Vancouver comics artist raising money for earthquake relief
– by Shawn Conner
Coquitlam-based manga artist Nina Matsumoto is raising money for earthquake relief through commissions.
Japanese cartoonist Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk, Vagabond, and Real) began posting a series of portraits of smiling people after the quake hit on Twitter, along with the hashtags #prayforJapan and #tsunami. (Takehiko Inoue on Twitpic). Matsumoto, who draws Simpsons comics for the publisher Bongo and is the writer/artist of the manga Yokaiden, has been inspired to do her own series of commissions. For $25, fans can get an ink drawing headshot of a smiling original character, or another character of their suggestion. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund.
“I’d been planning on doing something like this before,” says Matsumoto, who also goes by the handle “Space Coyote”. “But I also wanted some common theme that would help me think of what to draw exactly. The quicker I could do these, the more commissions I could do.”
People are finding out about Matsumoto’s efforts mostly through her Twitter account, as well as her DeviantArt page. As of Sunday afternoon, she had raised $675 (27 commission), and intended to keep the project going until at least Monday (March 14). She wants to raise at least $1,000, and estimates the commissions will take her two weeks to complete. Most of the commissions are coming from fans who are also aspiring comics artists (hence, the offer to draw their own original creations.)
“I used to do commissions,” says Matsumoto, who has relatives in Japan, in areas unaffected by the quake. “I haven’t in a very long time, but I raised this much overnight so I thought ‘Let’s just keep going.’ I don’t want to close it just over night.”