Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Trying to pitch Evacomics at the Tokyo International Book Fair

One of my professors recommended me to work for a company that he know well so he said that I should do a media kit to pitch my work. Embarrassed that I don't know what is a media kit, I quietly returned home to google about it. To my amazement, it is a booklet (sometimes with CD-rom) that explains what the company or individual do, including profile, reader demographics, work samples, etc. Basically the media kit/press kit helps the individual or company to pitch their services to another business (B2B). It's strange that art and design schools didn't teach this and I had to know this from a business school professor.

I know the best software to design a booklet is Adobe InDesign, but I'd never use it before and I think it's about time I learn how to use it. So I searched youtube for a tutorial and picked it up within 30mins: .Thanks Terry White and Youtube! So I rushed this booklet out within a week and printed it out at a nearby printer (200gsm cover paper, 110gsm inside paper 900yen/booklet ....OUCH!). I printed only 3 copies in time to pass it to my professor's contact. Then another professor told me that I could also go to the Tokyo International Book Fair to pitch my work to publishers. So well, since I already got the file, why not? So I printed another 10 copies (110gsm this time, 700yen/booklet...still OUCH!)

Ok, so here I am at Tokyo Big Sight!

I went to the Overseas counter... but I think I should have gone to the "Creator" counter instead. I didn't know there's an expo for creators too, but it's too late to get a booth there.

So I got the badge as "Public Reader".

I went around looking for publishers who publish English books, but there weren't many (of course). There weren't a lot of foreign publishers too. Most were there to sell their books and talk with bookstores and distributors. Nevertheless I tried to approach them whenever I see a kind of book they do that is similar to mine.

  • Publishers' Association for Cultural Exchange, Japan. I saw an English book about Japan and so approached them. They are actually a NPO to promote books from Japanese publishers to overseas and the secretary general didn't know what to do with me... So I continued to explain my purpose and he said that he could try to recommend me to Shogakukan, the publisher that published that English book. It was very nice of him and I found out that he was also from Waseda University :P So he agreed to help but of course, no guarantee that such a big publisher would fancy a small artist. I left my media kit with him and continued hunting.
  • Printsasia. I saw some English books so I approached them. Found out later that they are actually an importer and not a publisher. But since my readers include foreigners in Japan, I thought my work could interest them to work out some marketing campaign. But no... Anyway, their books are really cheaper than Kinokuniya~ (I think how Taiwanese comic bloggers blend advertising with comics is still a novel idea in Japan)
  • Sogensha. Their books look interesting so although nothing is in English, I decided to approach them to ask if I could pitch my work. Coincidentally, their chief editor was there and she kindly looked through my media kit and expressed a bit of interest. Unfortunately, it seems that my work must be in Japanese as they don't offer translation. Nevertheless, she told me to mail her a copy instead of taking my media kit on the spot. I am not sure if this is the Japanese way of rejection, or they really couldn't take my work because they have other books to carry :/
  • Oaxis. I was amazed that there is a Singapore exhibitor so I went there to give support. They do phone cases that is actually an e-ink screen!? Kinda cool, I could show off my Evacomics work at the back of my smart phone (if I have one). Had a long chat with their vice president and left my media kit with him too. I'm sorry to add on to his luggage weight and hope he doesn't throw it away, because it cost me 700yen...

I didn't make much progress but I didn't feel like giving up too. I had been drawing webcomics for 6 years while working and studying so it is in my blood to continue drawing. The only contradiction I find is that when I was studying in US, I kept on submitting my work to Japanese publishers. And now that I am studying in Japan, I kept on thinking about US publishers... ...

While feeling slightly disappointed, I saw this guy. So cute, really cracks me up! And I stayed on for their Regza tablet presentation. Yes, I will get a smartphone and tablet...when I have a job or big project.

This got to be my favourite booth. But somehow Japanese don't seem to like this sheep as much as we do, I wonder why... Maybe they still prefer cats, dogs, bears and rabbits?

So this wraps up my little journey to get my work out. These are some of the things that I'm planning to do:

  • Jul: Complete a prototype chapter with my professor to pitch to publishers (in English).
  • Ask readers what kind of book content they would like to see from Evacomics.
  • Update website with new Media Kit content.
  • Change blog template design because somehow my articles don't appear well when shared on social media like FB and Google+. 
  • Aug: Design a mobile version too (gotta find out how first).
  • Sep: Design and add products (still comparing between society6 and zazzle)
Meanwhile, you can help by letting me know what kind of book you would like to see from me and continue to like and share my comics to your friends. Thank you very much! Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!!! ^_^


  1. Wow!
    So many things to do!
    I wish you good luck! ^_____^

    I like your comics the way there are, so a collection of your best work would do.
    However, I can imagine that many people would love to read an ongoing story instead where you could just implement when you run into things that are different in Singapore.

