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Big update to the graphic novel has gone up, lot’s of new stuff in this release. Look for even more pages to be posted after New York Comic Con. We’ll be floating around the con, and at the Madefire booth: 1658. Should be a fun trip, see you soon!

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Joe is Japanese will be at SDCC 2013!

JiJ_at_SDCCHey gang, guess what? We’ll be at the world’s largest Comic Convention in San Diego. Drop us a line at if you want to meet up. It should be a exciting week out there… a lot of parties mostly. Most importantly tho, we’re premiering a film out there, and just figured it would be a good excuse to bring the comic out to visit with some publishers.

While your out there come see our new film at the SDCC Film Fest that is happening at the Con.  

You can meet & see us at the 6:30 screening Thursday July 18th at Marriott Hall 2.

Below is a teaser trailer for the film. No relation to the Joe is Japanese project, aside from the fact that it’s made by us… 😉



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Joe Goes Highbrow

Well, here’s something we never would have imagined could happen. Joe is Japanese is in the latest issue of New York Magazine. I know you’re laughing and thinking we are making some sort of joke here… but we are not… it’s true. Joe McCunney, Koga Taro, Mista Mountain, & Hashimoto all wrote sections of a new comic that is featured smack dab in the middle of the April 25th 2011 issue.

We’re honored and amazed to be in a magazine with 43 years of history… never in which have they published a manga comic. We’re proud to forge a little history and continue to spread the perspective of people living in Japan right now… albeit through strange little cartoons. Please click the image above to read the new mini comic in New York Magazine and share your thoughts about it in the comment section. Thanks!

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Koga’s Email needs your tweet!

Thanks in every way to readers like you that are sharing this mini-comic! The Search Dog Foundation has notified us of some good donations coming in our honor, and we couldn’t be happier. Well we could be happier… if  YOU would donate now to help the Search Dog Foundation. It’s an unsung group that has sent rescue dogs to find people in over 75 deployments- including the World Trade Center attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti disaster, and now in Fukushima, Japan.

The comic has been reprinted by Wired Magazine, New York Times by columnist Andy Revkin, CREATIVE, Advertising Age, Ain’t It Cool News, Bleeding Cool, Comic Book Resources, and hopefully a lot more that we’ve probably missed. We’ve released this mini-comic as a creative commons license so we encourage you so share, re-post, or re-print it anywhere you like. For free.

Please share the crap out of this comic it seems to be inspiring people to donate to the SDF but we’ve still got a long way to go… I feel like I’m on a pledge drive for PBS, but dammit people this is important.

Thanks again to everyone that has given their support!

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Much more than 37 Frames

The photographers from have been on the ground right in the middle of the thick as we Americans say. The reality of images they are providing the world with is staggering.  Some of the snaps about halfway down on the massive page capture 100% the decisive moment as Henri Cartier-Bresson once described it.  It’s completely inappropriate to get too photo-nerdy with these images, but they are amazing pics that should be looked through to really take in the devastation of the world’s most recent disaster, and the people caught up in the middle of it.

Here’s a little bit of sunshine news for everyone too, The Japanese Coast Guard rescued a dog after it had been adrift on a roof of a house off the coast of Kesennuma… for 3 WEEKS!!!

Koga’s Pics and Poems : 001

Correspondence is steady with our friends and family in Japan. A great deal of unease exists for obvious reasons. We’re going to try to limit ourselves to good-natured posts on the site for a while, and in that spirit… a few cell phone snaps from Koga Speed as he navigates around looking for food.

Evidently, he is also now speaking in Tanka Poetry in his emails:



Keeping up on Events in Japan

Thanks everyone for your concern on our team overseas. Hopefully everything will turn out OK and we come out the other side with some stories… if nothing else. To keep up to date on the latest developments please find the feeds below:


If you don’t understand how to use the japanese feed (which isn’t the short loop like the English version), click the link up there, and when the video window pops up click the gray “yes” or “ok” button or whatever pop up is there. It just basically just tells you “that you might get kicked off when the internet traffic gets busy.”

and just in case you might of thought you gained a little weight after this earthquake, you did! We all did! The earth spins faster now! Crazy right!?!

Stay safe everyone. 幸運皆!

Understanding Kokoro

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Greets faithful fans of Joe,
Long ago, when I first asked Joe to teach me some Japanese words, so I too could skeeve on the girls he was chasing, he gave me one of his ‘Joe-looks’ and promptly started smashing my hands with his fists. He screamed out “Hidari!” then brought his fist hard down on my right hand, then followed closely with a shrill “Migi!” as he slapped the living shit out of my left. The puzzled expression on my face was soon mimicked on his.

“Waitaminute!”, he exclaimed. “That was backward.”

“Joe, I don’t-“

My left hand was quickly slapped, pimp-style. “Hidari!”, he screamed at me.

And thus my lessons in Japanese began. Continuing from his first unique language seminar of slapping me, most of Joe’s lessons involved him expounding on the attitude of speaking the Japanese language. He would ramble on about how all gaijin are taught a far too feminine manner of speaking. Joe looked me in the eye and said, “I ain’t gonna let that happen to you. You’re gonna learn my method.” The methodology he would develop shoulda been called simply: How to be a Badass in Japanese.

Joe mentioned recently on my last trip to Japan that he is filled with regret over teaching me in this manner. I’ve probably done nothing but embarrass him with my finely trained Japanese gutter-mouth in too many formal business meetings now. Still, it’s his own damn fault.

I will give him credit though. Often Joe would have moments of real insight. Especially when we were eating food. Joe could teach you one hell of a lesson over a meal. Something about it would always click. With this in mind, I kept the portable recorder burning one night in Ginza as we dined on Oden. Out of that recording, we got this little gem animated. “Kokoro” is perhaps the most important Japanese word I’ve ever learned. To know one single word that surmises the entire philosophy of how my animation studio is run is a powerful thing. When you watch this mini episode, you will (probably) learn the true meaning of the word. I encourage each of you to run your life with Kokoro burning hot in your heart.

With Heart,
-Island Masta

PS : Here are some fun link things from Genki Japan that while probably not as effective as Joe slapping you on the inverse hand and screaming “Migi! Hidari!”, might still be instructional.

The JiJ Manga is now live

Well, kinda… it’s just a quick test upload of a few of the pages. We working out some kinks and figuring out are the particulars before we upload too much. We’re debating our release schedule with the web comic right now, as we have enough in the can to do an update every weekday for the next year. Leave a your comments as to what a healthy release schedule should be.

The comic would not currently even be up without some very awesome help from dotSpiral‘s Anraiki (who is a talented Mangaka too… check out his comic Eslend) we finally have got the wheels in motion for the unveiling of this beast. It kinda puts the novel in graphic novel. It is over 370 pages and hopefully you find it entertaining.  Anyway enough blabber, here is a link to the: Joe is Japanese Manga!

Two teaser pages from the manga without sound EFX and proper text… click for larger: