Roger Dahl's Comic Japan: Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons From The Japan Times (Paperback)Roger Dahl (author)
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Roger Dahl's Comic Japan is a collection of the best of the Zero Gravity cartoon strip, a favorite feature of Japan's leading English-language daily newspaper The Japan Times, since 1991. In this anthology, it is made available in book form for the first time.
The Japan comic strip stars Larry and Lily, a young American couple working as English teachers in Tokyo, who never manage to integrate into Japanese society fully. Rounding out the strip's ensemble cast is the three-generational Koyama family, with whom Larry and Lily share friendship and regular misunderstanding. There is plenty of miscommunication between the Japanese characters as well.
Zero Gravity takes a whimsical approach to the meeting of cultures. The primary focus is on the humorous misunderstandings between East and West, but nearly as often it explores the quirky dynamics of changing relationships between generations and subgroups within Japan. Though the strip is undoubtedly an exploration of colliding cultures, it is primarily a story about characters who have a good deal of affection for one another.
This anthology contains eight chapters covering various aspects of Larry and Lily's life in Japan. Each chapter includes 16-20 pages and 32-40 cartoon strips with two strips to each page and opens with a brief introduction to the theme of the chapter. A 3-page illustrated foreword to the book introduces Roger Dahl, his career and his inspiration for Zero Gravity.
For a unique perspective on Japan from a Western artist, the 300+ strips in this Japanese comic anthology will both make you laugh and make you think.
Publisher: Tuttle Shokai Inc
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 216 x 203 x 10 mm
"The drawing is lively and expressive, [...] This is a book of smiles, not guffaws, yet the accumulation of strips builds a picture of an expat lifestyle, with its attendant loneliness, confusion, and thrills." --Publishers Weekly
"Roger Dahl's Zero Gravity: The Lighter Side of Tokyo Life takes you to the crowded train platforms of Shinjuku, the tatami-mat homes, izakaya bars and offices where Japanese and gaijin haplessly interact. He showcases all of this with fluid, graceful lines and warm, insightful humor. Roger's cartoons are a wonderful introduction to Japan for anyone with a funny bone." --Gwen Muranaka, Cartoonist, "Noodles," Japan Times (1996-2013), English editor-in-chief, The Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles Japanese Daily News)
"This book is a collection of some of his best strips from the Zero Gravity comic. If you are, have been or are interested in becoming an expat (especially one in Japan), this book will interest you. Actually, you will like this book if you're interested in life in Japan at all... even if you never even visited here." --Tokyo Five blog
"Dahl's cartoon has an intriguing power to turn your mundane, awkward, even frustrating everyday experiences in Japan into light-hearted cultural adventures. In this collection, the bits and pieces of his weekly strips come together in synthesis as a story." --Miki Tanikawa, Journalist New York Times and International Herald Tribune
"Most non-Japanese who have spent time in Japan will recognize both Japan and themselves in Roger Dahl's fine cartoons. He is an equal-opportunity satirist, skewering foreigners and host country alike. My own favorites include "The Darkest Hour" (about the intricacies of trash disposal, p. 13), "Polite Country" (the panel ends with the foreigner sighing, "I need a vacation in a rude country," p. 131), and a Swiss army knife adapted for Japan, complete with abacus, chopsticks, and karaoke mike (p. 142)." --Dr. Richard Minear, author of Dr. Seuss Goes To War and professor emeritus at University of Massachusetts
"Roger Dahl's genius is evident from the fact that his cartoons, rather than laughing *at* the Japanese, let readers laugh *with* the Japanese. And he manages to be both funny and incisive without engaging in stereotypes or bowing to the demands of political correctness." --Mark Schreiber, Tokyo-based scribe and raconteur
"Through the structure and tone of his comics, Roger Dahl manages to convey humorous, sometimes bizarre, but gently affectionate encounters with the people and customs of Japan. His work has been called 'genius', 'minimalistic', 'insightful', 'funny and incisive', and maintains a bemused, yet softly satirical mood throughout." --HubPages.com
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