Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Anime Adaptation of Midori by Suehiro Maruo... on YouTube!

Yes, more news regarding Uncle Maruo! The anime adaptation of Suehiro Maruo's MIDORI (aka Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show) is currently up on YouTube in its entirety (split nicely between 5 clips). We previously blogged about the trailer and a torrent for the anime, but this should make it a lot easier for more of you to check this flick out. Collected here for your enjoyment (while it lasts):

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:

Just to note, we've just started updating our own Same Hat channel (Tatsumi interview, Kiiiiiii live, with more to come) and tagging lots of favorites that might be of interest to readers of the blog (Hideshi Hino interview, Tezuka anime shorts, etc).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Here is an amazing find from our man in Japan, Clay-- Sorry to be so slow to post this!
Warning: This graphic stuff may be unsuitable for some!

Just to paraphrase a few other posts, NeoSamurai reported that Hugo strikes back, one of the great Japanese guro/horror blogs, has posted the entire scans of the fantastic 1988 book, 江戸昭和競作無惨絵英名二十八衆句 -- aka "28 Famous Scenes of Murder and Verse." This book features gory and outrageous Muzan-e scenes illustrated by Same Hat favorites Suehiro Maruo and Kazuichi Hanawa!!

You can download it in its entirety (86.7MB) here, at least for now.

Muzan-e "無残絵" (Bloody Ukiyo-e) is a subcategory of ukiyo-e prints depicting sex, gore and cruelty. The book is a homage to the famous 1866 series of the same name by artist Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, who is often names as the last great master of Ukiyo-e.

This book couples Maruo & Hanawa's contemporary prints with Yoshitoshi's 19th century Muzan-e, along with commentary on each piece in both English and Japanese. Some of my favorite prints include a few by Suehiro Maruo depicting Hitler & Eva in the bunker, Marc Bolan hanging from a helicopter toting a machine gun, and a scene inspired by Kazuo Umezu's Snake Girl manga! Hanawa's prints are more classically-informed, but the one of a woman strangling her lizard fetus (I know, WTF) is perhaps the most disturbing of the whole bunch.

WHAT A FIND! We name-dropped Yoshitoshi and his bloody Ukiyo-e way back in early posts on this blog, and so we're especially pleased to hear about this and bring it to you. For those that don't want to download the entire .RAR, you can find some scans of Hanawa's prints from the book here.

Many thanks again to: Clay, NeoSamurai and Hugo strikes back!

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Quick post: Last weekend, I found myself in the office for a few hours trying to catch up on work. During a coffee break, trying desperately to stay away from my desk, I decided to whip up gigantic images of a few favorite authors and decorate the office hallway (That makes sense, right?).

After a few minutes on Rasterbator, 2 cups of coffee and an additional hour on all fours taping the pieces together later, here are the results:



Edgar Allan Poe: America's Favorite Anti-Transcendentalist

H.P. Lovecraft: The Master of Cosmic Horror

I thought you guys might enjoy those. Future additions for the next time I get bored at work: Franz Kafka and Shirley Jackson!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Kiiiiiii Party!

Taking a quick break from manga news & scanlations, here are some clips from a rad show I saw on Wednesday. The event featured openers Dreamdate and Scrabbel, and was headlined by art-noise duo Kiiiiii! from Tokyo. This fantastic show was part of the SF Asian American Film Festival.

Flyer by Hellen

Check out these pictures and videos!
Not content with simply creating an awesome flyer, our buddy Hellen rocked the cello with her band Scrabbel:

I had been hearing about Kiiiiiii for a while from Tokyo-area friends like Yasuko (her kiiiiiiii show pics here and here), and knew they were infamous for wild, conceptual shows (Think a capella OOIOO meets Chicks on Speed-- they do covers of Michael Jackson and the Wiggles!), and we were not disappointed. Also keep in mind that lead singer Utako is performing on a seriously sprained ankle, injured jumping off a tall stage at SXSW.

Shouting and call & response is a good way to start:

Seriously, it's just drums + singing, no other instruments:

Dude, Reiko is a fierce drummer!

Utako rocking the maracas, Reiko rocking the gator hand puppet:

Sorry that I couldn't keep the camera steady:

Kiiiiii's show-ending rendition of We're the Bad ('We Are The World' mashed up with MJ's 'Bad'):

My pre-emptive apologies for the video overload. We'll be back to your regularly scheduled horror and gag manga news soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Back in business after after a short lull in activity on the site, I wanted to show off some of the awesome finds we had during two trips to New York this past winter. While both SF and NYC have equally impressive Kinokuniya stores for new English manga releases, New York wins the manga arms race because of one secret weapon, nestled midtown about a block from the New York Public Library... BOOK-OFF!

BOOK-OFF is used-book chain that's pretty ubiquitous in Japan, but only a few exist in the States in LA, Honolulu and New York. For us, this shop (and more specifically, the second-floor used Manga valhalla) is a required stop whenever we're lucky enough to make it out East.