    1. Thanks zoomingjapan! ❤ \(≧▽≦)丿
      I am thinking of a special story or diary comics for publication because I tried to compile what I have now and they don't look good as a compilation unless I have some text to put in-between.

      I'm not sure where to begin with for a book. Like... "How I made it to Japan" or "My miserable life at the Tokyo International Dorm" or... "My food journey" or "Clash with the Japanese"????
      or actually they are not interested in me but my dog and cat? hmmmmmmm

    2. Personally I love your humor.
      For me, even if your comics weren't about Japan I'd read them.
      I also love the "pet factor", but a comic just with those would be boring.

      I'm sure you can come up with something everybody will like! ^^

    3. Thanks Jasmine!
      Actually my prof thinks my humor needs a bit more punch~
      I know I'm not a good writer, but I draw well! :P

  2. Hmmm

    What kind of book are you trying to publish? Manga? 4koma? or those pictures you already posted on your facebook?

    1. I tried to compile those on FB and they don't look good together unless I write some articles in between. So I am thinking of drawing new short-stories for a book and wonder what you guys would be interested about to read?

      Like..."How I made it to Japan" or "My miserable life at the Tokyo International Dorm" or... "My food journey" or "Clash with the Japanese"????..."Travelogue"??? "How I saved a bit of money in Japan and spent all the rest away"?

    2. Well depends who u are trying to market your book to i guess. If it's for pple in sg, your experience and culture shock should be interesting to read. If it's for Japanese then you really need to have short story manga or 4koma style for their reading habits. Just my 2 cents. Kinda hard to give suggestions as there are too many factors to consider. Hope I helped abit :v

    3. I think something along the line of how a foreigner struggle to live in Japan, the love and hate relationship you have with the local culture will be good, at least I will be interested to read. You see a lot of us look forward of living in Japan, but reading your comics let me learn more about the difficulties and give me more realistic expectation. Hope my little inputs help. Looking forward to your book content :)

    4. Sounds good Alex! Thank you very much for your feedback! Definitely gives me more ideas to work with for my first book :)))

  3. Wow, I can really relate to you because I've been busy pitching my photography/smart phone game hybrid to many people also lately! The worst that I got is someone agreeing to listen to my pitch based on a mutual friend, but the person was busy with his phone the whole time! But I also made many closed deals so please don't give up :).

    I think the "in japan/in singapore" comics can be coupled with a short commentary about cultural differences, so it can be like left page comic + right page commentary/explanation. Good luck!

    1. Argh! Really dislike those who don't listen to you when you're presenting!
      Not very polite there!

      Your idea is nice, I will see if it works out, thank you very much :D

      Meanwhile, all the best to your game too!!!

  4. I love your comics! they are very fun to read it!
    anyway, GOOD LUCK!!! wish you all the BEST!!!


    1. Thank you very much Jessizxz! :D

      I like Shaun the Sheep too! Especially my cute nephew!
      I prefer sheep than kitty XD

  5. "The only contradiction I find is that when I was studying in US, I kept on submitting my work to Japanese publishers. And now that I am studying in Japan, I kept on thinking about US publishers... ..." Ahh the irony.

    I for one miss a bit the other characters, the smart ass crystal ball and how it interacted with Rollo. I would like to see those comics printed out.

    1. Wow I didn't know people actually missed the crystal ball!
      I thought she wasn't popular and removed her... (too many imaginary things around me...)
      Those comics didn't get me many new readers so I wasn't sure if they are good enough :/

    2. I guess I always end up in the "No so popular preferences" group. I would like to see the old comics back but hey, if they are not popular, then no deal...sadly.

      But still your new work is great too so gambate

    3. XD I'm glad to know someone actually liked my old work.
      Because I usually get likes from friends that I think is out of goodwill instead of really liking it :P

      Thank you for your support!

  6. I am very impressed with your works and will definitely support your new stories if ever you decide to make one. I am a Singaporean so it definitely intrigued me to find out the facts about the cultural difference between Singapore and Japan. Alot of your works about Singapore hit the bulls eye. I love it!

    1. I see, thank you very much for your input Jeslyn!
      It's very helpful, thank you for your support too!!! :D

  7. You can compile the short comics you publish regularly. But you need to write sometime to explain the background so that readers can get it. It's more like an info/insight book into Japan.

    Or draw your life into a biography. See this A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

    Or draw a travelogue. E.g. Voyage au Japon, Tome 1: Tokyo.

    Maybe you can try contacting Singapore publisher Epigram books. They published a few comics and sketches from local artists recently.

