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Punchkinhead, the Never-Give-Up Boy

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
by Tomoki Kawada
That line never made that much sense to me until this past year. I've definitely been through some ups and downs in my life but never so far up and so far down and never in periods so close together. Besides going through some severe life changes, early this Fall I lost two very dear relatives. I'm separated from their families by a whole planet, but contact through the internet kept me in the loop. I still felt helpless because I couldn't physically comfort or be comforted by those I love. It was an awful crushing helplessness, the kind that try men's souls.
by Awai
In the midst of all that I had learned that my cousin's little baby boy was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). Following his progress on Facebook, I learned that he was continually suffering through tests and treatments and I could only imagine how tough things are on him and his family. However, looking at pictures of him, I saw smile after smile after big, goofy, wonderful smile!
Bang!! It hit me like a ton of bricks, if he could go through all that and still have enough smiles to go around, then I could sure as heck get off my lazy whiner butt and do something. Thinking about what I could do, I first looked at what resources I had at my disposal. I create characters, I write stories, and I have a huge network of creative people that I can ask help from. That was the answer, I'll make an artbook/children's book and sell it online! The proceeds would go to the charity Holden's Hope which was set up to help ease the financial burden of leukemia treatment. I did some research and found that self-publishing was the way to go. I was inspired by little smiley himself to create a character that epitomized that never-give-up spirit. I sent out a call for help to all my creative friends and within a month, I had a story, 35 illustrations, and the first draft of Punchkinhead, the Never-Give-Up Boy.

By Yuki
Punchkinhead is a little boy who loves to do little boy things and with his best friend Happy the Cat has all kinds of adventures. He visits the dreams of kids all over the world and shares smiles with those who need them. I wrote the story after I got the art because I didn't want to limit the artists' creativity. The result makes me so proud to have such wonderful and talented friends. And Holden- that brave little boy - his never-give-up spirit makes me proud to be part of his family.


Punchkinhead, the Never-Give-Up Boy, story by Patrik Washburn, art by J.A.M.A.D. is 40 pages with 35 amazing full-color illustrations by some of Japan's most amazing artists. And now it's on sale!! All profits made from every copy sold will go to Holden's Hope and I hope that the book itself will bring a smile to those who come across it.
By Yoshiko
This whole experience has showed me that distance is a trivial thing and that people can really make a difference when they put their hearts and minds behind an idea.
To show my appreciation for the hard work of everyone who contributed, I'm having a page set up so that people can visit the homepages of the artists whose art graces the book. The homepage should go up in a day or two: http://patokon.com/jamad
Since I couldn't credit all the illustrators at once, I decided to make a group name that embodied the spirit of this endeavor - Japan Artists Make A Difference (J.A.M.A.D.). Please show your support for the artists by dropping by their homepages and checking out the fantastic work they do. Also, drop me a line with Punchkinhead in the subject line and tell me how you like the book. And SPREAD the WORD!!

Cheers!

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