Reap rewards through library summer reading program

Award-winning Honolulu artists Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga invite residents for a behind-the-scenes look at their family-friendly comic, “Nemu-Nemu.”

Furuichi and Yoshinaga are the featured artists for the 2008 HSPLS Teen Summer Reading Program at 20 selected public libraries statewide. The program, which started June 12, continues until July 20. Admission is free.

Kaua‘i libraries will host this comic extravaganza at noon, June 25, at the Lihu‘e library and at 3 p.m. at Hanapepe library.

“Nemu-Nemu” is a popular anime-inspired Web comic that follows the adventures of two Japanese school girls, Kana and Anise, and their two mischievous stuffed pets, Anpan and Nemu.

“Nemu-Nemu” playfully explores Japanese culture and the joys of friendships both real and imaginary.

Furuichi and Yoshinaga will present a visual demonstration on the basics and process of creating and posting professional comics.

They were both born in Hawai‘i and graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Furuichi’s comic strip “CultureSHOCK!” in Ka Leo o Hawaii, the university’s student newspaper, captured the attention of famed cartoonist Charles Schultz, who personally chose her strip for the prestigious 1999 Scripps-Howard Charles M. Schultz College Cartooning Award.

Upon graduation from UH-Manoa, Furuichi continued to work in comics while living in California as a colorist for Marvel and Antarctic Press, and translation editor for Studio ICE/Ice Kunion.

In late 2004, Furuichi returned to Hawai‘i and began collaborating with Yoshinaga in 2005 on “Nemu-Nemu.”

Yoshinaga also contributed a comic strip “The Big Picture” to Ka Leo o Hawaii from 1991 to 1992.

During the early 1990s, Yoshinaga worked as a freelance graphic artist until he began a Web design/hosting business with a partner.

In 1998, Yoshinaga became Web site manager for the Honolulu Advertiser, where he worked for several years.

Currently, Yoshinaga is a technology coordinator for Mid-Pacific Institute, where he manages the school Web site and assists faculty and staff.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Hawai‘i and through a grant from the NFL Charities, this 45-minute program is recommended for ages 12 and older and is part of the Kaua‘i Teen Summer Reading Program.

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