Monday, December 31, 2007


Well, this is it folks. A great year it's been with full of surprises. Finished off a tighter draft of 8 or so pages for the Dysfunction of Leadership for Wiley. Gearing up for another upcoming book project as well (hopefully I'll be able to make the announcement within the next month or so). I hope everyone drives safely and doesn't forget to keep drawing into the brand new year. Till then, Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I'm working on the cover edits for the Five Dysfunctions Book.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Week in Crazy Piggy Back Studios

Literally swamped since last Friday. Just when I thought that the Dragon Ball Z illustrations were finally done, got slammed with an overnight illustration project for Rebook. 8 color comp illustrations in literally 24 hours! Each one was pretty complex. For example, it was like "7 female joggers being chased by 50 puppies in a park with one falling down in the background. Behind the fence there's two male cheerleaders." That times 8?! Got that done and today I was at Cement Works Advertising working with art directors on their new medical product campaign.

Rainy rainy day today in NYC. On a bright note, I did find my scarf that I thought I lost at restaurant. I went back there and they had it in the office. Simple pleasures make the day go easier.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Anime Festival and Dragon Ball Zzzzzzz

Busy weekend at the New York Anime Festival. I had the pleasure of having a table next to my former classmate from SVA, Steve Uy. The table locations could have been better, but sometimes you have to just deal with what they give you. Although, I do recommend anyone stuck in the similar situation to at least complain to the convention office. They may be able to relocate you to an empty table.

The kicker was I was working on illustrations for the Dragon Ball Z video game for the Nintendo Wii throughout the weekend. Finally got it done after pulling an all-nighter on Sunday. It's done! Yayyy!!!! Get to sleep!!!! Yaaaaayyyy!!!!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Reorganized my Kearny Studio

I think I'm getting used to getting up at 7 am (thanks to my girlfriend's wake up call.) It's amazing what a girl can get you to do for a week.

Anyways, here's another experiment I did using painter. I also finished an outline for a project proposal for one of my publishers which took a bit longer than I anticipated. I'm really trying to get into the habit of attacking the projects quickly. One of my reps called this afternoon - possible onsite location assignment with our good friends at Agent 16. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to get my colleague to print out a batch of figure drawing booklets. It looks like I'll have to do it the old fashion way like I've been doing in the past for all the conventions - printing the darn thing on my printer. Obviously won't be able to print it out in mass quantities.

Key Chains!

Just got some promo material from Wiley to hand out at the New York Anime Festival. Key Chains galore! I've never seen so many in my life (bear in mind there's a bunch more stacked underneath the top stack which you see above!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Weekend relief

So happy it's the weekend! Man, it went by too fast. Gearing up for next week's New York Anime Convention. Wiley sent a bunch of promo stuff to put on the table. Key chains of the Manga for Dummies included!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Lecture at Mercer County College, NJ - Tomorrow

Back from Thanksgiving break... And it's raining Cats and Dogs here in Jersey City! I've been finishing up on the final version of the cover for Wiley. The title of the book has been modified slightly to A Manga Guide to The Five Dysfunctions of a Leadership: A Leadership Fable. Yes, it's a mouthful and I certainly had a heck of a time trying to design the composition. I'd love to post the cover draft, but need to keep it under the covers.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dessiner les mangas pour les nuls!

The French translation of Manga for Dummies is now on sale in France!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

All nighter at the studio

First time in a new location is always going to be tough as they say. I'm working at my Kearney Studio and plan to do an all nighter. Not because I want to by the way! I'm working on the final cover for the Dysfunction book which has to get done tres vite. I'm the process of working up a proposal for another book for a major publisher which I cannot describe or discuss except to say I am very excited.

There are some major changes which are about to take place in my freelance career. While nothing is set in stone yet, I've been busy since this morning with emails and phone messages. I will let everyone know once the dust is settled (which maybe as soon as next month). I'm both excited and anxious which is all I can for now.

I'll be cooking up some ramen noodles at the studio! Here's to you other freelancers doing the same thing this evening!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Manga for Dummies in German!

Manga for Dummies (the German translation) has been released. Here's the cover translated in German.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Photoshop and Painter

Here's a recent character design I did in Painter and then finished up in Photoshop.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Figure Drawing at Spring Street Studios

It's been a while, but I got around to drawing at the figure drawing session @ Spring Street Studios in Soho, New York City. I gotta admit, I get a bit shaky after not drawing from life for such a long time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Birthday to Meeeee

Oh, boy. These birthdays are coming waaay to fast. I've been told I'm a creepy kid. I now know why.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Freelancers Union

Finally got around to becoming a part of the Freelancers Union of New York City. Part in fact they offer affordable benefits.

