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: Thank You, Internet
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I just glanced at the post date of my last blog update and HOLY CATS, I haven’t updated since September?! What is wrong with me?! I’m lucky (and hopeful) you’re a forgiving bunch :D

A lot has been happening, even if it’s not a lot of new Odori Park comics. I will say I’ve been contemplating how and when to best return to making OP strips, but if you’ve read my blog posts in the past, you know my focus this past year has been a graphic novel project. More on that in a second.

First, I wanted to slip in a plug for Alex Heberling, an online friend (and rival–don’t think I haven’t forgotten my humiliating loss in the TGT podcast brackets, Heberling!) who’s drumming up funds via Kickstarter to publish the first collection of her newest comic, The Hues. It’s a beautifully illustrated full-color (of course) magical girl adventure that I’m looking forward to seeing in print form. Please have a look, and consider pledging.

On my own book’s front, I’m sorry I haven’t been posting any progress here. To be honest, it’s been slow, but steady, and exciting, but unfortunately not much to look at. Here’s a peek:

See, I’m still hip-deep in the scripting stage, but decided to merge this with the thumbnailing stage. After all, I’m really the only one to whom these scribbles need to make sense, so why take the extra time of scripting it out formally in text first. Especially when I think just as visually as verbally about comics. But that means there’s literally not much to look at–at least not much that’ll make sense to anyone who’s not me. :)

In any event, even though balancing the kids and the day job keeps the work slow, it is progressing.

In the meantime, I was recently contacted by Carla Ventresca and Henry Beckett, creators of the syndicated strip On a Claire Day, who are also the creators of a new mobile comic site called Comikka. It’s a fun way to read comics on smartphones and other small-screen devices, and I’m excited to get my Odori Park library up and running there for a new batch of readers to find! Carla and Henry have figured out a neat way to help the cartoonists make some money for their work by inserting interstitial ads in the strip flow, but at a frequency and insertion point of the cartoonist’s choosing. There are a few strips already that Carla uploaded to get me started, and although I’m (as ever) slow to get things cooking, I’m looking forward to posting more of the archive there. Please check it out, and read some of the other cool comics there!

More news to come as I have it! Thanks for standing by me, folks. I appreciate it :)


Today I mailed out the last of the rewards for my Kickstarter project that brought the Odori Park Omnibus to life, and I’m psyched! Next step is to get the Omnibus for sale on the site here. In the meantime, here are a few more Artist Edition sketches I did for folks (click to enlarge):


An update on my Kickstarter project for the Odori Park Omnibus:
I’ve been making my way through the many Artist Editions ordered by backers, and taking the time to make the sketch in each something unique. It’s been fun, but I’m also appreciating my backers’ patience, because it takes some time. I do the AE sketches with a brush pen, and the exercise is getting me antsy to start putting brush to paper on my graphic novel.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few of the drawings from books that have already been received by their new owners. I’ll aim to post more in the days ahead!

Many things to talk about! No time for formalities–here’s a run-down!

  • We have moved to our new house, and unpacking and set-up are largely complete, so now I can start focusing again on getting the Omnibus out to backers! I still have some rearrangement (and decoration) to do in the home studio, but there’s a peek below…
  • Shipping materials arrived from Uline this week, so now I have something to send out the books in!
  • The first deliveries have started! I’m planning on making book-only deliveries first, followed by Artist Editions, and then AEs with prints.
  • I’ve started working on those Artist Editions. Assuming no backers mind, I’m going to post up pics of some here, since they’re a lot of fun to draw. :)

With the house move slowing things down in the middle here, some of you may have had enough time to make moves of your own while I got my ducks lined up. Please make sure to update me via Kickstarter on any address changes I should know about!

The new studio, in progress…


I just posted this over at my Kickstarter page for the Odori Park Omnibus:

This past Monday, I greeted a welcome sight: Seven big boxes stacked up outside my house! Boxes full of the Odori Park Omnibus! I’ve moved them safely inside, and in short order, I’ll begin the work of mailing (and in some cases sketching in and mailing) them out. Then there are prints to prep and other goodies to get together. Thanks for your patience–it’s been worth it!

I mentioned house up above, which is also significant. Some of you know that my family and I have been in the process of buying and moving into our first house! We’re in now, although not all of our stuff is yet (there’s a funny little story about the moving company, a sofa, and a fire sprinkler that I won’t get into here), so the process has been a bit dragged out. But, I have a new studio in the new house, outfitted with a new desk and art board waiting for me to do some work on ‘em. I think I know what the first orders of business will be!

Speaking of work, this morning I wrapped up a guest comic for my friend Adriana Blake, who’s eagerly awaiting her own milestone to arrive. In anticipation, she’s lining up a bunch of guest art and comics. My strip should appear in August. I’m more excited for her new arrival. :)

Last bit of news, just for fun: Starting next week, every Thursday evening for the rest of July, I’ll be teaching my Cartooning and Comics class for 4th-8th graders at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. This class was a blast when I taught it over the winter, and my understanding is there’s a huge crowd of kids for this session! If you have kids (or are one), and you live in the vicinity, it’s not too late to sign up :)

So much to do!

One more thing I need to tackle soon is getting the Omnibus up for sale here on the site! In the meantime, if you’re interested in a copy right away, of course I’ll take your money you can feel free to contact me directly (you can shoot an email through the Contact page) and we can sort out the details.

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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