I am publishing my own comic book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy” (with Kickstarter.com)

Get ready for the first "Texan in Tokyo" comic book!

I need your help – to make a comic book.

I have been blogging for almost two years, and in that time, a lot has changed. I graduated college, I moved to Japan, I realized the career path I thought I wanted didn’t actually suit my skill set, an article I wrote got published in a magazine, I was on TV twice (Tokyo TV and NHK World), and in the newspaper (Asahi Shinbun) once.

But some things haven’t changed.

Most importantly, I still love drawing.

Which is why I am pleased to announce the upcoming release of “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book” on kickstarter.com

92 well i missed that memo  comic cartoon amwf japan manga gaijin

Which brings us back to the “I need your help” thing. As many of you might know, I don’t make money off this blog. I host ads that make just enough money to cover my monthly hosting fees ($15 per month)… and nothing else.

My blog is my hobby. I’m at a place right now, where I’m not making or losing any money.

Which was fine when I was a student, blogging to productively waste time. But now I’m an “adult” and I either need to find a way to make a bit of money off this blog, or scale back to 1-2 posts a week and get a “real job.”

I don’t want to scale back. I like blogging. So I need to find a way to make money off this thing.

Ryosuke was the one who planted the idea of creating a comic book.

19 finger breeding comic cartoon engrish problems with interracial dating japanese english problems

“Why don’t you sell a comic book?” he asked one evening, while we sat on the balcony eating ice cream. I had been uploading webcomics on my blog for the last six months, mostly so I can get a break from writing new content every day. But as time progressed, I realized I liked drawing comics more than writing blog posts… so I was unsure of where to go from there.

I gave a sort of half-hearted excuse to his question, a mix of “no one will buy it” and “I don’t have time…” but I couldn’t get that idea out of my mind.

I should create a comic book.

A couple of years ago, the book “My Darling is a Foreigner” rocked Japan. It was an auto-biographical story of the author (a Japanese woman) and her husband (an American man). It even had a (kind of awkward) movie adaptation to the normal book, My Darling is a Foreigner (Darling ha Gaikokujin)

I could do that. I could create a hit comic book.

88 girlfriends arent that expensive comic cartoon amwf japan manga gaijin

It’s rare to see a white girl married to a Japanese man. A lot of our Japanese friends expressed interest in our daily life. My husband’s friends often ask him questions like “Does she make you kiss her in public?” while I get things like “Are you really ok with a Japanese man?”

Deciding to publish a comic book (aside from the re-occurring anxiety attacks) was easy. Finding someone to publish said book was much harder.

In the end, I decided to go the route of self-publishing a print-on-demand book. It is much less risky, I get to retain all the rights, and I can promote as much as I want.

But my husband and I are still broke recent college graduates. Since I couldn’t find a publisher that was willing to run my comic book (and sell on Amazon), I decided to fund this project using the famous crowd-funding site, Kickstarter.com

For those of you who aren’t familiar with crowd-funding, Kickstarter.com is a “all or nothing” funding campaign. I set my price (in this case, $6725) and ask people to fund it in increments (ranging from $5 to $500).

Each “price point” has an accompanying “reward.” For instance, for $5 I will send you a PDF of the book. At $25 you get a signed copy of the book. At $50, you send me your photo and I will draw you as a comic book character in the back of your book. Etc.

If enough people pledge to fund my project, everyone’s credit card gets charged, I can print the book, ship it out, and become an official author.

If it doesn’t get funded, no one gets charged, and I retreat to the back of the blogosphere in shame (which, you know, sucks).

The official Kickstarter.com crowd-funding campaign for my book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book” will launch on July 27th (the day before my birthday) and run until August 30th.

It will be a 110 page, perfect bound comic book with black and white pages and a colored cover.

It will cover Ryosuke and my life in Japan, as well as dealing with loneliness (and mild schizophrenia, personified into “Marvin” an imaginary rabbit I talk to) as a Freelancer in Tokyo.

94 flash abs bunny  comic cartoon amwf japan manga gaijin

Of course, I need as much help as I can get

I will be posting my kickstarter updates on this blog as well as my “Texan in Tokyo” Facebook page. If you’re interested in helping out, I really need people who can:

A. Share on social media.

Crowd funding depends on social media – and I’m only one person. If you can, please, please, please share this post (and accompanying updates) on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other social networks you use.

B. Buy the book.

I know, money is precious… and with so much free content online, why pay? The only “real” incentive (aside from you helping my dream become a reality) is the fact that half of the comics will be exclusively printed in this book (I won’t end up posting them online).

C. Review the book.

I want to do a “quotes” page (or post articles of people raving all about this book) on my blog. I need people who can read and review this comic book.

