Haidan – May 2016 issue


Since January 2016, Old Pond Comics is published in Japan. I’ve been working with Emiko Miyashita, a haiku poet who is writing a monthly column on haiku translations for the new journal Haidan. Every month, Emiko sends me three haiku and I provide a haiku-cartoon to accompany her article.

The publisher sends me copies of the journals, but only months after publication, so Emiko occasionally sends me pictures of what the article looks like as soon as she gets her copy.

Here’s a photo of the May 2016 issue showing beautiful Japanese items on her desk. She gave me permission to share this.


Haidan (May 2016 issue). Photo by Emiko Miyashita.


Here’s the comic:


In the distant hills

A patch where sunlight touches

The withered meadows.

— Kyoshi (haiku translated by Donald Keene)

My Haiku Canada Weekend 2016 Freebie


I spent Easter Sunday cutting, folding and sewing a small comic book.


I will be giving them away at the Haiku Canada Weekend, May 20-22, 2016, in Whitehorse, Yukon.


Every year, I was always waiting to the last minute to prepare my freebie, but this time I decided to prepare them early so I could focus on my presentations: I will be the keynote speaker and cartoonist-in-residence at the next Haiku Canada Weekend in May. I hope you can join us!

The life-changing magic of tidying up


magicA few months ago, after reading the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, I went through my bookshelves and, like the author prescribed, asked myself only one question: does this book make me happy? If not, it went in a suitcase.

At the end of the afternoon, the suitcase was full and there was lots of free space on my shelves for the stuff I really cared about. It was an amazing feeling.

* * *

Recently I was preparing for a trip so I grabbed a suitcase and was surprised to find it full of books. It seems I had neglected the last step of the tidying up process which is to get rid of the stuff right away.

This morning, I hauled the suitcase to my local second-hand bookstore.

As the clerk went through the books, I felt a bit naked. The books revealed a lot about me, my personality, my interests. I felt self-conscious.

Bu then I realized: “This is not who I am, it’s who I was.”

A lot of these books I was selling because I had moved on to other interests or hobbies. The books I cared about were at home. The real me was at home. On my shelf.

 puling an embroiderie thread

out of a book






Haigabun (a haibun accompanied by a haiga) is a technique started by Line Michaud. In here, I try my own version: a haibun followed by a comic.



Since January 2016, Old Pond Comics is published in Japan!

My comics are illustrating articles written by Emiko Miyashita — about the translation of haiku from Japanese to English — that are published in the new haiku journal Haidan. Our collaboration will extend until December 2016.





VanCAF – Day 2

I had a great time at Vancouver Comics Arts Festival (VanCAF) again today.

vancaf day 2

My first visitors were two members of the Vancouver Haiku Group. Then, for the next 6 hours, I talked about haiku to complete strangers (and had a lot of fun doing it!)

vancaf day 2 cartoon by Sam from Boumeries

I was “cartoonified” by the talented Samantha Leriche-Gionet from Boumeries comics. Check out her comics Boumeries. Sam will be at the Montreal Comics Art Festival May 29-31 2015.

vancaf 2 jeff chiba

Jeff Chiba selling his awesome works created on post-its.

This year, VanCAF was bigger than ever, with two halls and hundreds of comic artists selling books, prints, t-shirts, doing comissions. It was awesome.

vancaf 2 angela

Angela from Wasted Talent.

The VanCAF organization was awesome. There were lots of volunteers who could provide change, fill in your table during breaks, or get food and supplies. That’s VIP treatment!

It was a great week-end. Can’t wait till next year!

VanCAF – Day 1

I had a table at the Vancouver Comics Arts Festival (VanCAF) at the Roundhouse this week-end.

vancaf day 1

It was my first time at VanCAF as a vendor. It’s a curated show (meaning they carefully review each submissions and decide who gets to go in) so I was super happy to be accepted as a fellow cartoonist.

vancaf table

I had brought some of my haiku-comics:

  • Haiku-Comics (40 haiku-comics by famous Japanese masters, as seen on The Haiku Foundation blog)
  • There’s no white belt in haiku
  • Haiku: a short introduction (with cartoons)
  • How to write a haiku (mini)
  • The seven stages of writing (mini)

vancaf first half

I separated my table at VanCAF in two sections. This section is “Learn haiku through cartoons”. It featured my new zine “Haiku: a short introduction (with cartoons)”.

vancaf second half

The second section of my table was dedicated to haiku-comics. It featured my book of 40 haiku-comics, some mini-zines, and free haiku-comics samples people can take home.

Many people recognized the word “Haiku” from something they’ve learned in school, years ago and stopped by to chat and buy comics.

A few people recognized my comic strips from the monthly publication The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian Community, history + culture

vancaf 2

The show ran from 10am-6pm today and will run again from 11am-5pm tomorrow.  

Thanks to everybody who stopped by the table today! I hope you will try to write haiku.

The Fly (Making of): assembling the comic strips


It’s so exciting the moment you realize you have enough comic strips to make a book. (Well, if you can call a zine, a “book”.)  Next step is to assemble the comics in a mock-up version.

This new story features the adventures of a haiku poet who is trying to get rid of a fly that lives in his house. It will be told through haiku-comics.

The zine will be available at the Haiku Canada Week-end in May 2015 and afterwards on my online store.

Plastic Surgery Haiku? Yes Please

yes pleaseRecently I read Yes Please, the autobiography of Amy Poehler, star of Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation.

Amy Poehler’s memoir is described as “A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haiku from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers (…)” (jacket)

Haiku? Yes, haiku!

The media made a big deal out of the Plastic Surgery Haiku that appear in the book. Although they occupy only two pages out of 329 pages memoir, the haiku written in 5-7-5 syllables were mentioned in pretty much all the book reviews:

Plastic surgery

Requires a good amount

Of lying to friends

— Amy Poehler

I have to admit the haiku do stand out, with their red text over black pages.

The book is printed in full colors, which is really rare in the publishing industry because of the high cost of color printing, but color was necessary as the book includes not only photos but also many memorabilia (such as those you would usually find in a scrapbook) which are spread throughout the book: handwritten notes from high school notebooks, school report card, lists, tips, poems, e-mails, and photos from her career at improv, SNL, and Parks and Recreation and, of course, two pages of haiku!

Hey, shooting poison

In your face does not keep you

From turning fifty

— Amy Poehler

I have to say I was more intrigued by the memorabilia – lists, e-mails, and the haiku – than the storytelling chapters themselves. This book seems to cater to the multitasking, easily distracted mind of the 21st century reader who likes to skim more than they like to read.

I especially enjoyed the big, bold, colourful quotes that preceded each chapter. Spread over two pages, these quotes resembled internet meme:

Short people do not like to be picked up.

I wonder if that’s what the book of the future would look like: a gathering of memorabilia, quotes, haiku, and lists that would catch your attention, like any shiny thing on the internet, and four-page chapters that nobody would read because the haiku were the best part anyway AND the only thing people will remember and quote from your book.

Congratulations to Amy Poehler for achieving Haiku Stardom.