The man behind Man and Ultraman (of the two, the only one with a functioning circulatory system) is known to most as journalist, playwright, editor, sometime science geek and American Southerner Patrick Sharbaugh. In July 2007, Patrick left his cushy gig as the arts and entertainment editor at a hip alt-weekly newspaper in the historic oceanside Eden of Charleston, South Carolina to get to know Japan a little better, and maybe, in some small fashion, himself. He spent his first eight months in the rural, eastern coastal city of Fukui, on the Sea of Japan just about smack in the middle of the country’s curvaceous waistline. In February, he moved to the neon-and-concrete jungle of Osaka. In June, a clerical mistake (not his, he swears) resulted in his getting bounced from the country for a year. Choosing to take this as a not very subtle cosmic hint from the beyond, and also not having much choice, he spent the following two months traveling in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. (He also visited Singapore, but seeing as it’s both a country and a city and, frankly, too efficient to be interesting, he sometimes forgets to mention it.) At the end of this Southeast Asian pilgrimage, he found himself back in Saigon, where he stumbled into a vocation he frankly never considered but has since discovered uniquely satisfying: that of university professor. Since September 2008, Patrick has lectured in communications theory at Australia-owned-and-operated RMIT International University to Vietnamese students, who seem to believe he has some idea what he’s talking about. When he’s not bloviating about semiotics, ideology, hegemony and related thinkers, he takes notes for a book he’s writing, shoots lots of photos, and observes the customs, cultural eccentricities, and idiosyncrasies of the Vietnamese homeland and people. In between all this, he waits patiently for inspiration regarding his future, his mission in life, and his place in the universe. If you have any idea what those are, or of a more likely place to find them, please share it with him.