June 30, 2009

Sekitani Norihiro

Summer is making me lazy, this isn't supposed to be a tumblelog. Whatever.

Sekitani Norihiro is an artist that I've been eying for a while but never really checked out. This post is to celebrate the fact that I've finally ordered some of his zines, as soon as they arrive I'll post more about them, providing that they are as good as the following examples of his work promise. His work is almost exclusively collages and almost exclusively awesome:

Now after you've picked up your jaw you might want to read the following interview where he mentions Takashi Nemoto as an influence and check out his website. Over and out.

June 21, 2009

Astro Boy Color Illustrations

I love these old color illustrations by Tezuka. They are all lifted from this book.

Look at that lettering!

And as I bonus I bring you this PISSED OFF Astro from the 1987 American comic:

June 10, 2009


Pinkman is a pretty awesome gay artist living in Tokyo, he was recently inteviewed in the spring issue of BUTT Magazine. He does alot of live painting so if you find yourself in Tokyo make sure to check him out, dates can be found on his website along with more artwork. He claims that his philosophy for life is "Eat curry, wear pink, follow your heart and be nice to fairies."

June 7, 2009

Mind Game


  • Mind Game
  • aka マインド・ゲーム
  • Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, 湯浅政明
  • 2004
  • 103 minutes
  • IMDb
  • CDJapan, Amazon.co.jp

Goosebumps. Mind Game gave me goosebumps the first time I saw it. Mind Game gave me goosebumps the second time I saw it. Mind Game still gives me goosebumps whenever I see it.

It is a movie about meeting your high school sweetheart, going to her sister's resturant to catch up, getting killed by a yakuza shooting you with a pistol jammed up your ass, meeting God, getting a second chance to come back to life, fleeing from said yakuza's yakuza brothers, getting swallowed by a whale and meeting an old man living in the belly of the beast. And then you have 54 more minutes to watch!

The eight-and-a-half minutes the main character, Nishi, spends in purgatory after getting shot are delicious, the way Yuasa portraits God as everything at the same time is genius. It is my favourite part of the movie and works pretty well by itself, take a look.

The movie is visually throbbing, the animation style is constantly changing, one second sketchy, rough and flat, one second round and full 3D animation, one second an impressive colorama, one second a dark and gloomy reality, one second a strange marriage of live action and animation. The plot is thinner than rice paper yet it hits harder than a sledge hammer. Yuasa throws in random vignettes here and there that don't make any sense yet you can't imagine the film without them. The movie is unfocused at best yet I can not stop loving it.

In fact I belive that Mind Game is the animation of the decade.

Mind Game Trailer

The Japanese DVD contains English subtitles and is very import friendly, extra material remains unsubbed though. You can get it through Amazon.co.jp or CDJapan.

June 4, 2009

Manga I want in English

Yup, one of these.

Inio's work is intense

Nijigahara Holograph by Inio Asano
Solanin writer Inio Asano's most praised work on English blogs is called Nijigahara Holograph, finished just prior Solanin. I've read parts of it scanlated but as always I can't bring myself to finish stories I read on the screen. What I managed to read however was excellent and I can't wait for a physical copy. I'm guessing that Viz will publish this next year after they're done with What a Wonderful World. October maybe?

The immortal opening panel of Tsuge's Neji-shiki

Yoshiharu Tsuge collection
Publishing Tsuge in English is the logical step to take for Drawn & Quarterly. After successfullly introducing Tatsumi to the 21st century and releasing gekiga cornerstone Red Colored Elegy the world should be more than ready to embrace Tsuge. His work remains an embarrassing blank spot for Japanese illiterate readers with only three short stories published in English publications so far (more on that in a later post).

Kagomania at its best

Shintaro Kago collection
I would love to see a collection of Kago shorts focusing on his obsession for obsessions and shapes. Considering how hip Kago is I wouldn't be surprised to see a collection dropping soon enough. Maybe something for Picturebox to publish in a luxury edition?

It is okay, it is gekiga

Kamui-den (the 1964 original) by Sanpei Shirato
Alt-avant manga magazine de luxe Garo started for one reason, to run Sanpei Shirato's Kamui-den. That alone makes me want to read it. It is supposed to be really good. Like, REALLY good. Good enough for Vertical to publish it.

I haven't been able to find anything from INSIDE the book

Mind Game by Robin Nishi
I don't know anything about this manga, I haven't seen even a single panel but if the manga is just half as good as the movie it'll be worth buying twice.

Dynamic ping pong action

Ping Pong by Taiyō Matsumoto
VIZ likes Taiyō Matsumoto, no question about it. They've already published beautiful editions of Blue Spring and Tekkonkinkreet with GoGo Monster on the way, so them bringing over Ping Pong doesn't sound farfetched anymore. Five volumes? Easy! Also, they have already released a DVD of the feature length adaptation of the manga in the States so there you go. Also, it was originally published in IKKI so there you go.

It just goes on and on and on like this

Saint Young Men by Hikaru Nakamura
A comedy with Buddha and Jesus on vacation sharing a flat in the middle of modern Tokyo? I'd buy it just to support the mind that cracked the idea!

Panel from the short story Flower (1979)

Early Ōtomo
Katsuhiro Ōtomo did a lot short stories between 1973 and 1995. A very small number of them got published in English as stand alone comics books in the early '90s and they are awesome. I want more. Maybe something for Dark Horse to publish to build up momentum for a reprint of Akira?

(Cropped) scary-ass panel showing how dense Masaaki's atmosphere is

Fuan no tane by Nakayama Masaaki
Fuan no Tane is fucking disgusting. Not in an all-out gorefest way, but in a creepy shit that gets under your skin way. It is a collection of very short horror stories, most under five pages, taking place in everyday locations often ending with a pair of blank eyes staring straight at the reader. Has Dark Horse written all over it.

Panel from Hagio's Heart of Thomas (トーマの心臓), said to be THE Hagio story

Moto Hagio
I want to see what the fuzz is all about, she is another manga master underpublished in English, the queens of shōjo. Somehting for Vertical to publish, it will fit nicely next to their Keiko Takemiya books.

The crude artwork is counter-balanced by her rich stories

Nekojiru did a lot of fucked up shorts. I want to read them. Picturebox brought Nemoto to the States and should be able to bring Nekojiru here as well. AniPages Daily has a translation of a great article on Nekojiru written by Yoshiaki Yoshinaga, please read it: part 1 and part 2.

Maruo's lines just keep on getting prettier and prettier

Panorama-tou Kitan by Suehiro Maruo
Suehiro Maruo leans on Japanese suspense master Edogawa Rampo's stories and for once manages to produce a comic were the story equals the artwork. A Maruo less intrested in gory money shots and more intrested in creating a looming suspense is a Maruo I'm dying to read. Dark Horse will you please release a translation of this manga in a luxurious format? I GUESS LAST GASP WORK5 AS WELL AM I RITE?

A tight and possibly sticky stuation

Gengoroh Tagame
Tagame is the number one gay artist in Japan with several international exhibitions and publications behind him. His men are super masculine mosters involved in super masculine sex closer to classic western gay illustrations and comics than the yaoi manga western readers are usually exposed to. Though, I have no idea who would publish his work in English.

It is okay to laugh, just don't tell anyone that you did

Palepoli by Usamaru Furuya
Parts of Palepoli got published in the Viz collection Secret Comics Japan and it was by far the best work presented in the book. It is a bizzare 4-panel gag manga with dark dark dark jokes. Utterly delicious.