Helen McCarthy has been researching and writing about Japanese popular culture since 1981. After a decade hearing that there was "no interest in that sort of thing" she founded a magazine, Anime UK, to disprove the claim. Her first book was published just over a year later, and she's been writing about anime, manga and Japan ever since. Her work has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian and Korean.
In 2010 she won a Harvey Award - the Oscars of the comics world - for her tenth book, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga. The book was also nominated for an Eisner Award. Helen's other awards include a Japan Foundation Award for furthering understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom, and a Society of Authors/Sasakawa Foundation award.
She designs needlework, which led to the creation of Manga Cross-Stitch, a book for those who want to use the energy of Japanese popular culture in their own embroidery. Combining a basic cross stitch course and a potted history of manga with a toolkit for designers and a wealth of fresh, enjoyable, easy-to-stitch charts, it has been welcomed by a host of stitchers.
She also writes poetry and tweets haiku and random nonsense daily. In her spare time, she studies and re-creates historic clothing and costume. She lives in London with an artist and a universe of toys.