From our friend in Tokyo, Mark Robinson, come these two very kawaii and poetic illustrated books.
We asked him where and how he created them:
"In Japan, there is a convenience store chain where you can insert your own paper into the laser photocopiers and get excellent quality postcards. I produced an earlier edition of Tempura and Love in this way until problems with my paper jamming and upsetting the staff encouraged me to stop. Now I make these books with cards printed in Kyoto and then handbound. The paper is Japanese Vent Nouveau Natural 195kg (Tempura and Love) and Vent Nouveau Snow White 175kg (Ginger and Love). Drawing materials are felt pens, watercolor pencils, and other color pencils. As a kid, I used to make many cartoons and mock-up books, but I gave up this pastime over the years. Then in 2008, for an event called Little Press at the Nakameguro-based bookstore Cow Books, I made the first edition of Tempura. My 10 books sold out, and then I forgot about Tempura until recently, when I was clearing up and came across the original art. I rescanned it to a new edition, which I printed at the convenience store. Then I drew Ginger and Love in late 2022. My original inspiration for Tempura was a personal feeling of emotional/romantic rawness, and drawing this story helped me put a cheerful spin on things. The stories are about acceptance, longing, and maybe laughing at your situation from outside, and keeping up hope.”
Size: 5.75" x 4"
Ginger Love 11 pages, including front and back cover. One side printed (10 illustrations)
Tempura Love 10 pages, including front and back cover. One side printed (11 illustrations)
Mark Robinson is an editor, writer and, photographer, author of Izakaya: the Japanese Pub Cookbook (Kodansha), the photobooks Tokyo Shores 1 & 2, and others. Born in Tokyo in 1961 to a Japanese mother and Australian father, he grew up in Sydney. He worked as a stage lighting technician in Australia, England, and Japan before returning in 1988 to Tokyo.