Photo of Nina Matsumoto (2018)

Nina is an illustrator and first generation Japanese-Canadian born in Vancouver, BC. She currently designs video game merchandise and apparel while drawing award-winning comics on the side.

In 2007, she uploaded a manga-style image of the Simpsons titled “The Simpsonzu,” not expecting anything special. It went viral overnight. 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. It became her first art job, and she went on to pencil 40 stories for Simpsons Comics and Bart Simpson Comics, as well as illustrate pieces for the Vault of Simpsonology book series.

In 2009, her Death Note parody “Murder She Wrote” (Simpsons Treehouse of Horror #14) received an Eisner Award for “Best Short Story,” one of the most acclaimed awards in comics. She also created the graphic novel Yokaiden for Del Rey Manga and illustrated The Last Airbender Prequel: Zuko’s Story.

In 2011, her favourite Japanese TV show Game Center CX visited Los Angeles for an overseas trip special. Though she couldn’t attend, she drew a commemorative piece and had a local fan gift it to the host as a poster print. The show’s producer was so impressed with her art, he made it the cover to the DVD release of that very episode. He has since hired her to draw a birthday gift for the host, and a variant poster for Game Center CX: The Movie. They collaborated on a children’s book in 2016, which has since been released as I’m Stuck In A Video Game with an English translation by Nina (who is fluent in Japanese).

Most recently, Nina teamed up with friend and comedian Ian Boothby who wrote the Eisner-Award Winning “Murder She Wrote”. Together they created Sparks!, a childrens’ graphic novel published by Scholastic in 2018, which won multiple awards, including a 2019 BC Book Prize in the illustrated children’s literature category. Its sequel, Sparks! Double Dog Dare, was released in 2020.

Today, she is busy working as a full-time artist and designer for Fangamer, an Arizona-based video game merchandise company. Through Fangamer, she has designed shirts, pins, hats, plushes, and other apparel and accessories for numerous video games hits such as Undertale, Hollow Knight, Okami, Dark Souls, Silent Hill 2, Metal Gear Solid, Persona 5, and more.

As of 2022, Nina still lives in Vancouver, and her dream job is to draw something for Beck.

Nina Matsumoto and “Sparks!” writer Ian Boothby at TCAF 2018


A photo of Nina Matsumoto holding up a glass trophy shaped like the province of British Columbia with her right arm, a copy of Sparks Double Dog Dare in her left hand.
Nina with her 2021-2022 Chocolate Lily Award


nina matsumoto

comic art & illustration • vancouver bc, canada

Artist & Designer at Fangamer (2017-present)
Designer of apparel, prints, and merchandise. Creates illustrations and designs for client IPs based on own vision. Works within a creative team to provide feedback to other projects.

Freelance Artist (2007-present)
Self-employed illustrator hired for T-shirt design, book covers, book interior art, promotional posters, and more. Past clients include Capcom USA, Game Center CX, Polygon, Supergiant Games, and Sterling Publishing.

Penciler at Bongo Comics (2007-2018)
Regular penciler for Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson Comics, and other offshoot titles. Illustrated books tied into the Simpsons franchise.

other comic work

ArtistSparks! Double Dog Dare2020
PencilerElements Anthology: Fire2017
Artist/WriterCloudscape Comics – Bones of the Coast2017
ArtistCautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Asia Edition2016
ArtistIron Circus Comics – New World2015
Artist & Cover ArtistCloudscape Comics – Mega Fauna2014
ArtistCautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Africa Edition2014
ArtistCloudscape Comics – Waterlogged: Tales from the Seventh Sea2013
ArtistDel Rey Manga – The Last Airbender Prequel: Zuko’s Story2010
Artist/WriterDel Rey Manga – Yokaiden 22009
Artist/WriterDel Rey Manga – Yokaiden 12008

other artwork

IllustrationWayForward - Bloodstained: Classic Mode end credit art2020
Cover artAdult Swim Games - Duck Game2019
Book CoverGascoin Company (Japan) – Game Center CX: Sakka Kibe no Chousen2018
Poster artMega64 - Anime Expo Exclusive2018
Cover artTwitch Speedrunning Community2017
Poster artMega64 - SDCC Exclusive2017
Poster artMega64 - Anime Expo Exclusive2017
Cover ArtThimbleweed Park2017
Cover ArtCapcom USA - The Disney Afternoon Collection2017
Poster artMega64 - PAX West exclusive2016
Book IllustrationGascoin Company (Japan) – Game No Naka Ni Haichatta2016
IllustrationPolygon - Big @ E3 header2016
Poster artMega64 - Anime Expo exclusive2016
Public ArtComics in Transit Project2015
IllustrationUDON – published in Capcom Fighting Tribute book2015
Promotional PosterVancouver Comic Arts Festival2015
Book IllustrationSterling Publishing – Fit To Be Bride2015
Title LogoConatus Creative – River City Ransom: Underground2014
Film PosterGascoin Company (Japan) – Game Center CX: The Movie2013
Game CoverConatus Creative – River City Ransom: Underground variant cover2013
LogoVancouver Anime Convention Society2012
DVD CoverGascoin Company (Japan) – Game Center CX in USA DVD2012
IllustrationOhta Books (Japan) – Game Center CX V book2011
IllustrationUDON – published in Mega Man Tribute book2011
Book Cover100 Page Press – Own Your Space: A Guide to Facebook Security2010
Book Cover100 Page Press – Own Your Space2009
CharactersJuniour Heroes – Legends of the Tide character designs and art2007
Book CoverUBC – Uprooted: UBC’s Undergraduate Literary Magazine2004

awards & recognitions

Chocolate Lily Award WinnerBC's Best Chapter Book/Early Novel Sparks! Double Dog Dare2021-2022
Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award WinnerBest Grades 4-6 Graphic Novel for Sparks!2019-2020
BC Book Prize WinnerChristie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize for Sparks!2019
Ontario Library AssociationBest Bets pick for Sparks!2018
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens pick for Sparks!2018
YALSA “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” PickYokaiden 1 & Yokaiden 2010
Winner “Best Short Story”Eisner Award for Murder He Wrote2009
Winner “Best New OEL Manga” for Yokaiden 12008
Winner “Outstanding Science Fiction Comic” WCC Awards for Saturnalia2004