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Japan Earthquake Relief: Manga Artists Share Hope, Help

By March 13, 2011

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Smile 36 by Takehiko InoueIt's no exaggeration to say that Friday's 8.9 earthquake in Japan is the biggest natural disaster to hit the land of the Rising Sun that most anyone can remember. If you're at all interested in Japan and Japanese culture, you've been seen the stunning video footage, the astonishing photos and the heartbreaking accounts of the damage, death and destruction caused by the earthquake, aftershocks and tsunamis.

Anime News Network is keeping a running list of anime and manga creators who have checked in to tell the world that they're okay.

But many manga artists want to do more than tell the world that they're okay -- they want to offer help and a message of hope in their own way: with their artwork.

Arina TanemuraVia Twitter, manga creator Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk, Vagabond, and Real) has been posting illustrations of Japanese people of all ages doing a simple thing: they're smiling. He's been posting these encouraging, charming and often heartwarming images with the hashtags #prayforjapan and #tsunami. Inoue has posted 38 illustrations over the past 24 hours and seems to be intent to continue as the spirit moves him.

Also via Twitter, shojo manga creator Arina Tanemura (The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross) has posted an illustration of one of her characters smiling, with some simple words of encouragement for her fans: "Hitori ja nai yo." (You are not alone).

Nina Matsumoto Japan Relief IllustrationsInspired by Inoue's efforts, Canadian comics creator Nina Matsumoto (Yokaiden) has also posted that she's taking illustration commissions to benefit Japan earthquake relief. For $25, fans can get "One smiling ink headshot of your original character (or other character of your choice) on approximately 4 x 6" lightweight cardstock paper," and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Society's Earthquake Relief Fund.

UPDATE: According to Matsumoto, as of Sunday evening, she has received over 27 commissions, bringing her total donation to date to $675. She will be accepting commission requests until Monday, March 15, 2011. (via Guttersnipe)

Starting on March 13 at 8 pm PT, the organizers of Yaoi-Con will be offering various rare and one-of-a-kind items, all "signed by the artist, seiyuu or one of our previous guests" auction for Japan Earthquake Relief.

Street Sweets and JapanLA gallery in Los Angeles is hosting an Japan earthquake relief benefit art show / sale on Saturday, March 19 7:00pm - 10:00pm at JapanLA Gallery at 7320 1/2 Melrose Ave, with 100% of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross and Japanese Red Cross.

Also, if you purchase anything from artist/animator Martin Hsu's website between now and March 20, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.

You can help too. Here are a few agencies that would appreciate your donations to help those in need in Japan.

Are there other manga artists offering help for Japan Earthquake relief? Add your links and comments below!

Image credits: Takehiko Inoue, Arina Tanemura, Nina Matsumoto


March 13, 2011 at 2:16 am
(1) TurboInThailand says:

Sakura-Con of Seattle has something in the works- Via their website.

March 13, 2011 at 3:16 am
(2) iola says:

Artist James Jean (Cover artist for Fables, Jack of Fables, etc.) is donating all the proceeds from his new scarves, which were made in Japan: http://www.jamesjean.com/blog/

March 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(3) lys says:

I saw this morning that Hiro Fujiwara (Maid Sama!) had posted on her blog a series of illustrations with her characters, giving safety-tips and advising energy conservation. It’s encouraging to see artists and everyone doing what they can to help in this situation

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