Just Breathe

Introducing Elisa Castillo, attorney at law. Not sure how often she’ll show up which is why there’s no cast photo of her. We’ll see.

I will do a proper Katsucon recap with links to all the wonderful people I met and caught up with. But for now, I just want to say that I had an absolutely amazing time. Meeting Stan Sakai has always been a dream of mine. I’ve followed his career for years. I knew about Usagi long before I found the Turtles. But I never even entertained the thought of drawing along side him. It’s something that I never knew I could dream of, and yet there I was on a bright Saturday afternoon drawing a zombified Justin Beeber with Stan Sakai standing next to me drawing a submarine lifted by helium balloons. My brain is still trying to come to grips with the fact that this was an actual thing that actually happened and not some sleep deprivation-induced waking dream. It is a moment in my cartooning career that I will cherish forever.

I would have loved to sit down to a meal with him and just chat outside the hustle of con. He’s one of the nicest creators I’ve met. I never saw him get offended when I young kid asked him who he was. He took time to chat with anyone who came by his table even if they weren’t purchasing anything. I really hope I wasn’t being too irritating of a fan, but I just couldn’t help jumping and clapping like a total fucking idiot any time I looked over and saw him working in his sketchbook. I could see it in his eyes. He lights up anytime he draws or talks about Usagi.

Thank you Stan Sakai for joining us on stage, for getting into the silly of Super Art Fight, for Usagi Yojimbo, and for inspiring me in so many countless ways.

Goddamn, I love comics!


  • Vortigar

    Oh, that one reminds me of that time they put a zero hour contract under my nose and kept telling me it was really for forty.

    I must’ve read that thing fifty times and it literally stated that if they had no work for me they were not obliged to pay me. I had my mom forward the thing to an accounting lawyer she knew and he instantly phoned back and told me it was indeed for zero hours and also not to sign it, more or less in the wording from the comic (literal translation: strangulation contract).

    They didn’t even hid it in the wording or anything. The entire thing read like “the employee is obliged to” a million things and whenever the word employer came up the sentence included something like “can not be accounted to/for” anything.

    Plus they offered the minimum legal requirements when it came to pension, healthcare, etc. The only thing decent about it was the pay but they’d obviously milked every last drop out of the rest so that didn’t really hold up.

    To this day I’m really glad I didn’t believe that guy on his word and wonder how many people simply put their name down without a critical review.

  • Marusia

    hi! i’m a new reader, i got here via qc -> gws -> ani, and i just wanted to say that i’m absolutely in love with your comic! it’s so believably written. i’m not asian american, or a graphic designer, nor do i have an office job, yet the characters are just so relate-able and the art is so awesome (especially kane’s angry faces))) that i got instantly addicted! and i love the way that gender, race and sexuality are represented here. thank you for creating such an awesome comic ))

  • Jon Lycett-Smith

    If they were prepared to offer their 2 weeks notice anyway, then surely they were planning to do without any severance package anyway.  Surely that makes it a pretty poor threat from Steve?

    As to the competition clause, the last company I worked for had a similar one in their contracts, but it only prevented you from working in the exact field with ex members of staff for a period of 6 months after leaving.

    These guys should just take the severance and then do some non commercial set up on their business (own website, networking etc…) and work on the projects they’ve currently got in without actually legally starting their business until the clause expires, then they can just register the business, publish the website, deliver the goods and accept payment.

  • awesomemvs

    I love comics too! What a dream come true for you. It kind of gives me hope for the awesome places comics might lead me.

    It’s probably going to take them 2 weeks to sort out this clusterfuck (no other word is suitable, I’m sorry everyone), thus the title.

  • Wayne West

    I met Stan a number of times at SDCC, very nice guy to talk to.  I have several Usagi graphic novels with sketches in them.  Very cool that you were placed next to him!

  • reynard61

    “(…)Did you guys kill a cat or something?”

    No, they just worked for an ass.

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    Thanks for checking me out!!!

  • http://ypcomic.com Jamie Noguchi

    Oh man, thankfully you read the damn thing. I probably would have signed without paying attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aenya.silverleaf Aenya Hiri Silverleaf

    Wow you got to draw with Stan Sakai? That’s… just… amazing. I envy you and also I’m very happy for you ! Congratulations!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Nonken/100000212655986 Jeffrey Nonken

    Well, they’re not in California. From what I understand, California law forbids non-compete clauses.

    Might not hold up in court anyway, depending. A non-compete clause pretty much says “you’re not allowed to have a job in your line of work”. It’s a form of coercion.

    …OK, I’m gonna stop now before I actually get angry. It’s a comic strip fer crissakes. Take a deep breath now, Jeff… :)