Ceej Says… Big In Japan review


In the latest in my series of reviews of small press/self published titles, today sees the turn of the double S.I.C.B.A. award winning (Best Comic/Graphic Novel and Best Cover, if you’re keeping score at home) ‘Big in Japan’ by Hope Street Studios’ own Moogs Kewell.

Essentially a diary of Moogs’ two-week trip to Japan to attend the wedding of two of her friends, this book adopts a curious style that flits back and forth between cartoonish over-exaggeration and almost photographic realism, creating an endearingly charming and – dare I say it – educational (shudder!) look at the Japanese culture.

The situations covered in the book are the type most of us have experienced at some point in our lives; missing luggage, getting lost in a strange city, and the general feeling of awkwardness in a foreign culture, and all these factors only add to the overall charm of the book, making Moogs’ diary an extremely relatable one.

A perfect example of the humour and brilliant sketching on display.

A perfect example of the humour and brilliant sketching on display.
Click to enlarge.

Now, as this is a diary of true events, there’s no ‘plot’ as such, no grand overarching storyline or twists and turns along the way. But what we do have is a beautifully illustrated, incredibly creative outpouring of humorous observations (the Japanese boy in full traditional dress but still wearing flashing trainers, for example) and interesting facts about the people and places Moogs encounters during her visit.

I can undoubtedly see why this title did so well at the S.I.C.B.A.s this year, as it has an almost universal appeal. Like interesting travel journals? This is your book. Enjoy humorous, manga-style caricatures? This is your book. Enjoy stunning, ultra-realistic sketches of impressive Japanese landmarks and buildings? This is your… well… you get my point ;)

A title that’s well worth picking up for any of the reasons listed above, in addition to its almost dizzyingly bright and eye-catching cover, this is a comic that most definitely needs to find itself exposed to as large an audience as possible.

You can pick the book up (along with an amazing selection of hand-made earrings and jewellery) at Moogs ‘Rocket Puppy’ Etsy store.

And you should also take a moment to check out her bespoke cake topper and sculpture work at

ceejThe writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson-Adams (aka Ceej)
Article Archive: Ceej Says
You can follow Ceej on Twitter

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Ceej Says… Crossing Borders review [Glasgow Comic Con '14] | BIG COMIC PAGE
  2. Ceej Says… Crossing Borders: Travels in Vietnam & Bali review – BIG COMIC PAGE

Comment On This Article

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: