Odori Park, by Chris Watkins Odori Park - A webcomic comedy of culture shock in love, life, and family, by Chris Watkins
Odori Park by Chris Watkins: BorderWalker Contest Wrap-Up
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Last week, I exhibited at MeCAF, up in Portland, Maine, with my buddy John Forcucci keeping me company, and I had an awesome time! This was the first year for MeCAF to be set up in the Portland Public Library, which from our vantage point, turned out to be really nice. We were set up in the Atrium, facing a great wall of windows looking out on downtown Portland. The foot traffic was super, with lots of families, kids, and comics fans!

This coming Saturday (June 11), I’ll be enjoying my first year at Kids Con New England, at the Holiday Inn in Concord, NH! I’ve taught many cartooning classes for kids, and have always tried to make my comics generally friendly for all ages, but this is my first time at a kids-focused event, and I’m looking forward to it. I have a couple new mini-comics, including one my 6-year old helped me create:


I’ve got one more new comic I’ve been working on which I am super psyched about, but that I don’t think will be ready for the Con. It’s a bummer, but I will make lemonade of lemons by using some of the pages to make fun activity pages for the kids who stop by! In the meantime, because it’s got me so excited, I thought I’d give a peek at some of the pages here (click the thumbnails to enlarge!):



Stay tuned! I’m going to keep on trucking on the new comic, and I still have my mysterious tanuki project to unveil at some point… :) In the meantime, please come out to New Hampshire for the Kids Con this Saturday!


I promised tomatoes and tanuki in my last post. I’ll make that slightly less cryptic by posting this peek at a work-in-progress. Not sure if it’ll ultimately be just a mini-comic or a kids’ book. We’ll see how it feels when it’s all colored and compiled :)

Here’s my huge thank you to everyone who voted for, shared, rated, and subscribed to my new comic, BorderWalker, in the Superhero Comics Contest over at Webtoons.com. The voting period ended a couple days ago, and unfortunately, my comic didn’t have enough votes to make it into the top twenty. There are some pretty cool comics in the top twenty, and over the next couple weeks, the powers that be will select the grand prize winner and three runners-up. I’m disappointed I don’t have a shot at a piece of that pie, but I can’t be too disappointed, because I was able to realize the beginnings of a new story, and I drew a huge amount of new work.

When the contest came along, I back-burnered two specific kids comics projects to make time for it. Although I’d love to carry on with BorderWalker, I also want to get back to these projects I put on hold. I’m planning to be at Kids Con New England in June, so I need to focus on that work for now! If you checked out my new comic and enjoyed it, please stay tuned–I’ll bring BorderWalker back to life at some point in the future.

For now, I have tomatoes and tanuki to draw… ;)

I’m happy to say my new comic, BorderWalker made it through the Submission round of the Webtoons contest! Which is to say, I had three episodes uploaded by the deadline :) Now the real hard part has started: I need to collect Votes, Ratings, and Subscriptions (I think).

See, the top twenty vote-getters will move on to the final stage of judge-based selection. To get there, I need a lot of folks to vote for my comic, and to come back and vote every day. The order the comics appear on the contest page seems to be related primarily to a nebulous Popularity score, which I’m guessing is based on a combination of Rating and number of Subscribers.

So, long story short: If you like my new series, and you’d like to see more, please pop over to Webtoons.com, log in with Facebook, Twitter, or a Line account, and throw a Vote, a positive Rating, and a Subscription my way! I’m going to try to post regularly during the Voting phase with previews of pages to come.

And please share the comic, too! The more folks who read it, the better–and it’s people enjoying my comics that I’m really after through all this. :) Thank you!

With that in mind, here’s a look at a little art from the next episode (click to enlarge):

Today is a double-shot of awesome (for me, and hopefully, you’ll agree). Let me start with this:

BorderWalker at Webtoons.com
Over the summer, I caught wind of a new comics competition at the LINE Webtoons site. Webtoon is a (massive) anthology of serialized strip and long-form comics, and the first time they ran this competition, one of my favorite creators, Stephen McCranie, came away with the grand prize. That’s $30K and a publishing deal. Not too shabby! So, even though I found out late in the game, I took a stab at creating a new comic serial for the contest. Through the month of July, I plugged away at my idea, BorderWalker (not to be confused with my old BorderWalker, if you remember that site). Ultimately, it just wasn’t enough time to get a submission together.

Cut to today: Webtoons has launched a new competition, and this time, I’m ahead of the game! I’ve launched the first episode of BorderWalker today on Webtoons, and I’ll be making more updates in the days and weeks ahead. The description of the rules are a little unclear, so I’m not sure if I make it through the current “Submission” round just by posting sufficient updates, or on the strength of reader Likes and Ratings. Assuming I make it into the “Voting” phase, however, I’ll be trying to drum up a lot of support then, as reader votes on their favorite comics will determine who makes it through the brackets to become the final winner!

For now, I hope you’ll go read BorderWalker at Webtoons, and if you enjoy it, please share it, subscribe to the feed there, rate it, and/or “like” it :)


In the past, I’ve posted about Odori Park being picked up by the Comikka web service. I’m super happy to announce that they’ve now officially publicly, for really-real, launched the Comikka service to readers! It’s designed for mobile reading, so please go check out Odori Park on Comikka using your phone or tablet, and tell your friends! :)

Many thanks are due to Carla, Henry, and their staff at Comikka for processing the hundreds of OP strips to make them readable on the service. Thanks, guys!

So many comics!

Odori Park is the webcomic story of Japanese Arisa Nishimori, from snowy Hokkaido, Japan, and American Colin Easton, from Suburbia, U.S.A., navigating the culture shocks of romance, parenthood, family, friends, and making a living in an ever shrinking world. A tale of east marries west by comic artist Chris Watkins.

All contents © 2008-2012 by Chris Watkins.
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