These manga stacks are actually where we've found some of the source materials for past scanlations we've done. The only downside to the place is that the second floor is REALLY HOT and STUFFY (we think intentionally to keep people from standing and reading for hours on end). So, here are some pics of recent gems... YES, this post is basically us bragging about awesome shit we got for cheap!


As some of you may know, Tezuka did tackle a few classics of Western Lit in manga form (the other most notable being Faust). Hearing about this firsthand at the Tezuka Museum in Kansai, I was both baffled and excited to hear that Tezuka had ventured to take on the canonical, existential tale of Raskolnikov. The story is really dense, even in comic form (duh) and the panel work is a weird mix of his 1950s style and more experimental layouts-- for example, holding the fixed and limited vantage point of the stairwell for pages and pages, while we know that Raskolnikov is inside killing the old pawnbroker and workmen are just down the stairs (in and out of the bottom of the panel) was an intense and interesting choice.

It's also vaguely weird and compelling to see the conflict between the detective Porfiry and Raskolnikov portrayed by Tezuka's archetypal cast of characters.

I'm not sure that Tezuka's Crime and Punishment is that hard to track down in Japan, but it seems most American fans of Buddha, Astroboy and Phoenix might not yet be aware of it. You can read more details on the Tezuka site. Please enjoy these pics... (Oh, and in case you were wondering, he DOES manage to polish off the entire novel in only 130 pages of manga!)

The insane and gross The Tale of Hardy Hendrix By Manga Taro

Kasei Rumba (Martian Rumba) by my man, Yoshida Sensha!

And perhaps the greatest find we could possibly hope for: An original, hardcover COLOR edition of UTSURUN DESU Vol.1 (伝染るんです) by Yoshida Sensha!

..and finally, LONG LIVE THE KING!!

Happy non-religious Vernal Equinox today! More manga news posts are coming soon. Regarding our scanlations, last night I finally finished the translation for Yoshida Sensha's The Young Bandit and passed the script on to Evan for touch-up and lettering. More soon, I proooooomise!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Suehiro Maruo TATTOO Sighting

To date, this is the only the second horror manga tattoo we've ever seen (remember the Kazuo Umezu tattoo from last year?). But, this might be the most radical personal tribute to Guro/Horror manga in existence (hyperbole? we think not). Evan's friend Beth -- a Japanese horror & Suehiro Maruo fangirl hailing from Sacramento -- had previously posted some in-progress pics of her full back tattoo on her LJ.

During our recent NYC trip, we opened up a copy of Japanese tattoo magazine TATTOO BURST to find... a picture of Beth modeling her completed tattoo: Midori (the Camellia Girl) from Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show! All we can say is: WOW!!



Friday, March 02, 2007

NYCC REPORT (better late than never!)

This past weekend was a bit of a whirlwind: Evan & I flew out to New York to stay with our buddy at Columbia and attend NEW YORK COMIC CON! And yeah, basically everyone else has already posted their con reports, but it's taken me a few days to get this thing pieced together. In between freezing our asses off, hanging out all night with new & old friends, and dropping by a few touristy spots, we managed to get to NYCC for a few hours on Friday night and most of Saturday.

As some other bloggers have mentioned, NYCC itself was a mixed bag this year, as far as programming & exhibitors go. It wasn't nearly as well-planned or glitzy as San Diego, while at the same time the indie scene kids that show up at things like APE were nowhere to be found. I have high hopes for future incarnations, but so far the con doesn't seem like it really knows what it wants to be about yet: celebrities? manga? media tie-ins? the mainstream comic hegemony?

[EDIT: Here is the best recap of the con I've seen yet, in 4-panel comic form by Michael Kupperman!]

- Taking an actual vacation from work and going on a cross-country trip like Evan & I used to do in the old days.
- Hanging out three consecutive nights with an utterly awesome crew of friends (me, Evan, Nate, Anne from Vertical, Eric & Michelle from Giant Robot) for drinks, Oscars watching and karaoke madness.

NEWS & NOTABLES FROM NYCC (according to Same Hat):
  • Vertical in 2007 is lined up to be the new manga powerhouse and moving into awesome territory. At their booth, Vertical handed out thick manga samplers highlighting their upcoming titles. I picked up my official copy of To Terra Vol.1 by Magnificent 49er Keiko Takemiya, and that book does NOT disappoint. I'm about 2/3 through it as of right now, so I'll post properly once I've had a chance to digest it (and read the Vol.2 preview!).

    Their Aranzi Aronzo line of toy/craft books are off and running (and so damn cute), but the big news for us is the summer release of Tezuka's APOLLO SONG. They describe it as "Philip Roth meets Philip K. Dick," and it'll be another immaculate huge-form edition similar to Ode To Kirihito. What more could you ask for? Other upcoming manga releases in late 2007 include 3 volumes of the Guin Saga manga, Takemiya's Andromeda Stories and Tezuka's MW (I know, HOLY SHITBALLS!).

    Also from Vertical, on the purely textual front-- David Kalat's J-Horror tome looks to be very solid. We've included pics & clips from his talk below.