Got more Magic Cards to be signed in the mail - the fan from Canada was really sweet. She sent me two thank you cards along with the cards. Never had that happen before.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Fall Soiree

I'm attending a Client Banquet at my reps office tonight. Looking forward to meeting the art directors and art buyers (the two most powerful people in the advertising illustration business). Overall, it's been a very quiet two quarters this summer and fall. Hope I can finish off as much of the book projects before the industry gets back into full gear.

Getting colder all of a sudden, here in Jersey City. Gotta bundle up and dust off the portable heaters soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SVA Journal Interview

I've been asked to give an interview about the influence of Manga on art students. More details to follow.

My new business cards came in this week. I can't believe how long it's been the last time I had new cards made. Too long!

In the meanwhile...
GO BOSTON RED SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Q and A

I recently got a good question from an attendee from Manga NEXT. With his permission, I thought it would be a good idea to share his question and my response.

Hello Mr.Okabayashi,
My question is how would one go about drawing blurred images in manga? I
apologize for taking up your time with this since I know you
must be busy, but I'd be grateful if you can give me a reply.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and hope to hear from
you soon.


P.S. I read your current entry on your blog and Death Note is a great manga work. Just as you keep progressing in the story be sure to know when to draw the line between supporting cleverness and true justice o_o

Hi Carlos,

Great meeting you at the convention.

To answer your question, I would say do the coolest thing and use the Gaussian blur tool or motion blur tool in photoshop. Just keep the setting fairly low.


Friday, October 19, 2007

Redesigning the Cover

Currently redesigning the cover for the Wiley Project. They're eight characters that need to be squeeezed on to a 6 by 9 inch space. Just think how many different character types the author had to come up with.

Rainy day in Jersey City with an overdose of humidity. These gloomy days make me remind myself how freelancing is never easy. Not for the faint of heart you guys out there who are thinking about doing it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finished the pencils for DS #1

Finally finishing off the pencils for the first issue of Deep Salvage. Not completely satisfied with the results - I'm still trying to get a better idea of all of the characters.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blast from the Past.

Here's a photo from a Magic Signing event with fellow friends and colleague Thomas Gianni and Anthony Waters! The event was to commemorate the release of Cold Snap.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Late night at the Studio

Just came back from the studio. I'm in the process of trying to sort out all the contacts and addresses on my computer. What a mess - three years of unsorted junk! Can't seem to find that right "syncing" method between my mac computer and my hand held device (not that many software made for the mac I hear.)

Finished a draft for my new business card (another thing that's way over due!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Death Note

It's been a while since I've read a manga title that I like. I picked up a copy of Death Note and fell in love with the story. My mother was the one who fist mentioned it to me. According to her students, there's a movie adaptation that posted on YouTube. I can't wait to watch it. By the way, the artwork is pretty awesome.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The pursuit of a new Mac!

I've been looking at upgrading my laptop very soon. There are a couple of options of either getting a intel chip macintosh laptop or getting that bulky tower. Either way, it looks like another huge investment. I just wish we could just get one computer which would self-evolve according to our needs. . . .

Yes, that would be just so nice!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Manga NEXT

Another panel event coming up this weekend! I've been invited to do several panel discussions at Manga NEXT Convention from Friday to Sunday. I'll be demonstrating on drawing from life as well as lectures on publishing your works. To learn more about this event, follow this link:
I look forward to seeing you there!

Friday, September 28, 2007

No Figure Drawing Classes this Fall

Unfortunately, my figure drawing class is canceled for this fall semester. My apologies to those who were interested.

While the Five Dysfunctions project is being edited in Singapore, I'm been working on a project called Deep Salvage and Tiki Road for Archaia Press and Arcana Books. I'm loving my new studio set up. I just wished I didn't have to take that extra bus ride from the PATH train station!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Deadline Extension - I Luv it!

The deadlines for the Five Dysfunctions book have been extended. Quite frankly, what a relief! There are two other major projects that I've been placing on hold or haven't been able to get to because of freelance commitments. Manga for Dummies has seen top rankings on Thank you for all your support! You guys rock!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Storyboards finally completed!

Man, all that typing was a pain in the neck! Glad it's finally done. There's just a lot of editing that needs to get done and I'm praying that the editors will be able to take care of it on their end since I simply won't have time to do any of it (literally, it's getting that crazy)! I finally got around to picking up my paint brush and painting. It's been really too long (haven't seriously done a piece since working for Wizards of the Coast). Anyways, I'm working on some long overdue comic book artwork. I'm thinking that the writers are seriously ticked off at me by now since I've been MIA. Gotta get busy . . . . again!!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Loew-Cornell project completed!

