Now that this comic has wrapped, perhaps you’re wondering what comes next. Well, I’ll tell you.
I’m about halfway through coloring the next chapter of Valley of the Silk Sky, so that’s getting extremely close to done. I’ve been avoiding setting a specific date for when I’ll start running the chapter as my workflow has been painfully slow (sometimes due to literal pain, mostly due to Anxiety About the World We Live In).
BUT. Know that progress is happening, and new pages shall emerge very soon.
Like a lot of gothic metal bands, Mejibray’s style leans heavily on BDSM themes, so it’s not too surprising the crowd would be exuberant about being spat upon.
Also, I would have expected a mosh pit if it had been an American show, and would have avoided front and center accordingly. But no such scrum developed here. I don’t know if moshing just isn’t a thing in Japan, or if it does happen but sticks to other genres. Clearly one of these days I will need to do further research on the matter.
If you check out the Patreon post, you can read some of my musings about concerts past and present, should such a thing be of interest to you.
I will add this one translation note here, though:
The actual rendering of “encore” in Japanese is アンコール (ankouru), where the final “ru” would only be partially voiced. But the crowd was definitely saying a fully-voiced “re” at the end of the word, giving each syllable equal weight as basically a three-beat chant. JUST in case you were wondering.
Since this is a short comic, I’ll wait until all the pages are up to post it over on Tumblr (for the five of you who still use Tumblr).
To answer my own question from the first panel, this is not a thing specific to Mejibray shows. I’ve since gone back and watched music videos by other Japanese rock bands, and have noticed the crowds acting in unison there as well. I suppose to the extent I noticed it before I’d just assumed it was a staged coordination for the sake of the video. And, well, it IS a staged coordination, but being filmed has little to do with it.
Tune in next week for more lessons in Japanese rock show etiquette!
To refresh your memory, this is my diary comic about going to see a visual kei heavy metal show in Japan a few years ago. Because I’m a nerd for making playlists, I put together a soundtrack for this comic. It’s on YouTube because a lot of the featured bands never had their music licensed for U.S. release, so many of them (Mejibray included) are not to be found on Spotify or iTunes here. (Several of the bands on my playlist make cameos in this comic as t-shirts – this page features Dog in the PWO, a.k.a. Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra.)
True fact: in order to buy Mejibray’s albums, I had to purchase them on CD (!!) which I was only able to find at a Tower Records (!!!) in Shibuya. It was like traveling backwards in time.
I’ll also be posting the whole story to Tumblr soon, but not right at this second. Once it’s up, I’ll post a link here.
As for what’s next on the comics docket, Valley of the Silk Sky: The Long Run Chapter 11 is finished and ready to go. I’ll start posting pages for public consumption on January 16, 2020. Patrons who pledge $1 or more per month will, as is the custom, get early access to pages, so for those folks it’ll start on January 13.
Also, if I knew how to say, “I speak some Japanese, but not much and not well and I definitely don’t understand colloquial speech as opposed to textbook constructions,” I’d say that. But I don’t, so “I don’t speak Japanese” it is.
New Feeps, you say
I do indeed. I updated my Feeping Creatures Etsy shop with some new items, including stickers, zines, and original art. Check it out, and maybe snag some indie art by an indie artist?
There was a small restaurant on the same floor as Two’s Cabin (the カレー店, a.k.a. Curry Shop), which had a few people waiting in line outside the door. I think when he first showed up, Masaki (owner and founder of Two’s Cabin) assumed I was waiting to be seated at the restaurant and not for Two’s Cabin to open, because he was a little surprised when I poked my head in the door.
I was glad I’d followed his Instagram prior to my journey, since I at least knew from the photos that I was in the right place.
As per usual, Patrons get early access to comics, so new pages go up for Patrons on Monday, and are released to the general internet on Thursday.
I’ll be posting this on Tumblr eventually as well, but since it’s a short comic it makes more sense to do a single post there rather than individual pages in separate posts.
Be Gay, Do Comics
Meanwhile, The Nib is running a Kickstarter for this giant tome of queer comics, culled from the many pieces they’ve run online over the years. I have some work in this book, alongside a host of numerous other amazing cartoonists. Go forth and back the Kickstarter to snag a copy for yourself!
If you’ll be in Denver this weekend, please come to the show and support indie creators!
EVEN MORE EXCITEMENT:
Back in November I was interviewed by American View magazine, a publication of the U.S. Embassy in Japan which seeks to bring American culture to a Japanese audience. Well, that interview is now live! It’s available in both English and Japanese (there’s a button at the top right to switch languages), so you have no excuse not to read it.
Finally, I’m wrapping up a comic I’ve been working on for an upcoming anthology. I got really sick this past month and there was other family stuff going on, so my productivity has been very slow of late. I’m gradually getting back on track, though, so hopefully I’ll have some new stuff to show off soon.