Years ago, thanks to Gargamel’s Thrash Out, Ricky (Velocitron) and Luke (Grody Shogun) all being in Koenji, I quickly discovered it was where I wanted to live. I was just leaving a job in the suburbs of Tokyo, up in Saitama, and wasn’t sure where to go. It was either move back to Austin, or to Koenji. Thankfully, I found a nice first floor of a house in Koenji, and moved in.
That was in January of 2011, three months before the big earthquake on March 11th. The earthquake helped me realize that the people around me were my new family, and I felt a part of a larger group. Over the years, Cory (Science Patrol) eventually moved to Japan, and a few years after, over to Koenji. As a joke, we created the Suginami-ku Cryptozoology Society brand(?) and it’s been a way to make things that wouldn’t normally fall under toy-making.
In 2018, I finally moved out of Koenji, but it was really important that I stay within the larger ward of Suginami-ku. I’d feel like I’m cheating making something labeled “Suginami-ku” and not living there. Again, I got super lucky and found an amazing place one station down in Asagaya, still well within Suginami.
Suginami’s not a place a lot of people head to when they’re in Tokyo, but it’s well worth your time. Some of the nicest people, best food, and the atmosphere of not actually living in one of the world’s most metropolitan cities, but having all the conveniences of it. Plus, this is where I have a family of friends around.
Thanks for being great, Suginami-ku. I’m going to keep making stuff.
Thanks to the organization of Bwana, Cory and I are doing a small show at Gravy Toys in Portland, Oregon, from December 26th. Things will be available in person from the 26th, and then online from early 2019. Gravy Toys can be found inside Floating World Comics. Here’s what they’ll have from me.
Ruddy Kasakappa (Micro run) – A bit too cold outside. A bit too much eggnog. Stop your fooling around.
Booskappa (Micro run) – I feel like this is the 2nd most common color way done on bubblegum pink vinyl.
Visible Camo (One off) – Try all you want, I can still see you.
Party Kasakappa (One off) – Ready for that New Year’s Eve of watching TV all night.
Hairy Bubblegum (One off) – Chew the gum. Hair changes from auburn to pink with heat.
Swamp Kasakappa (One off) – The fanciest of the Kasakappas. Straight from the swamp, covered in moss. Hair changes from brown to orange with heat.
Guts Guts Guts (One off) – Gross toys. Gross toys. Gross toys. Peely-gross paint that’ll continue to alter as the figure ages.
Dark Chocolate Bun-chan (Micro run) – “With the Bun-chan you are really spoiling us.”
Crisped Yakan (One off) – Slightly blackened Sexy Yakan, served at room temperature.
Latte Yakan (One off) – Another one of my attempts to try some different painting techniques (Guts Guts Guts and the other Sexy Yakans used the same method). Black and white dipped Sexy Yakan over a silver base with black socks.
It’s train time again. Cory and I will be over at table J-151, on the 2nd floor this year. It looks like that’s where they’re trying to herd all the toy things. We have a corner along a pretty busy walkway, combined with an Alvin Train running all day, it’ll probably be easy to find.
First up, I’ll have some 秋カエル.
Jon (Rampage Toys) gave me a bunch of my favorite Rampage Toy toy ever; his unicorn. I crammed a few GID, silver/purple lame, and gold lame hop heads on them, and am calling them Rampage Toys X SQDBLSTR Hopsicorns.