Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5 Image 6 Image 7 Image 8
Just So Happens

Just So Happens


Price: $24.95

  • Additional formats:
  • Publication Date: March 17, 2015
  • Imprint: Abrams ComicArts
  • Trim Size: 6 12 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781419715952
  • Page Count: 160
  • Illustrations: Fully illustrated
  • Rights: North America English

Yumiko was born in Japan but has made a life in London, losing herself in its cosmopolitan bustle. She has a gallery show of her art, a good job, and a good guy she plans to marry. The culture she grew up in seems very far away—until her brother phones with the news that their father has died. Yumiko returns to Tokyo and finds herself immersed in the rituals of death while also plunged into the rituals of life—fish bars, bullet trains, pagodas—as she confronts the question of where her future really lies. Just So Happens deals both gently and powerfully with grief, identity, and the pressure not to disappoint one’s parents, even after they’re gone, in a look at the relationships that build the foundation of our lives.


“It’s a thoughtful story about grief, outsiders, and moving beyond family expectations.”
Just So Happens is a thoughtful, subtle and smart graphic novel. It presents one of those quiet stories that sticks in your mind with its charming spirit and depth.”
Comics Bulletin
“Delicate lines and vivid watercolors create bold and flowing scenes, as well as a slow, ethereal Japanese summer.”
Publishers Weekly
“An intimate and thoughtful story that highlights the struggles Asian immigrants face in assimilating to Western cultures.”
Shelf Awareness
“Obata’s book is refreshingly understated; his sparse dialogue leaves lots of room for his expressive, water-colored imagery, which can appear cartoony or super-detailed or dreamlike, depending on the storytelling needs.”
“The strength of some graphic novels, as with the prose kind, is the power to make you think. Such is the case with Just So Happens by writer/artist Fumio Obata.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

About the author

Fumio Obata was born in Tokyo and moved to England in 1991. He studied illustration at the Glasgow School of Art and received his master’s from the Royal College of Art in London. As an animator, Obata has worked with Duran Duran and the UK’s Channel 4. He lives in Gloucestershire, England.