Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflections on 2015

2015 has been a busy year for me, fulfilling some commission work (bulk orders like 8-15 comic strips) and giving talks from "Lessons Learnt from Self-Publishing" to "Visiting Tokyo". I was also kept busy trying to sell as many books and cushions as possible.

Significant achievement in 2015 is my signing with MPH (how it came to this will be explained in another post), becoming their author and no longer self-published. I also went to Jakarta for the first time and saw my first foreign published book "Eva The Explorer", which is actually the same book as "Eva, Kopi and Matcha" but different language. My work was stolen by a Vietnamese magazine but it was eventually resolved favourably, leading to the release of of a Vietnamese version next year.

I learnt a lot about freelancing practice in 2015. It is better NOT to do a one-year project for more than 8 comic strips because it is very difficult to plan time when Clients suddenly wants the comic. Government jobs were also NOT as easy as I thought because I always had to wait for the boss to reply to the middle-man officer liaising with me. Many things get lost in translation too. There is another thing I hate about Singapore business is the practice of asking 3 quotes from different vendors to select the best/cheapest price, which is not me. I also had a so-called multi-national company who made me go through x2 one-hour phone calls, a personal trip down to their far-away factory, only to have my proposal rejected a few weeks before their supposed training date. It was strange because they were initially begging me although I was unwilling to take on and later dumped me aside after I committed so much time. I know this happens regularly in business but time is precious to me so I no longer entertain anyone from HR.

Because I could sense that all these commission work are draining me and taking time away from my comics, I started my Patreon account in March to see if fans would support me to a point that eventually I could cut off all my commission work and concentrate on my comics and work on book 2, which I hope to be all-new content. Despite having over 90,000 likes, there are only 47 patrons as of now, a handful are my personal friends. As the bulk of my fans are from Asia, my hypothesis is that such an idea of supporting your favorite artist without getting tangible thing in return is still a very novel idea.

As for my book sales, I was led to believe my fans were not supportive when the initial report came in April from my distributor, 10 months after passing my books to them. There were only around 200+ copies sold and nearly 1,000 unsold inventory. Disappointed at the dismal sale, I asked for a return of partial stock, as I managed to sell 1,000 copies on my own through talks and events. However behold! I was told 2 months later that actually my books sold well and there was barely any stock left! The explanation from my then publisher (whom I paid money to publish) was that bookstores make payment based on invoices with multiple titles attached to it, so the distributor had to estimate the sale of each title and did not expect my book to be selling so well because I was a first-time author and bookstores allocated my books to poor shelf locations. This whole thing is also a long story that I will write in-depth another day. Finally on the very last day in 2015, I received my money from the distributor, which I will use to payback a 0% interest loan I received to self-publish.

On Christmas day, I caught a bad flu and was immediately ill on that night. If you had been reading my blog for a long time, you would know my history in Japan was dotted with illness. The changing seasons in Japan had weakened my health a lot. Once I catch any cold or flu, it will put me down for several days and can take up to a month to recover. That's why I often go to my Chinese medicine physician and started doing yoga (besides to relief neck and shoulder pain from drawing). Of course, being ill for so long made me recall unhappy thoughts like "fans" not buying my books and cushions, and not supporting me on Patreon. But as I become better, I become more positive again and focus on the real fans (much lesser than what FB displays), who showed up at my events, bought my stuff and encouraged me. I also remembered my fans at Patreon, many who did not ask anything in return except for me to continue drawing, I should not disappoint them.

For 2016, I look forward to working on my book 2, as I have cleared all my commission work. I will survive mainly on my past savings, a small 1hr/week teaching stint and support from my fans at Patreon, so I hope to deliver more exclusive content to them as well. I will also try to work on more LINE stickers despite low revenue from there.

I would like to thank all my fans who had bought my book and cushions. I remember the fan who bought my A3 print, the fan who dashed down to buy the cushions first thing next day, and those that loaded a car full of cats back home. I also sincerely thank my sponsor/creditor who believed in me and funded my work to be published despite rejected by the local publisher that I thought was my only hope to be published. Lastly I want to thank my fans at Patreon, without you I couldn't have raised my commission rate gradually and cut down the quantity. Wishing you all

Happy New Year!