The project for the Manga for Dummies art set is finally done. I'm excited to have that monkey off my back! I'm working on the cover for the FD (Five Dysfunctions) book for Wiley Publishing.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Storyboard Blues

I'm currently writing in the dialog for the storyboards for the Five Dysfunctions Book. What a drag and boring task - but it's gotta get done! Someone's gotta do it!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

RIP Ringo

I was really shocked to hear about Mike. No words. Really ... just no words can describe.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Moving the last of the Studio Equipment

Finally got around to moving the last of the major equipment to the Studio in Kearny, NJ. I decided to bring in my large scanner rather than relying on the portable Canon scanner which I've been using for my powerbook (it was just too slow). Sketches for the Manga for Dummies Art Set have been approved (yay). Beautiful day here in Jersey City. Really wished I could just take my painting stuff and go outside to paint instead of doing thumbnails.

I'm finding it's going to be a very busy fall this year. Another possible large project may come out. I'll keep the blog posted.

Oh, I'm putting my digital SLR camera (Canon 20D) on e bay for sale. Any one interested can follow the link:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ungh - Tired!

Spent a loong day yesterday at the studio working on the "Dysfunction" book. I'll be working all day on the MFD (Manga for Dummies Art Set today. On a recreational note, I'm going to see the Mets play against the San Diego Padres tonight! Can't wait to get out of work.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Transparent Gesso?

I've been meaning to try out this transparent gesso and use it instead of the matte medium to seal my drawings before painting over it for my illustrations. Haven't been in the city lately to drop by the local art stores yet.

Storyboards for the "Dysfunctions" book is moving along. The page count is probably coming close to 200 pages (the maximum limit). It's going to be a blast trying to trim out the "fat" pages.

Hey - I rented out and saw TNMT. Nothing to scream about, but it's definitely a fun watch. Recommend it!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Contract for Project with Loew-Cornell Signed

I've just signed a contract with Loew-Cornell to do some illustrations for their Manga for Dummies Art Set. Deadline is set for next month. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post the images, but if they say I can, I will do so. Weather is turning out to be quite nice out here. Starting to cool down from the hot summer days. I haven't been out to the studio much this week (I'll see if I can haul myself out there today). Still need to post pictures - sorry for the delay.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wiley / Asia - Book Deal Signed

Finally signed a book deal with Wiley/Asia (Singapore). It's been in the works for a long time, but it's finally official. The title is called "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Manga Edition" based off of New York Times Bestseller book written by Patrick Lencioni. I'm currently doing the thumbnails of the 150 page graphic novel. It's a challenge in the sense that the original book is twice the number of pages jam packed with dialog. Condensing everything is going to be a challenge!

Friday, August 10, 2007

First day in new studio

Today's my first day working in my new off-location studio! Things are great and going well.

I've been approached with a project contract from an art materials company. Can't reveal the details yet since I have yet to negotiate the details. Once everything is finalized, I will make the posting.

Busy first day at my new studio. Trying to get my daily 10 pages of thumbnails done for the new Wiley book project.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New Studio Space

Back from San Diego and fully recovered. This past weekend, I've decided to move into a separate studio space with my colleague and friend, Mark Smylie, of Archaia Studios. I've already moved my painting and some drafting supplies along with basic digital equipment. I'm very excited about this move. Mark and I have been talking about this for some time (since last year to be exact). It's a very large place in Kearny, NJ. I'll be posting pictures shortly.

Had another rough deadline come up last night. Had to knock out frames for Sam's Club which were due at midnight. It wouldn't have been that hard to do had they not called me right before my comic book art class started. I had to cut the class fifteen minutes short so that I could go back to my studio and crank it out. Aaaahh, the freelance world - some things just never change.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Day 2 @ San Diego Comicon

Sitting at It's a Grind coffee shop, downtown San Diego while putting in this entry. I just discovered this place yesterday and I love it! Much better than Star Bucks and I get free wireless networking. Feeling much better now that I just finished up a freelance story board project and sent it over to a brand new client, DKB Marketing in Manhattan. One thing that I can't get used to taking my freelance work on the west coast is that the time difference. Just when you think you're ahead of schedule, you need to factor in that back home is three hours ahead of you.

(update) Still no work about the missing book and art materials on the plane. Good news is that I'm getting a new copy shipped out to me. I've been trying to jot down as many drawings I can remember from the past couple of weeks.

