Archive for ‘Manga’

That Old East Wind

Dash Shaw has a fascinating take on the new Tezuka book from Abrams and the DVD it contains. His thoughts on “the God of Manga’s” superhuman work-ethic are sobering. (I’m looking forward to getting the book myself, but it’s the Christmas/Chanukah season, so I’m not allowed to buy it just in case).

Coincidentally, over at HU, Stephanie Folse is re-reading the original Elfquest series, reminding me of a time in the early ’80s when the Tezuka fan club among working American comics professionals numbered in the single digits—and most definitely included both Wendy Pini and myself.

Tezuka was, for many years, my favorite cartoonist. I had a bookcase filled with untranslated Tezuka that I studied like the Torah for hours on end. Sometimes I’d close my eyes, reach for a random volume, flip to a random page, and open my eyes again to find a beautiful, inventive, and unique page waiting for me.

Tezuka famously drew well over a hundred thousand pages of comics over the course of forty years. I mentioned this in a little tribute to Tezuka in Zot! in the mid-’80s. Later, one of my readers visited Japan and showed the God of Manga my little comic. His only message back to me was to emphasize “quality over quantity.”

Watching younger cartoonists discover Tezuka for the first time over the last couple of decades has been quietly satisfying. In some ways, I feel like Shaw’s generation of innovators is ready to consider the whole man in a way mine was rarely ready or willing to.

Friday Odds and Ends

Way, way back in the deep recesses of the horrifying guilt-mountain that is my Inbox, I found an old email from one Michelangelo Cicerone forwarding the news of a very cool Historic Tale Construction Kit, which is essentially a Create Your Own Bayeux Tapestry tool. Give it a try if you’re so inclined.

On the night table: Top Shelf’s excellent alternative manga collection AX; Mario and Gilbert Hernandez’s good-old-fashioned twisted comic book adventure Citizen Rex; and Moto Hagio’s lyrical Drunken Dream from Fantagraphics.

To satisfy your weekly Greek webcomic quota, check out the handsomely-drawn Mused by Kostas Kiriakakis.

And finally, here’s an insidious video that’ll burrow its way into your skull forever, courtesy of Warren Ellis. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have a great weekend.

The Pacific is a Big Ocean

Shintaro Kago is a Manga artist you’re unlikely to see at your local Borders or Barnes and Noble anytime soon, but boy, what I wouldn’t give for a collection of his work in English. Some of the craziest experimental comics since Art Spiegelman’s early comics in Arcade (later collected in Breakdowns).

An anthology or two have included short pieces, but because of the pornographic nature of a lot of the images, we’re stuck plowing through scanlation sites to see this master at work.

Rather than point to specific sites, I’ll just encourage you to browse Kago’s various scattered images and click on whatever looks cool, but do search for Kago’s brilliant “Abstraction” (NSFW!) for a real mind-bender.

Here’s an interview with the guy. And if you want to ask the Interwubs to translate it for you, Kago has a blog.