P.S. There is a panda in the illustration, have fun!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Japanese celebrates Christmas by eating KFC

While foreigners were bewildered why Japanese celebrates Christmas by eating buckets of KFC chicken, Japanese were also surprised that the rest of the world doesn't do the same. This is the result of clever marketing from KFC Japan in the past that became an annual tradition.

Please support me on Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/evacomics), where you get first look at my comic strips! Even $1/month is ok and you can stop subscription anytime!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Rewarding Holiday

Yes... the main culprit was Sukiya's Beef Nabe (hot pot):
The beef was so good and I always add spring onions to top it to 740yen, which is very reasonable for such a delicious meal. I ate once every 3-4 days for dinner so you can imagine how much Japanese rice and beef was added to my waistline... or is there a waistline now...hmm...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Where to buy COPIC markers in Tokyo

Because my photo of the markers received so many shares, I realised that many artists are interested about the markers and perhaps want to know where to buy them from. Hence I wrote this guide for artists to shop in COPIC heaven aka Tokyo.

★ UPDATE NOV 2017: Please refer to my new article for latest updates on COPIC marker shopping! >>> Ultimate Guide to Copic marker shopping in Tokyo, Japan

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tattoos in Japan

If the tattoo is small, you can cover it with plaster before going into the public bath houses.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hitsuki Club, the best resort hotel to see Mt Fuji everyday

This year's November was exceptionally warmer and rained more than usual. I thought I would not be able to see Mt. Fuji again until I was invited to Hitsuki Club. This is a beautiful resort hotel with rooms housed in cottages with each having a stunning view of Mt. Fuji. The resort is located in Shizuoka prefecture, inside the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park's Asagiri Highland, which is 700m above sea level so Mt. Fuji appears very close to you. The owner of this hotel is a doctor so the focus is on the wellness of the mind and body together with mother nature. Breakfast and dinner is included and you can expect fresh local ingredients cooked with spring water everyday!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Odd Japanese English: Freeter

It seems that the concept of getting a job in Japan is getting a full-time job from 9-5pm. Freelancers and unemployed are two different things and throwing a "Freeter" word to cover both is rather inappropriate IMO.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Koma at Hidaka City, Saitama, with deep ancient Korean roots

Hidaka City 日高市 is around an hour's train ride from Tokyo's Ikebukuro station. There you can find a small village called Koma, that has deep roots with Korea dated as far back as 1,300 years ago. I was lucky that the annual Korean traditional mounted archery contest was held when I visited on 23 Nov (Mon) public holiday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Is Kobe Beef really worth it?

There are many specialised beef in Japan and the most famous one to foreigners is Kobe Beef. Frankly speaking I had never tried one before because it is so expensive.

Kobe trip: Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution (Earthquake Museum)

Kobe Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution Earthquake Museum
There has been more rainy than sunny days so visiting a museum at this time is the best. Having experienced the 311 Tohoku earthquake back in 2011, I was interested to know more about the Great Hanshin Earthquake and how it affected Japan.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cyclists in Singapore are really rude

I lived in Seng Kang for 2 years and there are many cyclists there. They love to ring their bells all the way and expect us pedestrians to move to one-side when they dash by impatiently. They even ride their bicycles indoor inside the community hub area and I even scolded a boy not to ride his bike inside the building as he was ringing his bell non-stop while on his way to buy snack at a stall.

There are many cyclists in Japan as well but they seldom ring their bell. The sidewalks are wider and the cyclists are patient enough to slow down or overtake instead of ringing their bells frustratedly like in Singapore.

Kobe trip: Nunobiki Fall

kobe nunobiki fall waterfall japan
I wasn't aware that there is this waterfall within the city until my friend said that we should visit it.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kyoto Trip: Fushimi Inari Taisha at night

Kyoto Trip: Fushimi Inari Taisha at night shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of Inari (rice) in Kyoto. It is located right next to JR Inari station so it is very easily accessible.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Kyoto trip: Jakko-in Temple and scenic nature walk

On our second trip to Kyoto, we wanted to target a temple with red leaves so we shortlisted temples in the North that turn cold earlier than those in the city area. Jakko-in was chosen because my friend thought the other nearby temple: Sanzen-in did not have enough red leaves.

