Lars Martinson is a cartoonist with an academic approach. His latest work is founded on principles of East Asian calligraphy, which he studied intensively with a grant he received from the Japanese government. Lars has been cartooning since he was a kid, but his experiences traveling and living abroad have shaped both his writing and his illustration styles. The central character in his graphic novel Tonoharu is loosely based on Martinson’s own experiences living and teaching in Japan through the JET program. Educators' Guide

Martinson uses calligraphy pens and dip brushes to create his aesthetic. The result is spare, thick-lined people set on intricate backdrops that feature extensive cross hatching. The scenes in his work portray Japanese cityscapes, classrooms, restaurants, and ordinary locations that aren’t your typical tourist destinations. In 2007, he was honored to receive the Xeric Grant for Comic Book Self-Publishers to publish Tonoharu: Part One.

Minnesota Music in this Segment:

Benji Flaming
Justin Rubin
Anders Ponders
Zoo Animal
Alison Scott
Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps

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