“From bringing a little humanity to Sideshow Bob to giving Clint Eastwood some Pussycat ears and a guitar, she’s tweaked scads of pop culture icons and moved them outside of their traditional aesthetic comfort zones.” -Brian Warmoth, Comics Alliance


photo of Nina Matsumoto

Nina at PAX West 2017

A Japanese-Canadian born in BC, Nina has always loved fantasy, science fiction, comics, Japanese art, and, of course, The Simpsons. She’s spent much of her time drawing things and telling stories.

In 2007 she uploaded a manga-style remix image of the Simpsons entitled “The Simpsonzu,” not expecting anything special. It became an overnight success. The appearance of “The Simpsonzu” on deviantART‘s front page caught the attention of the news aggregator Digg and the picture’s appearance on Digg caught the attention of everyone else. Suddenly she was being featured in numerous newspapers and magazines from all over the world and within a week, she got a call from Bongo Comics. They had a manga-style Simpsons story written and wanted her to draw it.

Nina is still drawing Simpsons regularly for Bongo, and her Death Note parody “Murder She Wrote” (from Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #14), received an Eisner Award for “Best Short Story,” one of the most acclaimed award in comics. In addition, she created the graphic novel Yokaiden for Del Rey Manga, illustrated The Last Airbender Prequel: Zuko’s Story, and most recently, drew the childrens’ graphic novel Sparks! for Scholastic Graphix (to be released February 2018).

Outside of her work with The Simpsons, she is a full-time artist for Fangamer, an Arizona video game merchandise company. Through Fangamer, she has illustrated T-shirt designs for numerous notable video games such as Undertale, Shovel Knight, Thimbleweed Park, Windjammers, and more. Her work for Fangamer and other T-shirt companies can be seen in her Shirts section.

Nina is also known for her “mash-up” art style. She either draws pop cultural characters in a different popular artistic style (such as manga The Simpsons or “Rat Fink” Donkey Kong) or combine different characters into a single image (such as Renaissance masters dressed as the Ninja Turtles they inspired or Calvin & Hobbes as Mortal Kombat villains). Through these mash-ups, she pays tribute to the characters she adores in a uniquely humorous manner. Her many mash-ups are featured in her Art section.