Kyoto Trip: Arashiyama, Kinkakuji and Kiyomizudera

Arashiyama
kyoto arashiyama
Out of the 5 days we were in Kansai, only 1 day was good sunny weather so we decided to visit Kyoto. The skies were beautiful finally after days of cloud and rain. Our first stop was Arashiyama to visit the temple garden and bamboo forest.

Wakayama trip: Koyasan

wakayama koyasan koya-san unesco heritage japan mass cemetery
We were looking for elsewhere to visit besides Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe and chose Wakayama because we had never been there. A quick google reveals Koyasan, a UNESCO world heritage site that consists of a mass cemetery and temples set on a mountain. Commuting time was around 4 hours from Osaka that consists of train, ropeway and bus, so it isn't too bad compared to 5-6 hours to southern parts of Wakayama.

Osaka trip: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

It was rainy after we got into our hotel on Sunday (15 Nov) so we decided to check out something indoor like the world-renown Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.

Osaka trip: Shinsekai

osaka shin sekai shinsekai
Shinsekai was a highly recommended place to visit from my yoga classmate who claimed that the place appeared to be a pop out town from anime and has good fried food. The name literally means New World although it was created in 1912.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Population Control US, Japan and Singapore

US has a lot of land and welcome immigrants (to a certain extent of course). Japan wants to welcome foreigners but difficult to accommodate foreigners. Singapore welcomes foreigners despite not enough land...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Momiji Tunnel at Kawaguchiko for red leaves viewing in autumn

紅葉回廊 2015 momiji tunnel maples corridor lake kawaguchi kawaguchiko red leaves autumn fall
This year hasn't been good to see red leaves due to the more than usual number of rainy days. One of the popular spots is the "Momiji Kairou" at Lake Kawaguchi. Momiji means red leaves and the English translation can be "Momiji Tunnel" or "Maples Corridor" although they are two separate but close-by places on the map. A "Momiji Matsuri" festival is held every year from the end of October to mid November with road stalls and romantic night illumination so it is a popular destination during November for people to see both Mt Fuji and red leaves.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Break Time during Life Drawing Sessions

I was surprised when I attended a life drawing session here and all the artists flipped their pages as soon as a break was announced as if they are fearful of people seeing what they drew... Perhaps Japanese do not like to show off their work and prefer to keep things to themselves...

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tokyo One Piece Tower

Tokyo One Piece Tower
Tokyo One Piece Tower is an indoor amusement park based on the famous manga/anime series "One Piece". It was officially opened in March 2015 with much hype, so is it worth the trip and your 3,000yen?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

CLIHO Shimoakatsuka Shared House for long-term stay

It is very difficult for foreigners to rent apartment in Japan due to language barrier and lack of guarantor. The rental procedure is also very complex and you are required to pay lots of fees like gift money, key-change fee, agent fee, deposit and first month rental. I blogged about this bad experience 4 years ago when I first went for my house hunting: Rental Nightmare in Tokyo. However with this CLIHO shared house, you can rent your own private room in a Japanese house setting and environment easily.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Odd Japanese English: High Touch

Odd Japanese English: High Touch evacomics
High Touch in Japanese actually means high five! I guess they don't like to assert too much force when happy?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

First time to Tai Chung, Taiwan

Feng jia Night Market 逢甲夜市
Feng jia Night Market 逢甲夜市 taichung
This was my 3rd time to Taiwan but I had never visit Tai Chung City. Locals say that the only night market that is crowded all the time is the Feng Jia Night market. My brother booked an airbnb location close to the night market so it was really convenient to visit there almost every night. However because I was traveling with my mum, siblings and young nephew, so I had to help bring back food each time...

Monday, October 26, 2015

Translation of article on Vietnamese newspaper

There was a publication on Tuoi Tre, which I was told is one of the biggest daily newspaper for youth in Vietnam this morning. Here is a quick translation by Doanh Nguyen from Vietnam IPR Infringement to update my readers:

-------------------------------------
Foreign author requests Muc Tim magazine to compensate 2,300 USD.
http://tuoitre.vn/tin/van-hoa-giai-tri/tac-gia-nuoc-ngoai-de-nghi-bao-muc-tim-phai-boi-thuong-2300-usd/991168.html
Surrounding a series of incidents where comics on Muc Tim magazine was found to be originated from a foreign author's work made online community tumultuous. On Oct 25, talking with Tuoi Tre, Mr. Nguyen Khac Cuong – Muc Tim’s Chief Editor, said that after he was informed of this incident, Muc Tim magazine found that these comics have been sent from a reader collaborator for a comics corner of an entertainment sector in Muc Tim.

