JPEG file [72dpi, 992px x 564px RBG (432 Kb)]
TIF file [300 dpi, 6in x 3.4 in Grayscale (268 Kb)]


An American Cartoonist’s Life in Japan

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA ‒ Imagine moving to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language and starting a job you are in no way trained to do.

From 2003 to 2006, cartoonist Lars Martinson did just that. Working as an assistant English teacher in rural Japan, he taught 1800 students, ranging in age from six to sixteen. With a background in graphic design, Lars had no previous teaching experience before taking the job.

“Coming up with lesson plans for all the different age groups was a real nightmare at first. It took about a year before I felt like I had any idea what I was doing,” Lars said. “But for all that, I wouldn’t trade my time in Japan for anything. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”

Lars’ graphic novel series Tonoharu is based on this period of his life. He feels that comics are well-suited for this type of story.

“I’ve always had a hard time describing my life in Japan to those who have never been there before, because there’s no common frame of reference,” said Lars. “By relating the experience in comics, I can show what happened rather than just tell about it, which really helps bring the story to life.”

Tonoharu: Part One is available now; the follow-up Tonoharu: Part Two hits shelves this December. For further details, visit Lars’ website at:

#     #     #

     Tonoharu: Part Two
AUTHOR:     Lars Martinson
CATEGORY:     Graphic Novel / Fiction
LIST PRICE:    $19.95 USD
PAGES:    160
SPECIFICATIONS:    Hardcover w/ full color jacket,   Two-color text pages, 5½”×8¼”
ISBN-13:    978-0-9801023-3-8
PUBLISHER:    Pliant Press
PUBLICATION DATE:    December 1, 2010
DISTRIBUTION:    Top Shelf Productions / Diamond Book Distributors

Mr. Chris Staros
Top Shelf Productions
P.O. Box 1282
Marietta, GA 30061
TEL (770) 425-0551
FAX (770) 427-6395
chris [at] topshelfcomix [dot] com