Fried Chicken and Sushi 206 The E.L.F. Meeting is underway!

If any of you out there are teaching in Japan or have in the past, there should be at least one thing in this comic strip that you can relate to!  I was always surprised at all of the colorful characters that end up teaching there.  It can be a wild experience or even a negative one like Nelly's. ;)

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Fried Chicken and Sushi 195 The Otaku girls get closer...

Happy Valentines Day!  Looks like J is getting a little love today.  I don't think it's true love though...  The Otaku girls really need a reality check.  I'm pretty sure J will be vanishing any second now.  If he were in Japan, the girls would be giving him valentines gifts and candy.  It still amazes me that women in Japan are the ones that give men gifts on Valentine's Day.  I hope you all are enjoying this day even if you don't have a valentine!  Don't forget to sign in and join the conversations in the FORUMS.  I want to hear from you guys!

Fried Chicken and Sushi 177 J and Colds

This is my lame attempt at a Chuck Norris style joke.  "J is so tough that colds are afraid of him.  Just like white people!"  I think it came out better in the comic strip.  Sorry white folks, we love you but you can get intimidated by tall black men.  Especially, when they're bald or wearing dredlocks!  Me and J don't get sick that much so this comic might actually be true! 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 176 How to Speak your Language

The way things are going in the publishing world nowadays, if this "How to Talk Ghetto" book was real, it probably would be a bestseller!  I just wish I could animate this comic so that you could hear how Sato sensei sounds speaking "ghetto style."  That would be priceless!  Peace out.

Fried Chicken and Sushi 175 Missing the Music of Home

After living in Japan for several months I forgot about all other types of music and mainly listened to R&B and Hip-Hop!  It's amazing how a lack of "black soul" in a society can mess up a black man.  No wonder there aren't a ton of black folks living in Japan!  I did bring quite a bit of music with me when I moved but getting new music wasn't easy.  When I was living there, iTunes was pretty new and I mainly had to go to the music stores (remember those?) in the city to buy my music.  They had a limited selection and the American music was pretty expensive.  I would buy something that I really wanted though if my soul meter dropped way too low. ;)

Fried Chicken and Sushi 174 Zero Tolerance for Suihan-ki

You just never know what Karl's gonna get from the Japanese language!  Honestly, when I first heard the word suihan-ki I thought it was some kind of power tool.  It just doesn't sound like something that makes delicious rice!  These "English Lessons" between Karl and Miki really do pull out some interesting topics. 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 173 The Potty Mouth of Stankbuns

Judging by the comments, a lot of you out there know the truth of this comic strip!  Glad I'm not the only one that notices the hardcore music some restaurants and stores play in Japan.  It makes sense that they wouldn't notice if it's in a foreign language but it still catches me off guard.  If you've been in this same situation, I'd love to hear your stories!  Oh, and please continue to spread the word about this comic to your friends!  Especially, if they are living in Japan!  Thank you.

Fried Chicken and Sushi 171 Manga Mascots on Medicine

It is crazy how many manga styled mascots are on everything in Japan.  Medi-Kun looks like he needs to keep his hands to himself!  I do believe that every town has a mascot.  They're always super cute, young and fun!  It would be fun to see them battle.  Hmmmm...another comic strip idea perhaps?  I'd like to see a grumpy old cursing mascot.  Wait, don't tell me there's already one.  If you know of a crazy mascot, let me know!  They do crack me up! 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 167 and 168

Ryan learned not to mess with J and cheat codes.  I wonder if J would be ok with using them after beating a game?  You know, just for the fun of it!  I thought of creating the strip with Ryan showing J cheat codes on the internet.  Then, J would hit delete and walk away.  Even though people aren't writing many cheat codes down on paper these days, I felt like this version had more of an impact.  Nothing like crumpling and burning to make a point!

The Emailin' Home strip is my attempt to show you what it was like for me to email my family and friends while in Japan.  I would send these long emails telling stories of things I experienced and learned about.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them (I hope) and it planted the seeds for this Fried Chicken and Sushi webcomic.  To add a little extra interest, I drew the characters in a Chibi style with a huge head and small body.  Did you spot Tanuki and Miki in that last panel? 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 165 and 166

Ok.  So, I dropped the ball this week with the comic strip commentaries.  Sorry about that!  Karl was feeling guilty about staring down the ladies in the Women Only car but I think Miki understands.  Thanks for all of your comments on that one.  They made me feel less like a fool for jumping on one of those train cars without noticing. 

J and Ryan seem to be enjoying their common bond of video game obsession.  Of course, you know that they say once your addictions start interfering with your day to day work, it's a real problem!  Let's hope they get it together!  Oh, and thanks to all of you who read the interview I did here with  Hope I get more of those! 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 161 So Sick of Staring!

I remember really getting sick of people staring at me in Japan!  Yes, I actually would stare back at people, especially children, that would stare at me.  One time I gave a little boy on the train a pretty evil look (I wasn't having the best day) and he moved away from me and hid behind his mom.  Didn't cry though.  I remember thinking, "Well, that's what you get for staring at me!"  It's hard to be sympathetic when you're treated like a freak in a side show.  Anywho, more "staring back" adventures are yet to come!

Fried Chicken and Sushi 158 Ryan's Video Game Party?

Let's not feel too bad for Ryan here.  He seems very happy with his current situation.  The one I feel sorry for is J.  I guess Ryan thinks of him as a real friend.  Maybe that's why Ryan is always coming over to J's desk and bugging him.  You gotta love Ryan's cousins though!  I'm not sure that they understand how important they are to him. 

Fried Chicken and Sushi 157 Video Games at Ryan's?

I'm sure this is hurting J but the challenge has been set!  How could he back down from a chance to play his favorite video game and whup Ryan's tail at it at the same time?!  We'll have to see about the skills of Ryan's friends when J shows up ready to show them how it's done.  Oh yeah, if you haven't listened to the review of FC&S on the Deconstructing Comics Podcast hurry over here and give it a listen!  Thanks!

Back to Shimamoto! (Pictures Below)

This past summer I decided to take a quick trip up to the town I lived in while teaching English in Japan.  Yep, it has the same name as Karl's town, Shimamoto cho.  It felt good to go back after six years and I didn't tell anyone I was going so I could walk around relatively unnoticed.  However, I think a few people were a little shocked to see a big black man strolling around their town taking pictures.  Check out some of the photos below. I've been trying to re-create some of these locations in the comic.  Enjoy!


Here we are at Minase station off of the Hankyu railway line. 

Hey, you can look up my nose!  The building behind me is where I used to live.  Right under the number 2.

I walked past #1 Junior High School where I used to work.  Pretty much all Junior High Schools in Japan look like this.

Here's the long road up to #2 Junior High School.  The bus would take me up this way if I was too tired to ride a bike.  The smaller white building on the left is where the Board of Education office is.

I was trying to remember this map outside of the train station when I drew the strip about taking the bus up to school.  I think I got it right...somewhat.

Let's take it back to when I was teaching there!  I remember it well, walking around while the students take an English quiz.  Makin' 'em nervous! 

FCS155 The Black Samurai Takes a Slice

Looks like the Black Samurai finally gets a chance to use his sword!  Thanks, Tanuki!  I don't think the Oni will be very happy after this though.  At first, I wasn't sure about using the Principal Glossy Gleam typhoon joke at the end.  You would need to have read the previous comic with PGG talking about how he loses his gleam during typhoons.  I was afraid that if someone came here for the first time, they really wouldn't get the joke.  Oh well, I did it anyway because I think it fits perfectly!  Hopefully, all you new readers will go back in the archive and learn more.