    1. Biography and travelogue? Ok got it :P
      Thanks for the FB message too!

  8. Hi Eva, I enjoy your comic. Keep up the good work.
    As for book's idea. Your current format may be limiting, for example, the topics about haze or craziness with HK at M may not work as well in a book read a few months or years from now.
    I would recommend you tell short story, like a comic 散文. I would like to know more about why go from art/comic to MBA... living in Japan as a comic or anime fan... about be able to see Evangelion as soonest and discuss with Japanese folks... your journey in US.... are you familiar with LAT from Malaysia?
    Within the book you can have various chapter, different topics...
    Looking forward to your new book. Best of luck.

    1. Thank you very much for your support Siung Tjia!
      Actually I stopped buying and reading manga and watching anime after I came here.
      Kinda strange... I guess I grew out of it and no time to sit down and follow them like I used to...
      Actually Evangeline is my real name, I'm not a fan of Evangelion XD (though I bought their manga before)
      I'd seen LAT's comics before somewhere, maybe in the newspapers :)
      Thank you for your feedback and your luck, will need lots of it!!!

  9. Hi Eva, first time read your blog!
    I love your comic! Especially those incidents where you compare Singapore, Japan & USA. It was so hilarious! XD

    I myself also running a comic blog, but not in a pro way. Alot of things need to learn! ^^

    Anyway, all the best in your undertakings! Look forward for your comics! :D

    1. OH! I used to draw something like what you're drawing many years ago, about my life in US and then Singapore. But not with much success... ...
      Hope you can carry on, it's not easy running a comic blog!

      Thank you for your encouragement and feedback!
      Let's work hard for our dreams!

  10. Hey, Kray,

    glad to hear that You are working hard Your way up. You aleways did great job, and I am sure that success will accomplish You in everything :)

    I want to make suggestion about Your book, and ... may be about style in common. Sorry, I do not have any intention to offend You, or to teach You to something. Your works are perfect as graphics, but they are very static. The comparision of two/three/many cultures is kinda sleepy way, because here will be people, who will not like stright side-by-side way. Of course there are always such. :lol: And, when people are looking on side-by-side charts, they are trying to find a right side, and ... sometimes it is very uneasy.

    However, I think that You are very good in comparision, and You should keep that course stright, but ... to compile good book, You should add some dynamic, You should keep more attention to plot to link separate episodes. For example, let us think that Kopi is Eva's antagonist, and he is very sceptical about all Eva's actions, and may be little rude with her. Let us think that Eva has some air in her head, and she does not think about any consequences, and acting spontaneously without any thinking. And Teh is a golden middle, he is never acting, and never coping with other, but last word(as a last chunk) always belong to him. That will add some action to Your comixes and it will allow You to ride of static side-by-side comparision.

    For example, I do remember Your comics about trash dumping, where You compared Singapore and Japanese scheduled/nonscheduled way to throw trash away. You may add somoe action here in that way :

    1) Eva is running with trash bags and throws them

    2) Kopi makes her to bring these bags back to home, because it is wrong day to throw trash. Here he should tell Eva to abandon old barbarian habbits

    3) Eva thinks about how was it great to dump trash in Singapore, even if it is barbarian. She have some skirmish with Kopi

    4) Teh tells them that they should stop coping about it because but big fat green flies are flying at the dump place as in Tokyo as in Singapoore (and that is true, for Tokyo at least, I've never been in Singaapoore). Here could be image of fly flying around Teh's head

    So, comparision was made, and here is something to think about, and nobody will tell You that comparision was unfair.

    Sorry, it is only mine opinion, please do not consider them seriously.

    Good luck,
    ewww ...

  11. Hey, U R working towards there liao~~~ Something will come out soon yah! ^_^/
    U R a reminder to myself im still stuck here~~ Hahaha! So hard to make it happen when its all in my head and no action~~ >_<
    Im sure you will get there~~~ jia you jia you!!!

    1. Thanks thanks! Actually are you in the states?

  12. Are you still looking for tablets? I draw and have been looking for a tablet I could use to paint digitally and found the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 tablet. The tablet is pressure sensitive and the stylus is thinner (both for precision) than those found for other tablets and are made by Wacom. It won't run Windows or mac applications, but there are some art programs that take advantage of the technology. I haven't tried one out yet, but I'm saving up for one because if a tablet can do that then as an artist, it's the best choice.
    By the way, I love your work, you do such a good job, keep doing it -your comics make me happy.

    1. Hi Rudy! Thanks for recommending me the tablet. I was looking for a cheap one just to surf internet and FB while traveling. Too bad I bought the crappy Asus Memopad.... it doesn't shut down or turn on sometimes...

      Thanks a million for supporting my comics ^-^/



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