D. Let me guest post on your blog (for bloggers).

The easiest way to spread the word of this campaign in through guest posts. I have about 11 guest posts lines up so far, I’m trying to shoot for 15 – 20 guest posts. If you have a blog with an open guest post policy, please let me know!


Thank you for reading! I can’t believe how far I’ve made it as a blogger – and can’t wait for this next step into “Author-ship.”

Book Cover for Blog Texan in Tokyo  pre order

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

62 Comments on I am publishing my own comic book “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy” (with Kickstarter.com)

  1. Grace, how goes the Kickstarter?

  2. I forgot! I’d be happy to be a reviewer and you’re welcome to guest post on my blog. Are you okay with a micro readership? :DDD Can you wait two years until I’m famous?? :P

    • Hahahaha. I should go ahead and get a guest post on your blog now, before you’re “super famous,” so I can go back later and be like “Hey! I knew her before she was a famous blogger!”
      Have you ever thought about writing a book?

      Also – I’m thinking about sending out a “limited PDF” (I still haven’t finished all the comics/writing for this comic book yet) sometime next week for people interested in writing a book review. Would you be interested?
      It doesn’t have to be a super-strict review, just any sort of post semi-talking about the book and comics, with some added anecdotes of your life in Japan?

      • Yup. I’d be happy to review any time before you publish.

        Eeeeeee! Congrats with 100% funding! I was trying to pledge yesterday but man, you’ve got to be determined with the 47,000 screens to click through and fill in. I’ll try again today. :DDD I feel like writing Kickstarter about their pledge process. Maybe I will!

        Yes. I have thought about a book. My blogidy blog is helping my writing and with ideas so maybe! I so wish I could draw though. I have so many ideas that would be so much better in comic form. Alas, my skill is so laughable that after my students return to breathing normally and pick themselves up off the floor, *after* I tell them what my drawing is supposed to be, someone rips the whiteboard marker from my hand and draws a perfect and surprisingly accurate rendition beside mine. By the way, my husband reacts the SAME. Harrump.

        Really? Germany mit kinder? Cool! I haven’t read the first book. I didn’t know there were multiples! :D I’ll have to track it/them down.

        • Thanks Hillary!
          I know! I’ve heard a couple people have had problems with the pledging process too… SORRY!
          I have so many blog posts I want to write about this kickstarter now. Hah. Oh man… but it was lots of fun. And I’m still learning new things every day.

          Oh no! Drawing is such a difficult hobby to pick up. And it’s pretty embarrassing. Even now, I won’t show anyone my sketchbooks/comic books – even if I know they read my blog. Some of Ryosuke’s friends were over a couple weeks ago, saw one of my sketchbooks on the table, and started flipping through it. I, like, dove across the room, grabbed it, and was like “NOOOOOO.”
          He just kind of laughed “But most of these are on your blog anyways!”
          For whatever reason, uploading pictures onto cyberspace is MUCH less awkward than showing them to friends. Same with writing. I would rather upload online than show to a friend.
          It’s not too late to learn – and you improve DRASTICALLY as you go. I can’t help but cringe when I look back at some of the stuff I drew last year. Ouch.

          • It’s okay! I knew that you would apologize but I wasn’t looking for that. I know that you have nothing to do with it so apology not accepted. ;D I’m sure those posts will be fun to write, too!

            Thanks for the drawing vote of confidence! I kind of wear it as a badge, knowing that the four-legged creature on the board can be anything from a pig to an antelope. I consider myself efficient. :D You are right though; with time and practice, I will improve. And I completely agree with showing personal work. It’s from the soul so it hurts more when it gets shot down, even if it’s not intentional. It reminds me of the time I asked Hitoshi about a post and he said it was, “okay.” Okay? Okay?! I rewrote the post.

          • That is the EXACT reason I never show Ryosuke my blog posts before they go live. And why I don’t have a proof-reader. I don’t want someone else to kind of have veto-rights (or give suggestions) for each post.
            I love, LOVE to hear what people think about the things I post… but I don’t want someone I love/trust actually reading through the post ahead of time, looking for errors/things to improve.
            It kind of hurts.
            Is that weird?

            Also, I find it helpful with drawing to look up “carton [insert]” every time you have to draw a plant, animal, expression, etc. Google Search has some great ideas of how to simplify things for cartoons!

          • I don’t think it’s weird. Sometimes I’ve asked for feedback and then get all huffy when I get it. I think it depends on how confident you are with your work. The other challenge with a proofer is losing your voice.

            Thanks for the drawing suggestion! I often don’t know where to start so this would be helpful.

