Old Pond Comics is a cartoon about haiku -- the short 3-line poem from Japan. It follows the adventures of two frogs in a pond: Master Kawazu and his young apprentice Kaeru who wants to learn haiku.
The title of the cartoon is inspired by a famous haiku by Matsuo Basho: “Old pond / a frog jumps in / the sound of the water.” Master Kawazu is the frog who jumped in the pond that day, inspiring one of the world’s most recognized haiku.
When Master Kawazu takes an apprentice to share his knowledge of haiku, the fun begins.
Old Pond Comics was also featured in Geist, ricepaper magazine, Haiku Canada Review, Frogpond, and in Haidan (a haiku journal in Japan).
Learning haiku with cartoons have never been more fun thanks to Old Pond Comics.
If you’re interested in featuring Old Pond Comics in your publication, website, or newsletter, please contact oldpondcomics AT gmail DOT com
Who is the author of Old Pond Comics?
Jessica Tremblay has been writing haiku for twenty years. Her two books of haiku Le sourire de l'épouvantail (2003) and Les saisons de l'épouvantail (2004) were published by Les Editions David in Ottawa. Her poems have been featured in a dozen anthologies.
In 2007, she created Old Pond Comics to share her love of haiku. Since 2013, she's been the official cartoonist-in-residence at Haiku North America, Seabeck Haiku Getaway, and Haiku Hot Springs.
In 2014-2015 she received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and British Columbia Arts Council to pursue her exploration of the new hybrid genre of haiku-cartoons.
Can I publish a comic on my website or my blog?
Yes, as long as you add a link to my website: www.oldpondcomics.com
Can I use your comics in my class?
Absolutely. Old Pond Comics is free for educational use in the classroom. If you wish to use Old Pond in a textbook for publication, please contact me at oldpondcomics AT gmail DOT com.
Is Old Pond Comics available in other languages?
I’ve had this idea for Old Pond for many years before I actually did the first comic. I thought I couldn’t draw so I put the idea aside. I was hoping that, one day, I would meet an artist or a graphic designer that could draw it for me...
In 2007, I opened a basic drawing program on my IBM 95 computer and, just for fun, I tried to see if I could draw a frog... and the first Old Pond Comics was born!
In 2008, the comic was published for the first time in Gong, the journal of the Association Francophone de Haiku, where it's been published in (almost) every issue ever since.
In 2009, I did my first review of a conference in comics form after attending the Haiku Canada weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 2009, I attended Haiku North America conference in Ottawa with two mini-comics for sale (Haiku Canada Connections and The Sound of the Water). I meet two editors - Stanford M. Forrester and George Swede -who expressed interest in Old Pond Comics and invited me to submit comics to their journals.
In 2010, the first Old Pond Comics are published in English in bottlerocket, then in Frogpond (Haiku Society of America).
In October 2010, a series of comics created during 24-Hour Comics Day, explored what would have happened if the frog refused to jump in. The backstory of Master Kawazu is revealed (he is the frog that inspired Basho's famous haiku). The characters are starting to take shape. After meeting Basho, Master Kawazu creates a haiku school and Kaeru the apprentice finds the master, sitting in a pond, and decides to study haiku with him.
On February 2011, Michael Dylan Welch invited people to write one haiku a day for a month. It’s during this first NaHaiWriMo (abbreviation of National Haiku Writing Month) that the first haiku-comics were born. Up until now, the frogs were discussing haiku, but they were not writing it. In the third panel, instead of a joke or a gag, I inserted a haiku (written by Kaeru).
No 575 logo, by Michael Dylan Welch
In June 2011, Old Pond Comics was present at the Haiku Society of America Quaterly Meeting in the form of a digital projection and printed comics samples at the Historic Liberty Theatre during the Bend Art Walk, in Bend (Oregon).
Photo by Michael Dylan Welch
In August 2011, I attended Haiku North America conference in Seattle and did my first presentation Old Pond Haiku Comics (30 minutes).
During the event, I had my laptop with me so, for the first time, I was able to create comics "live", while the conference was still taking place. In the evening, I posted them online (on my blog and my Facebook page) for everybody to read.
During the conference, I sold my first comic book There is no white belt in haiku. Images of Kaeru and Kawazu were also posted on the walls of the Seattle conference centre.
In 2011, Old Pond Comics was featured in the book Lighting the Global Lantern: a teacher’s guide to writing haiku and related literary forms written by Haiku Canada president Terry Ann Carter.
Le Haiku en Herbe, a pedagogical guide on haiku written by isabel Asunsolo, is published in France. The book features the character Kaeru on the cover and inside the pages.
Old Pond Comics is published in The Comics Decoder.
In April 2013, Old Pond Comics is published, along with a three page interview in the monthly journal The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian community, history + culture (PDF) distributed in Japanese cultural centres. Old Pond Comics continues to be published monthly in The Bulletin.
In August 2013, I was the official cartoonist-in-residence during Haiku North America on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, drawing cartoons live during the event and presenting them on the last day of the conference during the Closing session.
In Fall 2013, Old Pond Comics were featured in notepads given to attendees of the Hyderabad Haiku Meet in Hyderabad, India.
In October 2013, I was the official cartoonist-in-residence at Seabeck Haiku Getaway in Seabeck, Washington, drawing cartoons during the event and presenting them on the last day of the conference.