Muc Tim magazine discussed with the author Evangeline Neo, and then cut off royalties to that reader and transferred them to Evangeline Neo. This is the 50 USD amount that Evangeline received on Sep 21. Artist Evangeline Neo (Singapore) has been drawing and publishing comics through web since 2007, building the comics trademark “Evacomics” since 2013.

The story started in Sep 2015, when a Evacomics’s fan in Vietnam found that Muc Tim magazine published Evangeline Neo’s comics without licensing agreement, in detail, from issue No. 31 to No. 36 (issued from Aug 5 to Sep 9 – described by reporter)

Some of Evangeline Neo’s comics were revised slightly. Others were collaged, painted and re-ordered... but a casual reader looking at the original comics and revised comics on Muc Tim can see immediately that it had copied the original lines, character models and layout of the comic strips.

While only finding two issues infringed, Evangeline Neo said that she was shocked and requested Chief Editor contact her. Both parties have discussed and agreed transferring royalty to bank account of Evangeline Neo, and publish an apology on Muc Tim magazine issue No. 37 
(issued Sep 16–described by reporter)

On issue No. 37, at a corner called “EPHRASE FOR CLARIFYING”, the magazine published the following: "On MT 31 and MT34, at the COMICS section, MT did not write the author name Evacomics due to technical mistake. We sincerely apologise to the author Evacomics and readers.”

After reading this apology, Evangeline Neo gave feedback: First of all, it is not a technical mistake; Secondly. My name is Evangeline Neo, Evacomics is my brand and both should be published; Thirdly, not just issues No.31 and No.34 but No.31 to No.36”. Muc Tim has not yet given a reasonable apology and compensation.

Perhaps, Muc Tim magazine along with their goodwill, has to do more moves to resolve the unintended incident that come from their reader. And this story is probably also notable to all newspapers when using unclear copyright works.
Unintended mistake

Author N.T (student in HCMC) who sent this series of comics to Muc Tim had admitted to the Editor Board that she had taken comics from Evacomics page and added more Vietnamese words, colored and then sent it to the magazine. This is the unintended mistake of the Editor. After being informed the incident, Muc Tim has immediately contacted and respectfully apologized to author Evangeline Neo on this incident.

However, after posting the “Ephrase for clarifying” on the latest issue Muc Tim No. 37 and recovering royalty from N.T to transfer to Singapore, Muc Tim received a letter from the author Evangeline Neo with requirements: Muc Tim must publish an apology on the Tuoi Tre newspaper during 7 days and compensate $2,300 for damage.

We can’t proceed the first request because the mistake is on Muc Tim, we only apologize on Muc Tim. However we are considering to do the second request from Evangeline Neo.

Once again, we confirmed this is our mistake: we have not checked the origin of comics and articles sent from the collaborator. We sincerely apologize author Evangeline Neo and are resolving the case with our efforts. We hope readers understand the incident correctly and sympathise for the "occupational accident" of Mực Tím. 
NGUYEN KHAC CUONG (Muc Tim magazine chief editor)
Reported by LAM DIEN
-------------------------------------

Eva adds:

Thank you everyone for your support these days!

It is confirmed that we have reached a good agreement with Muc Tim Magazine​ and is resolving this issue. I will be setting aside some of the money to do meaningful things in Vietnam by returning back to society and thanking my fans (more details after I return from my Japan trip).

I would also like to thank Doanh Nguyen from Vietnam IPR Infringement​, who had been working hard all these time to help me translate, provide documents and advise me on what to do. The most amazing thing is he is willing to do all these for pro bono basis to help artists whose intellectual property are infringed in Vietnam. Through this case I feel the warmth and friendliness from everybody in Vietnam and fans all over the world. #faithinIPprotectionRestored

This case is temporary closed and I will update again on the first week of November with Muc Tim's official apology on their magazine.

