books at the 2D Cloud table. During my signings, my publisher will be GIVING AWAY readers’ copies of my upcoming book, with the purchase of my zine and a dust jacket (see photo above). But there are ONLY TEN COPIES, so it’s first come, first serve!

Next week, my video game art (see above) will be featured in a show at Giant Robot in Los Angeles.

The week after that, I’ll be on a panel at the Mixed Remix Festival, at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles.

This Fall, I will be touring the East Coast, SF Bay Area, and the Pacific Northwest.

All event details can be found on my website.

Thanks so much for reading. Feel free to drop me an email or post a comment and let me know how you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you.

Your pal,



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