In October 31-November 2 2013, I was the official cartoonist-in-residence at Haiku Hot Springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Prior to the conference, I created cartoons for each of the attendees, based on haiku they submitted to me. During the evening, I created cartoons based on the conference. The next day, I presented the comics and, at the end of the presentation, everybody received a copy of their personalized comic.
In December 2013, I was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant for Professional Writers (Exploratory Writing section) to develop Old Pond Comics into a graphic novel. The grant covers part of my living expenses from January 2014 to October 2015 so I can dedicate most of my time to writing.
In May 2014, at the Haiku Canada Weekend (Ottawa), launch of Slipping between Seasons: 2014 Haiku Canada Members Anthology featuring my cover design and inside illustrations.
In the summer of 2014, I created a wrapper for postcards that were distributed with the 10th Anniversary issue of Gusts in the fall 2014.
In October 2014, Old Pond Comics appear for the first time in the pages of Haiku Canada Review (Vol. 8 no. 2, October 2014) and on the cover.
In the Fall of 2014, I designed illustrations for Sous l'influence..., by Diane Descoteaux, for Editions des Petits Nuages
February 15, 2015: Old Pond Comics (translated in Spanish by Editorial Dreamers) is featured in an exhibit at Digitarte 2015, an event featuring literature, music and technology that took place in Mexico.
Spring: Old Pond Comics is published every Saturday in The Haiku Foundation blog Troutswirl.
May 2015: Old Pond Comics has a table at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (a curated show)
June 2015: Old Pond Comics is published in ricepaper magazine (Summer 2015 issue)
June 2015: I received as British Columbia Arts Council grant to attend two Electronic Literature workshops at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (D.H.S.I.) at the University of Victoria.
July-October 2015: I received a British Columbia Arts Council grant to develop two new Old Pond Comics characters: the goose and the butterfly.
October 14-18, 2015: I attend Haiku North America conference in Schenectady, New York. At a haiga panel, I talk about my Old Pond haiku-comics series. (Check out this video)
October 24, 2015: Old Pond Comics has a table at Canzine West.
January 2016: Old Pond Comics is published monthly in Haidan, a haiku journal published in Japan. The haiku-comics accompanies articles written by Emiko Miyashita on haiku translations.
April 2016: My mini-comic How to Write a Haiku is published in Geist magazine No. 100.
May 2016: I wase the keynote speaker and cartoonist-in-residence at Haiku Canada Week-End in Whitehorse, Yukon.
October 2016: Presentation at the Festival International de Haiku Francophone in Quebec city. I did a presentation about Old Pond Comics and did a reading accompanied by jazz music.
November 2016: Old Pond Comics had a table at Canzine West.
I'm planning to attend Haiku Canada Week-end in Missaussaga, Ontario (May 2017) where I'll launch a 10th anniversary issue of Old Pond Comics, and Haiku North America in Santa Fe, New Mexico (September 2017) where I'll be cartoonist-in-residences and panelist.
2007 Creation of the first Old Pond cartoons (in French and in English)
2008 Gong (journal of the Association francophone de Haiku) publishes the first cartoon in French and continues to publish it monthly.
2009 Haiku Canada Week-End marks my first conference comics
2009 Haiku North America (Ottawa), 2 mini-comics: “Floating World” and “Haiku Canada”
2010 24-hour Comics Day
2010 bottlerocket publishes the first cartoon in English
2010 Frogpond publishes Old Pond Comics
2011 Haiku Society of America Quaterly meeting (Bend, Oregon) digital projection of comics
2011 National Haiku Writing Month (February)
2011 “There’s no white belt in haiku” first comic book
2011 Haiku North America my presentation “Old Pond Haiku Comics”
2011 Lighting the Global Lantern (by Terry Ann Carter) features one chapter on Old Pond Comics
2011 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
2012 National Haiku Writing Month (February)
2012 National Haiku Writing Month (August)
2012 The Comics Decoder
2012 Le Haïku en herbe illustrated by Jessica Tremblay
2012 24-Hour Comics Day
2013 National Haiku Writing Month (February)
2013 The Bulletin: a journal of Japanese Canadian interview and comics (April)
2013 Haiku North America cartoonist-in-residence and closing session (August)
2013 Seabeck Haiku Getaway cartoonist-in-residence and closing session (October)
2013 Hyderabad Haiku Meet (India) prints comics in notepads (October)
2013 Haiku Hot Springs cartoonist-in-residence and closing session (November)
2014 Provides illustrations for Sous l'influence... , written by Diane Descoteaux (Editions des Petits Nuages)
2014 Designs Haiku Canada Members Anthology 2014 cover
2014 Receives Canada Council for the Arts grant to continue explore the hybrid genre of haiku-comics (January)
2015 Old Pond Comics are published on The Haiku Foundation blog every Saturday
2015 Receives British Columbia Arts Council grant to attend two Electronic Literature workshops at the Digital Summer Institute at the University of Victoria.
2015 Receives British Columbia Arts Council grant to develop two new Old Pond Comics characters: the goose and the butterfly.
2015 Haiku North America (Schenectady, New York): panelist (haiga)
2016 Haidan (Japan) publishes haiku-comics every month
2016 Haiku Canada Week-end (Whitehorse, Yukon): keynote speaker and cartoonist-in-residence
2016 Festival de Haiku Francophone (Quebec city): presenter
2017 Haiku North America (Santa Fe, New Mexico): cartoonist-in-residence and panelist
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