Thank you everybody! :D

Eating in the street of Japan is considered rude

There is an exception if you are visiting a festival or fair in Japan where there are many street food stalls. However, people still tend to gather at one place to eat finish their food first before moving on :P~

(BTW, I originally planned to post a comic about the recent incident, but because I received a good reply, I decided not to go ahead but post on my Patreon account only instead).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tạp chí dành cho tuổi tin Việt Nam: Mực Tím lấy cắp tác phẩm của Evacomics mà không thừa nhận (Vietnamese version)

This is the Vietnamese version of my original article: "Vietnamese teenage magazine: Muc Tim stole Evacomics artwork and refused to admit". Thanks to Doanh Nguyen for the translation!

Tôi đã được thông báo vào ngày 4/9 bởi một người hâm mộ ở Việt Nam, người này muốn xác nhận với tôi xem tôi có cho phép tạp chí có tên là “Mực Tím” sử dụng các tác phẩm truyện tranh của tôi vì đã thấy chúng trên vài số báo. Tôi đã sốc và trả lời là không. Bởi vì tôi không hiểu tiếng Việt, tôi đã đăng việc này lên trang facebook (như hình ở trên) để tìm kiếm sự giúp đỡ cho việc liên hệ với nhà xuất bản nhằm giải quyết vấn đề này.

Sau khi nhiều người hâm mộ “tấn công” trang facebook của họ, họ đã buộc phải trả lời tôi vào ngày hôm sau bằng một tài khoản gmail miễn phí từ một người không rõ chức vụ nói rằng đó là một sự cố kỹ thuật và sếp của họ thì đang đi nghỉ mát….

Luật sư bạn tôi nói với tôi rằng việc đó không đúng luật và tôi nên yêu cầu Tổng biên tập của họ phải liên lạc với tôi bằng một email doanh nghiệp phù hợp. Vì vậy tôi đã yêu cầu và Tổng biên tập của họ đã liên hệ với tôi. Anh ta hỏi thông tin tài khoản ngân hàng để chuyển cho tôi khoản phí bản quyền và nói rằng sẽ đăng lời xin lỗi trên số báo 37. Tôi đã cho số tài khoản ngân hàng và hỏi anh ta sẽ trả phí bản quyền là bao nhiêu cho tôi. Cùng lúc đó, một số người hâm mộ cũng gửi cho tôi thêm nhiều ảnh của các số báo khác có các tác phẩm của tôi trong đó. THẬT KHÔNG MAY, MỰC TÍM ĐÃ KHÔNG HỒI ÂM ĐỂ THẢO LUẬN VỚI TÔI VỀ MỨC PHÍ MÀ CŨNG KHÔNG THỪA NHẬN HỌ ĐÃ ĂN CẤP NHIỀU TRUYỆN TRANH CỦA TÔI NỮA.

Sau đó, ngày 21/9, tôi nhận được một khoản tiền 50 USD cho “phí bản quyền”. Họ đã không hề trao đổi với tôi bất cứ vấn đề gì về việc họ cần phải bồi thường bao nhiêu cho tôi và chỉ chuyển cho tôi 50 USD... (có lẽ là để tôi im lặng?).

Hãy xem những gì đã xảy ra trong mỗi số báo:

SỐ #31:
Truyện tranh gốc, 3 dải | Sau khi ăn cắp
Họ đã tô lại tóc nhân vật là vàng hoe … VÀNG HOE!?!?!?

Vietnamese teenage magazine: Muc Tim stole Evacomics artwork and refused to admit

I was alerted on 4 September from a fan in Vietnam, who wanted to verify with me if I had given permission for this magazine called "Muc Tim" to use my comics because they had been appearing for several issues. I was shocked and replied no. Because I don't understand any Vietnamese, I posted the above on my Facebook page to seek help to contact the publisher to settle this issue.

After fans bombarded their FB page, they were forced to reply me the next day with a gmail account from someone with an unknown job title saying it was a technical mistake and their head is on vacation...