  • Good & bad news on the horror manga front from Viz & Dark Horse. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Dark Horse stopped caring about horror manga in 2007 (ouch!), but that was definitely the image they were projecting at NYCC. To be clear, we still love Dark Horse and have been buying up all the adventurous & high-quality horror manga they've been putting out. However, we are slightly worried about their committment to these titles, and the booth presence didn't help to assuage these fears.

    Their booth was Star Wars & Hellboy-d out, with a few copies of Trigun on the table for effect. They DID feature a really gorgeous MPD Psycho banner (and the DH guy I know via work was really excited about the series), but no Ito, no Umezu and no Housui Yamazaki. Check out this note on the MPD Psycho DH page: "Originally licensed by another U.S. publisher, MPD-Psycho was deemed too shocking for them to release. But Dark Horse is always prepared to give manga readers what they want!" Interesting stuff-- does anyone know who originally licensed this one?

    We did get official word though (as if you couldn't guess it): Museum of Terror 4 (and beyond) is NOT happening. Bummer x1000 on that one.

    In other horror news, Viz confirmed officially that they will be re-releasing Gyo & Uzumaki under their Signature imprint (home to Drifting Classroom and Golgo 13). This is great news because 1) the titles have become semi-out of print and hard to track down and 2) the Signature editions will be unflipped in the original Japanese format. Nice work, Viz!

  • The old dudes still know how to work it. NYCC didn't feature any of the contemporary artists I've been dying to finally meet, like Charles Burns, Michael Kupperman or Lynda Barry, but the old guard of white dudes was in full effect, including JIM STERANKO, STAN LEE and... ROB LIEFELD?? See below for pics!

  • Meeting lovely people is easy (when you know where to look). We had really good luck meeting and hanging out with the Giant Robot kids, Brigid from MangaBlog, Stephen from Fanfare, author David Kalat & book designer Chip Kidd. Pictures below!

  • The Indie comics/Manga/female readership thing is NOT HAPPENING: the overarching vibe at NYCC. Eric nailed this on his blog, saying "Comicons are usually about comics and what's around it, but NY is still in the dark ages. Comics reign. The toy thing isn't really happening in NYC." We really had a fucking blast, but I certainly felt the comics old guard was in full effect both among attendees and a majority of exhibitors.

  • We missed some people this time-- APE, San Diego here we come! Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to run into a few bloggers/readers that we were hoping to meet in person. Typolad, Pedro, Chris-- sorry we missed you! Let us know if you'll be at APE or San Diego and we'll remedy this with a quickness! (FYI: Same Hat is tabling as part of the Bang Gang at APE again this year, with our friends Derek, Hellen & Anthony)


The very generous Stephen Robson, editor of Fanfare/Ponent Mon, hooked us up with free books and told us about his upcoming releases. We're planning to do a big post soon, featuring the beautiful graphic novels they've put out, including the award-winning Japan: As Viewed by 17 Creators, amazing Jiro Taniguchi books and Kazuichi Hanawa's Doing Time.

Manga blogger powerhouses finally come face to face! We were absolutely delighted to meet & chat with Brigid Alverson of MangaBlog! Anne & I decided that she'd basically be the coolest aunt ever, and are demanding she adopts us. If you don't already read it, (You don't? Are you a loooser?) MangaBlog is basically THE place for a daily round-up of all things manga-related on the web. I check it every morning over my first cup of coffee :)

David Kalat, author of Vertical's new J-Horror: The Definitive Guide to The Ring, The Grudge and Beyond, gave a really informative and well-researched talk with lots of video clips (including a Bollywood remake of The Eye!). Hopefully we'll be able to feature an interview with him in an upcoming post as the book's release gets closer.

Clip of David talking about the codification of J-horror standards: black hair, white dresses, scary female ghosts:

David talking about the J-Horror trend of filmmakers making & remaking the same stories:

Dark Horse's house of comics & film tie-ins (but not manga)

Wait, I lied-- Here is their MPD PSYCHO banner!

Tokyo Pop's fully-stocked store/booth.

HANDS DOWN, best cosplayer of the entire con! The Stormtrooper King!

Spiderman cosplayer is bringing sexy/black.

Fanboys abound, including this dude with the BEST SHIRT EVER. (yes, that is a silk ninja vs. viper bowling shirt)

After seeing this, my current obsession with the new Dr. Who will never be the same.



Living legend (and Karl fucking Lagerfeld look-alike) JIM STERANKO! We bought beautiful calendar pin-ups of naked female superheroes from him.

STAN the man LEE, famous for his numerous film appearances. Oh yeah, and inventing every superhero archetype ever.

Somehow Rob Liefeld honestly hasn't aged a single day. He still draws thighs the size of oak trees and heads the size of Beanie Babies.

After the con, we found our way to Kinokuniya NYC & BOOK OFF:

Death Note...coming soon to American theaters?

Out on DVD already, the MAIL movie adaptation?!

The Cromartie High School live action film on DVD!

TOKYOPOP we love you, but how can you beat the original Japanese covers of Dragon Head?

BLOWS YOUR MIND: Dragon Head Volume 1 original cover

...and Volume 4

...and Volume 10

Well, we'll be back in NYC again soon, most definitely, but for now:

Goodbye snow!