            Sorry for sounding like I was setting you up to apologize! Gomen ne!

          • Not at all :)
            Hahahaha. I agree. Feedback is always tricky…

  3. I used to watch My Darling is a Foreigner on the train when we lived in Tokyo! It was really funny. I can’t remember but maybe it was the Yamanote line?? A new strip was published every few days or maybe more frequently? Details are fuzzy now but I actually thought of the comic when you made your book announcement. Exciting times for you, Grace!

    • I actually JUST saw their newest book in a bookstore in Ueno. Apparently they have kids now and moved to Germany! I was surprised.

      I sort of kind of got the idea for doing this from that comic. I figured if she could be successful that way, I could too! (So far it’s been working! I’m at over 100% funded!)

  4. Anonymous // 29 July, 2014 at 8:21 am //

    Hey, just read about your kickstarter campaign and checked out a few strips. Funny. =) Hope you reach your goal and then some! By the way, “It will cover Ryosuke and I’s life in Japan… should be “It will cover Ryosuke and my life in Japan”. “It will cover Ryosuke’s life in Japan”, “It will cover my life in Japan”, “It will cover our life in Japan” but not “It will cover I’s life in Japan”. I am NOT an English teacher in Japan. =p

    • Thank you so much! Sorry for such a late reply…
      I’m over 100% funded now, though, so that’s great!
      And thanks for the grammar tip. Mine is horrible, so I always appreciate people pointing out possible corrections :)
      I fixed it!

  5. I just found your blog and love it! Feel free to do a guest post on my blog :)

  6. Hey , Grace…

    I just pledged on your project. I’m Malaysian and I visited Japan for the first time ever in June – most of my days there were pretty much, “wait, what?” and “egad, why?” I loved the toilets, though! Loved, LoVeD, LOVED!

    Good luck with the Kickstarter campaign!

    • Thank you so much :)
      Awwww. I’m actually at a little over 100% funding now – thank you! This book is going to become a real thing!

      I know! The toilets in Japan are amazing. I’m totally going to do some comics about Japanese toilets in the comic book!

  7. Hi Grace! I love your comics. Can’t wait to read your comic book! I’ll definitely support you~!

  8. Ah! Good luck on your comic book! It sounds like a great idea :)

    I would love for you to do a guest post on my blog sometime!!

  9. Hey Grace!
    I like your comics, they’re cute and fun to read. I didn’t know your blog for long but I’ve read every comics your draw (if I didn’t miss a few of the old ones). Keep going Grace! The best of luck!!
    Oh! Don’t forget to post in your FB page when your book launch.

  10. Theresa // 16 July, 2014 at 3:18 pm //

    I’m definitely going to pitch in, even though I can’t give much.

    Will you still include the explanation texts with each comic in the printed comic book? I think that would be great for people who aren’t that familiar with Japan/the Japanese culture. :)

    • I hadn’t really thought about doing that – but I was talking to Ryosuke about it last night and he was like “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA.”

      The book can be fun AND educational :) I’m totally going to include short descriptions (like a mini blog post) with some of the comics.

  11. Totally gonna help, Gracie! Just be sure to post the day your Kickstarter goes up so I remember! :DDDD

  12. Hi Grace!
    I’ll definitely be supporting your book! I really admire how brave and open you are. You have such a big heart!
    Ganbatte! I’ll be praying for the success f your book! :)

  13. Hey Grace,
    I love your blog and your comics. I plan to support the comic on kickstarter.
    However, I think I should mention that sometimes I feel like I’m missing something when I read your comics. For example, the last one in this post. What did buying a drink have anything to do with throwing away the tofu? I’m missing something, lol.

    • Hey Sam,

      Hahahaha. Actually, now that you mention it, I really should explain some of these better. I think for some of the comics in the book, I will do a sort of “Japanese cultural lesson” on the page facing it.
      So in Japan, you have to separate your trash. It depends on what area you live in, but we have to separate plastics, burnable, non-burnable, cardboard, cans, plastic bottles, and glass bottles.
      Each “thing” has a separate day.

      So tofu is “burnable” because it’s a food. But the plastic surrounding it is classified as a “plastic.” Since it was so gross, I didn’t want to rip open the packet, drain it in the sink, dump the rotten tofu in one bag and the stinky plastic in another.
      So instead I went to a nearby convenience store, bought something, and then threw away the rotten tofu in the convenience store trash can.

      Does that make sense?
      (You’re not technically supposed to throw things away in the convenience store trash cans)

  14. You’re amazing. Good luck!

  15. Dear Grace,

    I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I absolutely love it! :) I am in a similar situation and such blogs let me hope the best and let me continue thinking positive!

