Jason Shiga

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Jason Shiga
Jason Shiga in Berlin in 2008.
Born 1976
Oakland, California
Nationality American
Area(s) Cartoonist
Notable works
Awards Xeric Award, 1999
Eisner Award, 2004
Ignatz Award, 2004
Stumptown Comics Award, 2007


Jason Shiga is an Asian American cartoonist who incorporates puzzles, mysteries and unconventional narrative techniques into his work.[1]

Early life[edit]

Jason Shiga is from Oakland, California.[2] His father, Seiji Shiga, was an animator who worked on the 1964 Rankin-Bass production Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Shiga was a pure mathematics major at the University of California at Berkeley, from which he graduated in 1998.[2]


Shiga is credited as the "Maze Specialist" for Issue #18 (Winter 2005/2006) of the literary journal McSweeney's Quarterly, which features a solved maze on the front cover and a (slightly different) unsolved maze on the back. The title page of each story in the journal is headed by a maze segment labeled with numbers leading to the first pages of other stories.

Shiga has also drawn and written several comics and illustrated features for Nickelodeon Magazine, some of which feature his original creations, and some starring Nickelodeon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and the Fairly OddParents.

Shiga makes a cameo appearance in the Derek Kirk Kim comic, Ungrateful Appreciation as a Rubik's Cube-solving nerd.

Techniques and materials[edit]

According to the rear credits page of Empire State: A Love Story, Shiga, who was inspired by an actual Greyhound Bus trip from Oakland to New York to create that story, pencilled it with a yellow No. 2 pencil on copy paper. He then inked it with a lightbox and a 222 size Winsor & Newton brush, and lettered it with a Micron 08 felt-tip pen. The colors were applied digitally by John Pham.[2]


  • 2014 Ignatz Award winner: Outstanding Series, Demon.
  • 2014 Ignatz Award nominee: Outstanding Webcomic, Demon.
  • 2012 Harvey Award nominee: Best Letterer, Best Inker, Best Writer, Best Artist, Empire State.
  • 2011 Harvey Award nominee: Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers, Meanwhile.
  • 2007 Eisner Comic Industry Award nominee: Best Graphic Album, Bookhunter.
  • 2007 Ignatz Award nominee: Outstanding Graphic Novel, Bookhunter.
  • 2007 Stumptown Comics Award winner: Best Writing, Bookhunter.
  • 2004 Eisner Comic Industry Award nominee: Best Single Issue or One-Shot, Fleep.
  • 2004 Ignatz Award winner: Outstanding Story, Fleep.
  • 2003 Eisner Comic Industry Award winner: Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition.
  • 1999 Xeric Award winner: Double Happiness.



  • Double Happiness, 2000 Shigabooks
  • Fleep, 2002 Sparkplug Comics
  • Bookhunter, 2007 Sparkplug Comics (French translation, éditions Cambourakis, 2008)
  • Meanwhile, 2010 Amulet Books
  • Empire State - A Love Story (or Not), 2011 Abrams

Self-published minicomics[edit]

  • Phillip's Head, 1997
  • The Adventures of Doorknob Bob, 1997
  • Mortimer Mouse, 1997
  • The Family Circus (parody), 1997
  • The Last Supper, 1997
  • Grave of the Crickets, 1998
  • The Bum's Rush, 1998
  • The Date, 1999
  • Meanwhile..., 2001
  • Hello World, 2003
  • Bus Stop, 2004


  1. ^ Arnold, Andrew D., "The Puzzling World of Jason Shiga", Time.com November 1, 2002
  2. ^ a b c Shiga, Jason. Empire State: A Love Story (Or not) Abrams Comicarts; New York: 2011

External links[edit]