Justin Canha, Keiko Tobe and „Raising an Autistic Child“ [Manga, recommended]


This Sunday, the New York Times profiled Justin Canha (Link), a young, autistic artist from Montclair, New Jersey who, at 22, is trying hard to find a good work environment and make his first close personal friends.

Link to the New York Times article (Link).

The piece was written by Amy Harmon (Link) and featured on BoingBoing (Link), one of my favourite blogs, and it reminded me of one of the nicest graphic novel surprises of 2011 – Keiko Tobe’s educational manga about autism and child-rearing, „With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child“ (Link, Wikipedia).

At BoingBoing, I wrote a small recommendation, and I’ll cross-post it here:


„engaging NYT article: great tone, and some much-needed context.

I especially enjoyed seeing Justin’s trippy / irreverent animation video:…

[in fact, it reminded me a lot of artist Anthony Ausgang, Link]


I’m commenting to give a book recommendation, though: Keike Tobé’s „With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child“ is an 8-volume self-help/’josei‘ manga (that is: target audience are women, post-puberty, Link) that shows a nervous and insecure mom dealing with the autism of Hikaru, her first-born son.

„With the Light“ is slow and a little didactic, and you might need to read two Volumes to get in the right mood / rhythm. But as a resource, I found it incredibly helpful. And as a story, it may start a little wooden… but it grows on you, and gets more and more complex. You learn TONS of stuff about the Japanese school and social security system, and over time, there emerges a big goal for Hikaru’s future life, post-high school: to become a „cheerful, working adult“.

Will he make it? I’m not sure: I’m only in Volume 6 of 8 (Link, released this week), and tragically, the creator of the Manga died in 2009, before she was able to finish her work.

Still: I cannot recommend this enough. Have a look: The US translation is solid, and there are lots of annotations plus some additional essays / resources in the back of each volume.

Goodreads Link to reviews and ratings for Volume 1:…


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XKCD: The best Comics about Love / Romance


The nerdy, clever and incredibly diverse / ecclectic „XKCD – a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language“ (Link) is one of my favorite web-based comic strips. It’s been around since 2005, and there are more than a thousand strips, so far.

There’s also a fun print edition. Here’s the page (Link)!


Last fall, I went through the 1000-odd strips and picked my favorites.

Here are 29 picks… about romance / love. Enjoy!

. Why do you love me?

. Baring my Heart:

. Grownups:

. Turn Signals

. Christmas GPS

. Thoughts

. Facebook:

. Commitment:

. Dating Pools:

. Getting out of Hand:

. Couple:

. Advanced Technology:

. Important Life Lesson:

. Mistranslations:

. Things fall apart:

. Regrets:

. Decline:

. Extrapolating:

. Date:

. Nowhere:

. Natural Parenting:

. You hang up first:

. Leaving:

. Mutual:

. Convincing:

. Empirical:

. Family Decals:


and my favorite: Creepy:

. Light:


It’s hard to believe that the author of xkcd, Randall Munroe (Link), was born in 1984. He’s insightful, acerbic and sounds wise for his age.

It helps that he’s married… and ready to address the more complicated / existential sides of life (Link) if it helps the quality of his work.

I might post other selections of xkcd strips later on. Let me know your personal favorites, too!


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