The locals here are so polite that it always takes time getting used to the environment. Makes you realize how stressed New Yorkers are with the crazy deadlines that go on.

My former SVA classmate, Joy Dey, has graciously allowed me to stay over the past couple of days.

Joy and Bill Dey in their new home.

The floor is crazier than I ever remember. Yesterday (Thursday) was so packed that you couldn't even move around the floor. Picked up my third Adam Hughes sketchbook among other freebies. Feel worn out overall. Haven't had much of a chance to do my routine network (frankly, I think I've met and known all the art directors prior to this convention).

Transformer's Optimus Prime

The Newest and Latest DDR.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rough few Days @ San Diego

Well, if this isn't the mother of all ____ ___. With clients calling in at the last minute the following morning I get here. My laptop software didn't scan and kept crashing. Finally figured out that the epson drivers were to blame. Live and learn folks - if Photoshop ever keeps crashing on you, delete all epson drivers and plug-ins. Then I realize I've left all my sketches and thumbnails of the book I'm working on along with the manuscript itself on the plane! No words, ladies and gents. I'm depressed beyond words. One weeks worth of hardwork and accomplishments down the drain like that. Simply no words. . . . Unbelievable. Should've never left New Jersey (even for comicon).

Sunday, July 22, 2007

San Diego Comic Con

Gearing up for San Diego. I'm dreading having to bring my portable work station with me. The whole thing (portable scanner, laptop, and wacom tablet) weighs close to 40 lbs! On a lighter note (ha ha ha ha) I'm hoping to seal up another book agreement soon. Stay tuned for details coming soon.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

San Diego Comicon

Gearing up for San Diego Comicon. I can't believe how fast things are going with summer in full swing. Finishing the details with establishing a graphic novel conctract with John Wiley/Asia. More details to soon follow. Unghh. Here's to another looong and tight deadlines.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Posting a recent manga digital illustration. I'm experimenting by adding some Japanese woodblock print elements. Comments appreciated!

Panel discussion at Anime Next

Photo of me (on the left) doing a panel discussion at NJ's AnimeNext. I've been invited to MangaNext at October. Earlier I did some demonstrations of incorporating life drawing into manga. It was a blast.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Some Long-Due Photos

This was with my acquisitions editor, Michael Lewis, from Wiley at the Book Expo at Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City.

Here's a photo from MOCCA festival last month. Morgan Spurlock from Supersize Me came by!

Thursday, June 28, 2007 Back Up is now back up again. I'm off to North Carolina for a much needed vacation. Next weekend, I'll be doing a couple of panel discussions at Anime Next Japanese Anime Convention, in Seacaucus, NJ. You can visit their convention website at for more information about dates and directions. I'll be there on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 Temporarily Down is temporarily down. It should be back up in 48 hours. Mocca was a blast. I'll be posting pics soon. I saw Morgan Spurlock from Supersize Me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Got LinkedIn?

Hey guys. Just set up a LinkedIn account. Still trying to get everything together, but for now you can see it at

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gearing up towards MOCCA

Gearing up towards MOCCA exhibit next week. More details to follow. My girlfriend got me locked on to facebook. My initial intentions were to use it as a way of promoting my work to the college community, but it's becoming just another excuse to procrastinate my work. Fun, nevertheless!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back To Summer Sessions

Entering my second week of teaching comic book art at the Education Alliance Art School in Manhattan. Classes are on Tuesdays from 6:30- 9pm. I'm taking a break for the summer from teaching figure drawing, but I will be resuming it in the Fall. Call the school at 212-780-2300 ext. 378 for more information. Had a blast in NY Book Expo last week - all the books were signed and gone within 15 minutes or so!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Signing at the Book Expo in NYC

Weather is getting hotter here in Jersey City. The studio renovation is coming to an end (finally!) I'll be doing a book signing at the National Book Expo at Jacob Javits Convention Center tomorrow (Friday) from 2-3pm. Anyone in the area, please come on by and say hello!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Revamping my studio

Finished with some storyboards for LG Electronics yesterday and the day before. Had to do 28 frames! Unghh. So today I'm taking some time off to revamp my studio. It really needs a major make over! I also need to make sure that if or when guests come over, the place doesn't look like all hell just broke loose. Paper and drawings are everywhere right now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Signing at Borders / Manhattan

Another great Monday morning. Working on location right now doing story boards for Brand Buzz Ad Agency. I'll be doing a store signing this Sunday from 7pm at Borders Bookstores Kips Bay. They're located on 32nd Street and 2nd Avenue. Come drop by and say high!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Signing at Barnes and Noble at Princeton Market Fair