My lawyer friend told me it doesn't look right and I should demand their editor contact me through a proper company email. So I requested and their editor contacted me to ask for my bank account information to transfer my royalty and said they will also publish an apology on issue #37. I gave them my account number and asked how much they will be paying. At the same time, fans were also sending me more photos from other issues with my artwork inside. UNFORTUNATELY, MUC TIM DID NOT REPLY TO DISCUSS THE FEES NOR ADMIT THAT THEY STOLE MY COMICS AND SO MANY OF THEM!

Then on 21 Sep, I received a transfer of US$50 for "royalties". They did not discuss with me at all about how much to compensate and just passed me US$50... (maybe to shut me up?)

Let's see what happened in each issue...

ISSUE #31:
 They coloured my hair blonde...BLONDE!?!?!?

ISSUE #32:
Don't they think it's weird my hair is brown and then blonde!? BLONDE?!?!?
They even started to mix and match my comics to form new stories!?

ISSUE #33:
I see that they don't want to colour my comics anymore, no longer fun?

 ISSUE #34:
I guess they started to like this more refined version. Of course, I spent days on each strip.

 ISSUE #35:
They even dug up my older comic strips that I posted on my Facebook in 2011...

 ISSUE #36:
Then they decided to rip off my yoga comics...

ISSUE #37:
When it was time for issue #37, which they promised to publish the apology, I emailed them again to ask for at least a photo or scan of it as proof, but nope, they IGNORED ME. I had no choice but to contact a copyright expert in Vietnam, who offered to help me on pro bono basis! He already bought many past copies to gather evidence and obtained #37 for me. Of course, I asked him to translate:

"Due to a technical mistake, MT did not write the author's name Evacomics on the comics in issues #31 and #34. We sincerely apologise to Evacomics and readers."

First of all...
IT IS NOT
A TECHNICAL MISTAKE. 

Secondly...
MY NAME IS
EVANGELINE NEO,
EVACOMICS IS MY BRAND.
BOTH SHOULD BE PUBLISHED. 

Thirdly...
NOT JUST ISSUES #31 AND #34
BUT #31 TO #36 (6 ISSUES)


Actually I was wondering if I should just give up, because I have a lot of other things to do. But if I don't do anything means I support Vietnamese companies continue stealing other artist work and not compensate them properly for it. We spent a lot of time and money to work on our art, and we should be respected and get our share of money when companies profit from it. For the better future of artists in Vietnam to get their deserved copyright protection, as well as a warning to all thieves worldwide stealing our artwork, I should at least fight for something.

So we contacted Muc Tim again about issuing a proper apology and compensation but we were both IGNORED. We have no choice but to raise public awareness that this case has not been resolved and Muc Tim should not ignore us!

★Please help by sharing this article or the Vietnamese version: http://evacomics.blogspot.com/2015/10/tap-chi-danh-cho-tuoi-tin-viet-nam-muc.html
Large images are also available via Vietnam IPR Infringement community:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.506629259510837.1073741829.503346103172486&type=1&l=d2fca22efa


If you discover more of my stolen artwork on Muc Tim, please use hashtag #evacomicsvsmuctim so I can discover you. Thank you!

Muc Tim's website: http://www.muctim.com.vn
Muc Tim's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tapchimuctim

Credits: First image photo by Phuc Dinh, subsequent photos from issues #31-37 taken by Doanh.

-----------------------------
Updates (26 Oct):

Dear all, thank you very much for your great support and sharing of my posts and articles! I received a favourable reply from Muc Tim Magazine. However I will need some time to consider. As you know, they also emailed me last time and I was too quick to announce that everything is settled. I will update everyone on the latest news. Updates in Vietnamese can also be found on Vietnam IPR Infringement.

-----------------------------
Updates (27 Oct):

Thank you everyone for your support these days!
It is confirmed that we have reached a good agreement with Muc Tim Magazine​ and is resolving this issue. I will be setting aside some of the money to do meaningful things in Vietnam by returning back to society and thanking my fans (more details after I return from my Japan trip).

I would also like to thank Doanh Nguyen from Vietnam IPR Infringement​, who had been working hard all these time to help me translate, provide documents and advise me on what to do. The most amazing thing is he is willing to do all these for pro bono basis to help artists whose intellectual property are infringed in Vietnam. Through this case I feel the warmth and friendliness from everybody in Vietnam and fans all over the world. #faithinIPprotectionRestored

This case is temporary closed and I will update again on the first week of November with Muc Tim's official apology on their magazine.

