“Say whatever you want, but say it well!”

“a misspelling is a lack of respect”

I like the Edgar Allen Poe decoration hanging from their rearview mirror (though doing that appears to be illegal in many US states … how about in Japan?). But then, so is graffiti

What are some differences between graffiti and street art? Would you like to see more of the latter around the streets of Tokyo?

Two articles to read about street art in Tokyo:

Explore the Street Art and Murals of Tokyo’s Tennozu Isle” (from Spoon and Tamago)

“Street artists in Japan try to wipe out conservative views toward graffiti” (from Japan Times)

From comics to graphic novels

Continuing on the theme of comics and cartoons, here’s a short article about a graphic novelist named Gene Luen Yang.


His graphic novel “American Born Chinese” was published in 2006 and was a finalist for the Young People’s Literature category of the National Book Awards that year. Later, it won several other awards.

In the article, he talks about using graphic novels in education, maybe especially for students who may be confused about identity.

One line that made me balk a little: he talked about writing “educational graphic novels VERSUS entertaining ones” (the caps are mine). I don’t think they need to be mutually exclusive!

Using cartoons and comics to express your ideas

Starbucks has been playing Christmas music since November 1st. Solutions to the problem in order of effectiveness:

  • complain
  • try to convince them to wait at least until December 1st
  • stop going to Starbucks

How the internet unleashed a burst of cartooning creativity

This article from Medium is a good read if you’re interested in the role of cartoons, particularly editorial cartoons, in the media and society. Here’s an excerpt:

“Freedom of speech bubble

Web cartoons have an important political role where speech is constrained. In China cartoons distributed across weibo, a collection of Twitter-like social networks, have become a powerful way of criticising the communist regime. Pi San, a cartoonist and animator from Beijing, creates carefully coded cartoons as a way of subverting China’s strict web-censorship regime. His most popular character, Kuang Kuang, is a lazy schoolboy at a prison-like institution where dissent is routinely persecuted. The drawings, full of jagged lines and dark colours, are as edgy as the politics. One recent animation, poking fun at China’s censorship of references to Ai Weiwei, a controversial artist, was viewed by a million people within just a few hours of its being posted online.

That works in the Arab world too….”

Some of the comics and cartoons mentioned in the article (with a warning that some of these may not be appropriate for younger students):

“It just is.”

This artist paints Walmart. The line that got me thinking this week:

“Whatever your views are — positive or negative — it just is.”

He goes on to say that if we turn something that frightens us into a work of art, it may help us deal with the reality of its existence.

Do you agree? Or do you agree with one of the commenters who says:

“I refuse to shop at walmart, and I refuse to watch this insulting attempt to put lipstick on a pig.”

And yes, this is what I’m referring to.