Welp, it’s official. I can now announce it to the world… This summer I’ll be moving to Angouleme, the comics/animation capital of France. Long story short, our family was recently accepted to the artist in residence program for one year! For those of you who don’t know, the Maison des Auteurs Residency accepts cartoonists, illustrators and animators to the city, sets them up with studio space, amenities and sometimes even a place to live for anywhere from a few months to a few years.

I’m taking the one year option myself, and during that year, I’m planning to design and pencil my most ambitious project to date. “The Box” will be a 500 page interactive comic, similar to “Meanwhile…” but 7 times larger and for adults. It’s hard to describe but it’s half “escape room” and half maze. It’s themes are memory, reality and what it means to live life. There’s going to be about 1000 tabs in the book so I’m hoping someone will want to publish it, cause if I’m cutting those tabs by hand there might just be 2-3 copies of “The Box” out there in the world.

I have to admit, I’m still not exactly sure what’s in it for France. They’re setting me up with an apartment, a studio, a school for Kazuo. And in return I’m going to write my moonshot comic… because I can. But I guess that’s France for you. I like to kid, but the more I learn about French culture, the more it sounds like the way I would organize a society and they way I would want my son Kazuo to think about the world he lives in. In France, comics are seen as more than just pop culture but as an art form that’s deserving of public support. Preschool doesn’t cost $1000/month like it does over here. It’s thought of like a public service and is offered free to everyone. Same with medical care. After a lifetime of living in America, it’s hard to wrap my mind around the concept of the most expensive parts of life just being handed to you for free. Everyone likes to make fun of the French but it’s a pretty amazing system and culture they’ve got and it’s hard for me to describe the amount of gratitude I feel at this moment. For a country and a culture like this to not only exist but to open their ams to me, and invite me to live there has been incredibly humbling.

As for you poor fools still living in America, I’ll send you a post card. I’ll make sure to write it in a cafe while wearing a beret and a red neckerchief. I’m still planning to update the site too, so check back regularly for more news and announcements about France, “The Box”, and the First Second editions of “Demon. Speaking of Demon, one last important point of business I should get to is that I am closing the store section of shigabooks on the first of August so if you want your Demon minicomics, box sets, slipcases or PDFs, you’ll have the rest of June and July to order. Then, that’s it. I’m out!