Thank you everybody! :D

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogging sold more cats than FB and Instagram

Sorry for the lack of updates this past month! I was paralysed by the selling of the cats... I had to reply tons of emails, messages, comments all over my many social media channels (FB, Instagram. Blog, Patreon), coordinating transport from warehouse to temporary holding then to my house and shop, labelling, packing and mailing the cats, etc. etc. There was simply no free time at all to draw new comics and I learnt:

Despite me posting several times on FB and Instagram to ask people to buy, nothing beats a good story about how difficult it is to make them. 

After posting this article: "Why Matcha cat cushions were so difficult to make", sales soared and I sold around 150 cats compared to only 30 or so initially...

Other things I also learnt selling online:
  1. Don't use bank transfer if a flood of orders come in because people don't put their initials when they make payment. Therefore it is difficult to cross-reference which payment is paid by who. Also specify limited quantity items must be ordered via paypal because some people just transfer the money without checking whether the item is in stock first...
  2. There are still many people who are new to paypal and do not know that I will automatically receive order confirmation email... (online shopping works like this...) . My paypal address is different from contact email so I received tons of forwarded paypal confirmation emails from worried buyers who mistook my instructions for bank transfer customers... This caused a lag in response too...
  3. There were some customers who thought I can magically read every single comment on FB, Instagram and Blog to change their order information.... (such as address change or change of items)... ... ... ....Sorry my brain froze at the thought of so many posts I made and so many comments from people afterwards and I had to magically scan through everything to cross-reference to the already flooded mailboxes...
  4. I also received many queries if they can self collect at my home to save on postage...
    Many people message or call me before and after the meet up time. Some of them want to make sure I will be at home, some do not know the place well and need to ask for directions and some simply wants to chit chat or make sure I am there when they come. Multiply this by 20-30 a day and my tiny brain will explode into a million pieces of popcorn. Therefore to prevent this from happening, it is best buyers pay postage so I can mail when I am free or just go to Simplifi3D shop to pick up (Once again, many people thought I will be there... I have to stress that it is on consignment basis... I...am... not....there.....)
  5. There are still people who do not know that "Eva The Explorer" is the same book as "Eva, Kopi and Matcha" despite me mentioning several times on FB and I also wrote on my website... So after reminding them that it was the same book but in different language, I had to cancel order and update setting... which also used up my time.
I also learned...

"I am your fan" ≠ "I will buy your book to support you" and
"I am your fan" ≠ "I will buy your cat even without discount"

When I told them the only way to self-collect and enjoy the discount was to bring my book or buy my book at Simplifi3D, they just told me they don't have my book or don't want to buy my book... which made me kind of...

But frankly speaking, I am very happy I sold around 200 cats now and made many fans delighted. But at the same time I am now very scared of seeing my own cat cushions because I had to deal with so many of them everyday. I even freaked out immediately when I came back from my one-week family trip into my room filled with cats and packages waiting to be mailed out...

Nevertheless, I have to perserve to earn some money for my trip to Japan next month to work on my second book and blog with JapanTravel. So hey if you have some spare cash, please consider supporting! http://www.eva.sg/EN/shop.html (there are still around 300 cats waiting for adoption!)
*The website has all information about the price and location, so please don't ask me again how much or where to buy...

THANK YOU!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Take away or to go in Japan

I heard that no take away of leftovers from restaurants and buffet was allowed because of a major food poisoning that happened some years ago. Caterers and restaurants did not want to be liable if anything happens. Bento are ok because they have a expiry date and storage instructions on the packaging!

Maybe this explains the tiny portions too...hmm...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Haze comics

It's the haze season again in Singapore! Yes, it is actually an official season now! Starts from September and might end in November...
It is said to be caused by the palm oil plantations in Indonesia: https://webreathewhatwebuy.com
So I drew this "sensitive" teeth toothpaste to help get more signatures for the campaign. But apparently it is still far from target (maybe it's too troublesome?)

I still go for my yoga classes and went to a Ashtanga yoga class last month at Yoga Inc. And boy, it was very tough, jumping in and out of poses and several repetitive sequences. I think I will go back to my regular hatha and flow classes...

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