    I wish you all the very best for your project!
    I am sure it will be a successful comic book :)
    Check out this: http://www.epubli.co.uk
    (It’s a nice and helpful website for new coming publishers.)

    • Dear Maike,

      Thank you for your message and the recommendation for epubli :)
      It has very competitive pricing and seems like a very well-run organization. I haven’t decided 100% on what publisher I will go with (yet), so I will totally put that on the list!

  16. This is a great idea!!! I knew that you can use such sites to donate money in order to produce a movie but I didn’t know that you can also use it for comics or books.
    An Argentinian friend of mine wanted to make a movie and used idea.me to ask for donates. Take a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCtfZ6lOgS0
    (it’s in Spanish, I know :( )
    You can make a “trailer” like his, in order to explain to others via youtube what they can do (how to find your book in the site, what to “click” etc.) I will post it in my blog as soon as I can translated in Greek but I’m not sure if that will help much. I think a “trailer” in youtube it will be awesome and it’ll be seen by hundreds of people.

    • Thanks Maria :)
      That’s a really great idea~

      I’ve only done Youtube video-blogs a couple of times, so I don’t have much experience with making youtube videos… but a friend said he can help :) It would be awesome. I think in the end I went with kickstarter rather than idea.me because I know tons of people who have published comic books via kickstarter. I’m more familiar with the process.
      Thanks for agreeing to post it on your blog! Every little bit counts, thanks!

  17. I will definitely give you some money on the Kickstarter – I love your sense of humour and your blog :) And I think your book would be a brilliant present for a friend on mine for her 18th! She really loves asian guys :P

  18. Done, I’ll set my calendar for the 27th. Coincidentally, 27th is my monthly payday. It is a sign, so I will not ignore it ;)
    By the way, you know you can publish comics in Google Books? I don’t know, you might get a good response there, my friend published a book with 20 cupcakes pictures and it got like, 500 downloads at $2 per download. Surely your comic can do better.

    • Oh wow. Perfect timing. I swear I didn’t plan that.

      I think I’m going to publish on Amazon.com (print and kindle) and Google Books. And, I guess, as many other platforms as I can find.

  19. I actually watched the movie “My Darling is a Foreigner” with my boyfriend during a “date” on Skype! Haha.
    I also thought it was really nice that she was able to become a popular author with a book based on her life, which also made me think.”I would like to do that too”.
    So Grace, I really think that you can succeed as an author AND as a vlogger. Fighting~!

    Did you talk to Nicola of My Korean Husband? She’s about to publish her comic book, maybe she could tell you some advices!

    • *** Nichola
      Sorry for the typo!

    • It’s funny that you mention that, I actually discovered My Korean Husband a couple of weeks ago. That was one of the things that pushed me to be like “hey, I could create a comic book too!”
      I’ve chatted with her a bit about blogging, but not about publishing. Since I’m doing self-publishing and she got a bid with a real publisher, there aren’t a TON of similarities.
      It is nice to know that other people are succeeding in the same field, though :)

      What did you think of “My Darling is a Foriegner?” I thought it was cute… but awkward. And Ryosuke was just like “Hah, that guy is weird. Why does he like kanji/Japanese stuff so much?”

  20. Good luck with your project :)
    I will definitely share this when your campaign is starting in the 27th (perhaps a reminder would be good though, I easily forget things during these busy days).
    In case you have still enough time for a guest post, just contact me. Its not the biggest blog out there but still reaches some people around the world :)

  21. Hey, I have read Darling is a foreigner! It has been translated and published in China. We saw it in a bookstore and bought it last year. I didn’t know it was that famous in Japan, or that there was a movie!

    Good luck with your project and keep us posted when the funding starts, let’s see what we can do :)

    • Thanks! I’m totally going to post a bunch when the deadline gets closer. I’m really excited for this project~

      I haven’t actually read My Darling is a Foreigner. I found a couple chapters online for free (and thought they were pretty funny), but haven’t gotten around to actually buying a copy. I really should. They even sell the English version on Amazon.

  22. Start setting up a thunderclap (www.thunderclap.it) for launch, mid point and the last 48 hours. Get one up now, so the Thunderclap can happen right on the launch of the campaign. You really want to maximise the launch boost, that way, it will look more likely to be successful and therefore more pledges.

    Cant wait!

    • Thanks for the suggestion! You’re actually the second person who has told me to use Thunderclap today (I had never even HEARD of it before this morning). That seems like a really neat idea~
      I am totally going to set one up!

  23. Hello Grace!
    I recently found your blog and I absolutely love it

  24. Wishing you the best of luck, Grace!

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