Just came back from Chicago. I will be doing a signing at Princeton Market Fair this Saturday the 19th from 2pm. I think it will last for a couple of hours. Here's the address:

Barnes and Noble Princeton
3535 US Route 1 South
Princeton, NJ 08540

Please come by and say hi!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Signing at Barnes and Noble at Wheaton, Illinois

Well this month is signing month. I'm kicking off with an evening at Barnes and Noble in Wheaton, Illinois. It's on the 11th starting at 7p.m. (a Friday). I'll post details within the next couple of days. Other dates include another Barnes and Noble in Princeton Market Fair, NJ, and Borders in Manhattan. Just finished off some designs for Camel. I just came across an interesting article about the specific brand I was illustrating for. 5 Senetors are saying that they company is targeting teenage girls. Stay tuned. . . .

Saturday, April 28, 2007

MFD Hits Germany and France!

Exciting news today. I just got a letter from Wiley saying that Manga for Dummies has been selected to be translated and published in German and French! More information to follow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Johnny Hart Passes Away

Hats off to Johnny Hart (creator and artist of "B.C."). He passed away on Easter weekend. He was one of the few Christian cartoonists in the main stream syndications who had the guts to include Christian themes into his works. The last strip which was on Easter day was very touching and witty. I'm sure he's drawing like crazy in heaven as we speak. God bless you, Johnny.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pig under the Weather

Feeling a bit under the weather as I'm struggling with trying to learn the Manga Studio software. Ironically, while the difficult and tedious tasks are made easy with this software, the more simpler tasks I take for granted are frustratingly hard to accomplish. But then again, I'm sure this is somthing we all identify with.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Quick Reminder of Store Signing

Hello, Good People.
Reminding everyone I will be doing a store signing tonight from 7 - 9 pm at the Chicklet Book Store in Hillsborough, NJ at 381 Triangle Road. Call 908-359-2790 for information. Tomorrow, I'll be at Glen Echo Books at Princeton, 14 Nassau Street from 2-4pm. Call 609-921-2268 for information.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Digital Inks

Deadlines are never ending as usual. On the side, I'm finally finding my way into getting the digital inking/painting results I want using Painter and Photoshop combined. I'm planning on getting the upgrade, Painter 10. I'm curious to see what new features this version has in stock. Stay tuned for example posts. I'm really excited about the marker felt tip in particular.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pittsburgh Comicon

I'm attending Pittsburgh Comicon next month in April 27th -29th. For more information, visit This is the 4th time I'm attending this convention. I like going to these smaller shows because it's more laid back which generally allows me to talk to other artists on the floor.

March Book Store Signing Dates!

I'll be signing copies of Manga for Dummies on March 30th (Friday Evening 7pm to 9pm) at:

Chicklet Books
381 Triangle Rd
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

On March 31st (Saturday Afternoon 2pm to 4pm)

Glen Echo Books
14 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ 08542

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Due to the large amount of contents of the book, some of the material had to be omitted. However, you can now visit the following link by copying and pasting the following link into your internet browser. This chapter is about self-promoting your manga creation.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New post @ Manga for Dummies Blog

I've posted a topic up for discussion about "what is Manga"? You can joing the discussion here at

Friday, February 02, 2007

Working on Tiki Road cover.

I'm almost done working on Tiki Road cover. Tiki Road is a project I've been working with writer, Sal Cipriano (Bio Boy - Speak Easy Comics). You can see the character sketches at my studio website, I'll post it here as well as when I'm finished.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Manga for Dummies Blogspot Created

Just letting everyone know I've opened a blogspot to address comments based on "Manga for Dummies." Visit the following

Monday, January 29, 2007 Updated

A modified and improved java website is now up. I hope to add more features in the upcoming months, but I wanted to put something different up as soon as I could.

I recently signed up for My writer and friend has told me that it's basically the myspace version for comic book artists and fans. My user name is kensuke. I'll be posting images of works from Tiki Road there soon.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Manga for Dummies is now available.

I just got word that Manga for Dummies is now available at Amazon as well as bookstores (earlier than I anticipated).

Monday, January 15, 2007

Portfolio Website Updated

My professional illustration portfolio website has been updated. Visit

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Arriving on February in bookstores nationwide!

Hello, Manga for Dummies is scheduled to hit book stores nationwide in February. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders. View the link to the right to reserve your copy at a discounted rate qualified for free shipping!