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Jag kan inte tala svenska, men Monica kan dra vackert

I’m late reporting this but, over in Sweden, Monica Lundström has insightfully illustrated the experience of reading Fudebakudo. How fabulous is that? Very fabulous, that’s how fabulous. Available in the original language and also in English if your Swedish is a wee bit rusty. You can see more of Monica’s supercute illustrations, which are part of a […]

Poison Ink

This is the advert currently running in MAI magazine.

Robert W. Smith: the Master

“The world’s most secretly guarded fighting techniques” — The Boston Globe Secret Fighting Arts of the World, by John F. Gilbey ISBN 0804816085, pub. Tuttle. The book was first published in 1963. This is a 2001 edition.* Although over the years I did a lot of research for the Fudebakudo book, there is one book that was, indirectly, hugely […]

Marvellous Mug

For Christmas I was given this fabulous mug. (It's actually one of a set of four Beholder-themed mugs, all wonderful). Mug: clockwise from top-left: URL and logo, aikido guy, Jiriki (on the bottom) with a black belt, and (inside) one of the midge assassins of Zhao. Thanks to Kelly and Caroline!  

Judith has Decided

1. Hidari peiji proofreading When we were working on the Fudebakudo book together, Judith stated: "parody is only funny if it is accurate." The left-hand pages of Fudebakudo are accurate. We can all thank Judith for that. Let me explain. Judith and I met online through Planetarium, which is a puzzle story I wrote in […]

Pen technique

I'm working on a new Fudebakudo frame at the moment.  I used (and continue to use) the same set of pens, given to me by a special friend, for all the Fudebakudo cartoons.  These are Rotring Rapidograph, and I use four different widths, working on marker pad over a light-box. I usually sketch in pencil or […]

Samurai crabs

On page 43 of the book, there's the curious tale of a ninja who escaped from the battle of Dannoura in 1185 by strapping his feet to a pair of crabs with kelp twine, and scuttling away. Consequently, the crabs of Shimonseki to this day bear an invisible ninja footprint on their shells. Um . […]

Starting young

The key to mastery in any martial art is to start young.   This photograph, taken by an undercover journalist who had infiltrated a Fudebakudo Baby Camp deep in the cellars of a secret monastery in the Wutan foot-hills, shows the early stages of indoctrination. Presumably the parents paid handsomely for putting their offspring through […]

Flick-man Animation Cuts Through Page

As anyone who's bought the book knows, the samurai animation on this site appears as a flick-man animation in the corner of the book. In fact, the little samurai slashes into the page, and then steps through the cut. If you then flick the book from behind, of course you see him emerging into the cut […]

Spider Source

I put a spider on the back cover of the Fudebakudo book. People who know me well find this surprising, because I suffer from the relatively common affliction of arachnophobia — fear of spiders. So maybe you don't like spiders either, but something deep down in my primal wiring really has a problem with them. […]