Japanese comic artist Fumio Obata on searching for Kafka in Prague

Photo: Czech Literary Centre

Fumio Obata is a British-based Japanese comic artist who specializes in ‘comic reportage’. This summer, he spent a three-week residency programme in Prague, organised by the Czech Literary Centre in cooperation with the international Lakes Comic Art Festival, during which he worked on his new book about Franz Kafka. What sparked his interest in the writer? And how does Franz Kafka go together with comics? These are just some of the questions I asked him during his recent visit to Prague:

“I wanted to do something about Franz Kafka, because I have been a fan of his works for a long time. But I wasn’t quite sure about it, because he is an icon, a very influential writer and such a big figure to deal with.

“But after arriving here, I became sure about it and during my stay here I tried to sort out my direction for it. For me, it is like trying to make a personal investigation. That’s why I named it ‘Looking for Franz’.”

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Author: Ruth Fraňková