SAKANA is a slice-of-life, romantic comedy (a sli-li-rom-com, if you will) that takes place in the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. If follows the lives of a few 20-somethings working at the market, their friends and family, and all the wacky situations they constantly find themselves in despite their best efforts. Basically they all want to date each other, but they’re all terrible at it, and also there’s lots of seafood involved.

Hot diggety, I’ve only read 192 pages so far. Glad to know there’s some good reading left.

I only started reading Sakana last night after having it bookmarked for over a year. (I bet I’m not the only who has a WTR folder that gets neglected after a zealous initial two days.) Truth be told, I wanted to read it because of who wrote it, and I wanted to avoid it because of the subject matter.

(Second things first.)

It’s a romantic comedy, and I’m not inclined towards romance. I don’t read any and I haven’t seen a rom-com in years. At least I think I haven’t. Does Bridesmaids count? I usually count that as one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

But I do love stories about people, and their lives and their relationships. It’s why I firmly believe (and you’ll NEVER convince me otherwise) that Black Panther is an incredible movie and Infinity War is an overrated action movie whose emotional crux is contrived bs that will be overturned in the next movie. Many people just think ‘more’ = ‘better’; many of the salivations over Infinity War can basically be summed up as ‘IT’S SO BIG’.

Which reminds me of an obscure techno track from the early 90s that is somehow not available on the web. I may have to rectify this using the CD I must have somewhere. Here’s most of that cd for your non-sequitur raving pleasure:

On second thought, maybe romances would interest me because I like people and relationships and everyday sorts of things. Maybe – just maybe – girls aren’t icky. I’ll give this some deep thought the next time I’m out cruising on my Big Wheels.

Enough digressing.

Sakana is a slice of life romantic comedy. I started reading it last night and I got sucked in because of the characters, each of whom has a distinct personality that is clear through their thoughts, actions & expressions. It’s just really well written.

But most of all, it’s funny. Literally laugh-out-loud funny. That’s what really sucked me in. Most of the time humor at best elicits a chuckle. But when I laughed out loud about 4 or 5 strips in, that woke me out of my zombie reading reverie. The endorphins made me keep reading and reading until I had to go to bed in order to wake up at a reasonable hour today. Mad Rupert is wicked funny.

She also has a mastery of the craft of comicking too. I love what she’s done within the confines of a newspaper strip format. It’s really closer to big Sunday strips as it’s not designed to be read in a small 3″ tall format. The panel layouts are consistently creative and work well to tell the story. It should get the McCloud Seal of Approval.

Back to the first part of why I bookmarked this (over a year ago): it was because of Mad Rupert. I encountered her art while reading BOOM! Studios Regular Show comics. She’s drawn many covers of the comic, starting with #1, and I’ve followed a lot of artists from reading that one series. I love Regular Show (it’s my favorite cartoon ever) and the comics capture the style and storytelling of the episodes perfectly. She also wrote a miniseries on Skips that I must now find & read.

Long story short, I loved her art for the Regular Show comics, followed her everywhere, found her webcomic Sakana, started reading it over a year after bookmarking it and discovered that I like sli-li-rom-coms.

(ps you can blame this meandering writing style on Chuck Wendig, who you should totally check out – especially if you’re a writer)

And she’s nice enough to give us a peak at her process. You can bet imma scrutinize this.
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Arp Laszlo

Hi, I’m Arp! I make comics and write about life as an Indian-American with late-diagnosis ADHD. I’m a self-taught and self-employed creator so I write a lot about art, learning, and entrepreneurial stuff that I’ve picked up along the way.

My stories are kinda weird, because that’s just how I am. My formative influences are Indian mythology, Batman, Tintin, 70s Bollywood, Ray Harryhausen, and Monty Python. There’s no way anything normal could come out of that, right?

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