©2020 by Sam Nakahira. Proudly created with Wix.com

ARTIST BIO

I am a 2019 graduate of Grinnell College, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and Gilder Lehrman History Award recipient. Currently, I'm working on my MFA at the Center of Cartoon Studies. My comics have been published or are forthcoming by the Rumpus, Popula, Asian American Writers' Workshop, and Spiralbound. I am also Editor-in-Chief of Threads that Connect Us, a comics anthology for AAPI artists.

Since I was a kid, I would read comics, manga, and graphic novels all day long. Just as my favorite cartoonists and artists have done for me, I aspire to draw stories that transform readers' worlds, perspectives, and thoughts.

I write about things that interest me: food, relationships, history, and my observations about daily living and my travels.  A major theme of my historical and nonfiction comics is giving credit to many Asian Americans for their historical contributions to the US.  As a fifth generation Japanese American, I believe in paying my heritage forward, telling the stories of those who came before me, the Asian immigrants who endured discrimination and hardship to ensure my generation's security and opportunities.

I self published a graphic novel around the history of a Japanese American food retailer named Bill Fujimoto.  You can learn more about my process of creating a historical graphic novel as an undergraduate here: https://www.grinnell.edu/news/love-comics-and-history?fbclid=IwAR2o6A1L3sF1fzWB-bIpe-xPRvKfpSHh8CzS5EeiQqCp5PbEVkNEwMsx6t0

and here https://iexaminer.org/graphic-novel-tells-the-story-of-how-asian-amercians-are-an-essential-part-of-the-history-of-the-food-and-agriculture-industry-in-california/

My focus is on nonfiction and historical comics, but I also enjoy creating shoujo and josei inspired comics that explore the beauty of desire, dreams, and identity through diverse women's perspectives.

 

REVIEWS AND PRESS

February 2020

Jennifer Lee kindly profiled me in the International Examiner.

December 2019

Thank you to Rob Clough and his comics blog, High-Low, for this thoughtful review.

September 2019

Keith McCleary from Entropy Magazine featured me in the New Comics Section.

 

PUBLICATIONS

January 2020

December 2019

“My Grandparent’s Hawaiian Mangoes,”  Asian American Writers’ Workshop. https://aaww.org/hawaiian-mangoes-sam-nakahira/

December 2019

“Japanese American Chocolate Pioneers,” The Rumpus.  https://therumpus.net/2019/12/spotlight-japanese-american-chocolate-pioneers/

November 2019

November 2019

October 2019

“Teaching The Liberal Arts in Prison,” Popula. https://popula.com/2019/10/08/teaching-the-liberal-arts-in-prison/

September 4, 2019

“Sam Nakahira Illustrates the Dark History of U.S. Immigration Policy.” Mochi Magazine. https://www.mochimag.com/mochi-magazine/sam-nakahira-illustrates-the-dark-history-of-us-immigration-policy

August 23, 2019

“International Dog of Mystery: Snoopy in Japan.” Popula. https://popula.com/2019/08/23/international-dog-of-mystery/

August 22, 2019

“How Manga Characters Got Their Eyes.” F(r)iction. https://frictionlit.org/how-manga-characters-got-their-eyes/

August 21, 2019

“Japanese American Food Pioneers of California Cuisine.” Asian American Writers Workshop. https://aaww.org/japanese-american-food-pioneers-of-california-cuisine/

August 2019

“Remembering Lahaina Fried Soup,” Spiralbound.  https://medium.com/spiralbound/remembering-lahaina-fried-soup-7814184d6f8f

May 2019

Bill’s Quiet Revolution, self published.

April 2019

“Reflections on My Quiet Nature.” The Rumpus. https://therumpus.net/2019/04/spotlight-reflections-on-my-quiet-nature/

March 20, 2019

“George Shima, the Potato King,” Whetstone Magazine Vol. 4.

March 2019

“College Fashion.” Spiralbound. https://medium.com/spiralbound/college-fashion-5817c15ccb89

January 2019

“Local Neighborhood Mochi.” Spiralbound. https://medium.com/spiralbound/local-neighborhood-mochi-95eb059e6b56