Deb Aoki


  • Creator of the Bento Box comic strip featured in the Honolulu Advertiser from 1996 to 2006
  • Wrote and illustrated five books for adults and children
  • Judges the annual Manga Translation Battle


Deb Aoki is a former writer for ThoughtCo who contributed articles about manga for more than five years. She works as a freelance writer, artist, illustrator, and consultant, providing content to Sony, eBay, Google for Education, PayPal, and many others. 

As a writer, Aoki writes articles and reviews about manga and independent comics for Publishers Weekly, Anime News Network, Graphic Novels Reporter, Honolulu Advertiser, and Honolulu Weekly. She wrote and illustrated two children's books, Old MacDonald Hawaiian Style! Auntie Lulu's Zoo (Hawaya, 2004) and The Best Hawaiian Style Mother Goose Ever! (Hawaya, 2006). Aoki also wrote Project Management for Humans: Helping People Get Things Done (Rosenfeld, 2017) which received a five-star rating on Amazon.

Aoki is the creator of the comic strip Bento Box, which features in the Island Life section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. She compiled some of this work into her book, Deb Aoki's Bento Box: Selected Comics From The Honolulu Advertiser 1996-2006 (Bento Box Press, 2006). A collection of her work created during her years in college, Slice O' Life: The University of Hawaii & Post-Grad Years, 1987 - 1993 (Bento Box Press, 2007), is also in print.

Aoki teaches art classes to children and adults. Since 2013, she has acted as a judge for the annual Manga Translation Battle.


Aoki earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Printmaking and Graphic Design from the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Awards and Publications

LiveAbout and Dotdash

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