Webcomic Weekly: Fumio Obata On Pot Noodles And Daffodils

Another Webcomic Weekly, actually doing both things recently, both the weekly bit and the webcomic… whatever that may mean. This week Fumio Obata and the delights of Cup/Pot Noodle and Daffodils…

We’ve featured Fumio Obata before at Webcomic Weekly with his Quantine comics from Japan. But there’s plenty more webcomic work to be enjoyed from this incredibly talented comics maker.

Born in Tokyo, Obata moved to the UK in 1991, just 16 years old. Obata splits his time between lecturing at the University of Gloucestershire and making comics. Obata’s books include Just So Happens (2015), The Garden (2020, with Sean Michael Wilson), and The Spirit of Japan: Festivals, Rituals and Everyday Magic (2021, with Sean Michael Wilson).

Now, onto something unexpectedly magnificent about the humble cup/pot noodle…

Fumio’s World: Pot Noodle

“A mini comic. One of an autobiography materials that I produced several years ago. My life completely changed when I was 16, and what was tough was being on my own. I had a great support from the people around me, but food was so related to missing home and I had to resolve this myself, with a substitute that looked similar.”

This was put up on Facebook, a lovely little encapsulation of what it means to be in a strange country as a child and how, no matter what age, we can always grab onto some cultural anchor. It’s that juxtaposition between the lightness and humour of both the initial subject and the figures and that heartfelt emotion of missing home that really makes this just an excellent piece.


Other recent work includes Obata setting a routine of morning sketching before lecturing, something you can find on his Facebook pages. But I thought this one about Daffodils was particularly lovely…


Just like Pot Noodle, I just think this is a delight. The relative simplicity of the artwork is beautiful, something about the pictures with those captions underneath always takes me back to a nostalgic childhood jolt of happiness and Rupert books. But then to have the simple story unfold so perfectly, a little wake-up tale for a tired and cold artist and for us, showing us that everything has meaning if we only look for it… well, that’s just a perfectly wonderful end…

More from Fumio Obata – fumioobata.co.uk / Twitter / Facebook / Quake News From Elsewhere /

And a little from Obata’s graphic novel, Just So Happens

“I still remember arriving in the city for the first time… It wasn’t easy… But here, London, is my home.”

Yumiko is a young Japanese woman who has made London her home. She has a job, a boyfriend; Japan seems far away. Then, out of the blue, her brother calls to tell her that her father has died in a mountaineering accident. Yumiko returns to Tokyo for the funeral and finds herself immersed in the rituals of Japanese life and death — and confronting a decision she hadn’’t expected to have to make.

Another Webcomic Weekly, actually doing both things recently, both the weekly bit and the webcomic… whatever that may mean. ThisCOMICONRead More

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