Roger Dahl's Comic Japan: The Best of Zero Gravity Cartoons from the Japan Times-the Lighter Side of Tokyo Life
Roger Dahl's Zero Gravity cartoon strip has been a popular feature of Japan's leading English-language daily newspaper, "The Japan Times," since 1991. Now, for the first time, "Roger Dahl's Comic Japan" brings together the best of Zero Gravity in book form. Offering a Western artist's take on Japan, the strip stars Larry and Lily, a young American couple working as English teachers in Tokyo. Larry and Lily never manage to fully integrate into Japanese society, and Zero Gravity takes a whimsical approach to the meeting of cultures as well as the quirky dynamics of changing relationships between generations and subgroups within Japan. Besides Larry and Lily, Zero Gravity features their close friends, the Koyama family, whose three very different generations encounter plenty of misunderstandings of their own! This anthology contains eight chapters featuring the best selection of strips from Larry and Lily's life in Japan. Each chapter opens with a brief passage about its theme, and a 3-page illustrated introduction provides information about Dahl, his career, and his inspiration for Zero Gravity. Graphic novels and comic books have experienced explosive growth in recent years, and "Roger Dahl's Comic Japan" offers humorous cross-cultural observations that will delight visitors to Japan and armchair travelers alike.
"Most non-Japanese who have spent time in Japan will recognize both Japan and themselves in Roger Dahl's fine cartoons. He is an equal-opportunity satirist, skewering foreigners and host country alike. My own favorites include "The Darkest Hour" (about the intricacies of trash disposal, p. 13), "Polite Country" (the panel ends with the foreigner sighing, "I need a vacation in a rude country," p. 131), and a Swiss army knife adapted for Japan, complete with abacus, chopsticks, and karaoke mike (p. 142)."--Dr. Richaard Minear, author of "Dr. Seuss Goes To War" and professor emeritus at University of Massachusetts
Roger Dahl has a degree in art from the University of Puget Sound and a degree in Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Washington. He lived for many years in Tokyo, where he was an English teacher at an elite private academy for boys. During his last four years of teaching, he began cartooning for "The Japan Times," which has published around 4,000 of his cartoons since 1991. He also illustrated the children's book "Wisha Wozzariter" (Penguin, 2012), which won the prestigious Crossword Book Awards in India for Best Children's Book of 2013. He now lives in Seattle.