Monday, 20 November 2006

Nengajo approaches

It'll soon be time to organise some new year greetings, as is the custom in Japan. Over the last few years I've tended to follow the Chinese animal calendar with images, next year will be the Year of the Boar (often misinterpreted as pig). This (Dog) year I copped out and used an illustration from one of my books, but here's what I came up with in previous years.

2004










2005

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Studio Tour

For anyone who fancies a peek at my work studio , I've just posted some snapshots to The Dust of Everyday Life blog, the off-duty ramblings of my illustrator friends at Picture Book Artists. Now all is revealed...

Thursday, 2 November 2006

Avian Assault

Well, travels over, back home in Japan.

It's our first trip into town to do some shopping. We get out the station, climb the stairs to the busy city street, and WHAM!

Something grabs me on the head.

It was a crow. It took me right from behind - it must have singled me out from all the myriad people on the busy street (this was the middle of Shibuya!) and tally ho down he swoops. Groped my head with both claws then flew off to a nearby tree.

I wasn't hurt, but bloody hell! First time that's ever happened.

The question is why me?. Did my non-Japaneseness stand out too much in the crowd? (Shibuya is hardly short of foreigners). Did it mistake the thin spot on the top of my head for food? (hardly!). Was I it's deadly rival in a past life?

My missus has her own theory. She's convinced I must have been giving off some kind of "attack me please" aura that the crow picked up on. Granted, I was in a particularly dreamy mood when we left the station, but hardly anything worthy of assault and battery. Maybe I need to think more in terms of "aura defence strategy". Blimey! a man can't even walk down the street in an vacant stupor without being attacked by Corvus Corone.

Actually I have another theory, altogether more palatable. Before we left for our trip to Europe I began a half-idea for a picture book story about a boy raised by crows. I think this incident was the crow reminding me to finish the story.

Sure enough, I spent the train journey home scribbling away at my "crow-boy" idea. Who knows, I might get it published and dedicate it to "old Carrion-kun, without whom this book would never have come to be"....