Kazu Kibuishi

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Kazu Kibuishi
Kazu Kibuishi 2018.jpg
Kibuishi at the 2018 Texas Book Festival
BornKazuhiro Kibuishi
(1978-04-08) April 8, 1978 (age 41)
Tokyo, Japan
Area(s)Writer, Artist
Notable works
Flight, Amulet

Kazuhiro "Kazu" Kibuishi (born April 8, 1978) is an American graphic novel author and illustrator. He is best known for being the creator and editor of the comic anthology Flight and for creating the webcomic Copper. He is also the author and illustrator of the ongoing Amulet series.

Early life and education[edit]

Kibuishi was born April 8, 1978, in Tokyo, Japan.[1][2][3] He moved to the United States with his mother and brother in 1982.[2][3]

Kibuishi enrolled at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1996 in pursuit of a film studies degree.[4] While attending UC Santa Barbara, he credits the university's newspaper, the Daily Nexus, as where his illustration career started.[4] Despite previously drawing for his high school's newspaper, "[His career] all began when I started writing comics for the Nexus. I actually went to UCSB for film. I was trying to quit drawing."[4] He would ultimately serve as the Art Director for the Daily Nexus for three and a half years, and developed his comic Clive and Cabbage during his tenure.[4] He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2000 with a B.A. in film studies.[5]


Kibuishi started drawing at age five.[6] He has stated that it was "the sadness that came from no longer having cool robot TV shows like Ultraman around once we came to the States that triggered a lot of my early drawings and projects."[7] He has also noted Garfield and the magazines Mad Magazine, and CARtoons as catalysts for his love of comic books in particular.[7]

After he graduated from UC Santa Barbara, Kibuishi worked as an animator for Shadedbox Animations for two years.[4] He decided to leave animation to focus on comics, where he could spend more time writing.[8] He started producing the monthly comic Copper at his website which ran for seven years, ending in 2009.[9]


Flight was conceived by Kibuishi as an anthology with contributions coming from friends.[10] The project was promoted at the Alternative Press Expo, where it attracted the attention of Erik Larsen, then-new publisher of Image Comics.[11] This caused the project to explode, attracting talent from all over the industry.[11] Image published the first volume in 2004 and the anthology series concluded with the eighth volume in 2011.[12]


Following the conclusion of Flight, the Explorer series was Kibuishi's anthology for children using many of the same contributors to Flight.[13][14] Seen as a successor series, Explorer covered three books and concluded with Explorer: The Hidden Doors.[9][15][16]


Kibuishi is the creator of Amulet, a series of graphic novels which debuted in 2008 with The Stonekeeper.[2][3] Scholastic won the rights to publish the series after they were victorious in a hotly contested auction.[2][3] In addition to The Stonekeeper, other titles in the series include The Stonekeeper's Curse, The Cloud Searchers, The Last Council, Prince of the Elves, Escape From Lucien , Firelight and Supernova. The series currently has eight books.[17]

Other projects[edit]

While editing Flight Volume 1, Kibuishi created the 4-issue steampunk graphic novel Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, published by Viper Comics.[18]

Through his relationship with Scholastic, Kibuishi was asked to illustrate the covers for the Harry Potter novels for inclusion in the 15th anniversary edition box set.[19][20]

He also illustrated the story "?" for the short story collection Machine of Death.

Honors and awards[edit]

Kibuishi's Flight Volume 2 was nominated for the 2006 Eisner Award for Best Anthology.[21] Daisy Kutter: The Last Train was named as one of the 2006 Best Books for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association.[22]

His series Amulet has spent numerous weeks on The New York Times' Best Seller list.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Kibuishi is married to fellow illustrator and collaborator Amy Kim Ganter.[5] He has two children, Juni and Sophie.[5] He resides in Bellevue, Washington.[9] He suffered a life-threatening case of bacterial meningitis which resulted in a hospital stay for weeks and being induced into a coma for treatment.[20]


  1. ^ "The Cloud Searchers". boltcity.com. December 21, 2009. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d "Scholastic to Publish Amulet By Breakout Graphic Novelist Kazu Kibuishi". www.prnewswire.com. August 9, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "SCHOLASTIC GETS KAZU KIBUISHI'S 'AMULET'". ICv2. August 9, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Heidari, Nader (April 30, 2008). "Former Nexus Artist Captures Movie, Novel Deals". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d "Kazu Kibuishi and Raina Telgemeier". www2.bookstore.washington.edu. September 25, 2014. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Smallwood, Carol (April 9, 2015). "Kazu Kibuishi – Making Comics and Graphic Novels". akasl.org. Alaska Association of School Librarians. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ a b "CREATIVE SPOTLIGHT: EPISODE #9 – KAZU KIBUISHI". japancinema.net. December 30, 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ Hunter, Travis (April 30, 2004). "Animator to Return for Career Panel". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  9. ^ a b c Beaver, Ty (March 12, 2015). "Graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi to work with young Tri-City writers". Tri-City Herald. Kennewick, Washington. Retrieved July 6, 2015.[dead link]
  10. ^ Weiland, Jonah (February 6, 2004). "TAKING 'FLIGHT': KAZU KIBUISHI TALKS NEW INDY ANTHOLOGY". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Weiland, Jonah (April 15, 2004). "KAZU KIBUISHI AND FRIENDS TAKES "FLIGHT" AT IMAGE". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  12. ^ Dueben, Alex (July 7, 2011). "KAZU KIBUISIHI TAKES A FINAL "FLIGHT"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  13. ^ May, Michael (June 20, 2013). "Did we know there's a new 'Explorer' anthology coming?". robot6.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  14. ^ Alverson, Brigid (June 21, 2012). "Kazu Kibuishi's Latest Anthology, 'Explorer: The Mystery Boxes'". www.publishersweekly.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  15. ^ Dueben, Alex (September 5, 2014). "KAZU KIBUISHI CONTINUES THE SAGA OF "AMULET"". robot6.comicbookresources.com. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  16. ^ "Explorer: The Hidden Doors". boltcity.com. October 8, 2014. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ "New Books On The Way!". boltcity.com. February 23, 2015. Archived from the original on April 12, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ Weiland, Jonah (June 9, 2004). "KAZU GET YOUR GUN: KAZU KIBUISHI TALKS "DAISY KUTTER"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  19. ^ Liu, Jonathan H. (February 13, 2013). "New Harry Potter Covers by Kazu Kibuishi". Wired. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  20. ^ a b Hall, April (August 15, 2014). "5 Questions With… Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet series)". www.reading.org. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  21. ^ "2006 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards". www.hahnlibrary.net. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  22. ^ "2006 Best Books for Young Adults with annotations". www.ala.org. Retrieved July 6, 2015.

External links[edit]