Monday, April 28, 2008


Good news! The editor-in-chief at Vice Magazine has generously sent us a boxful of copies of The 4-ACO-DMT Issue to give out. Thanks again for providing this Shintaro Kago fix for the fans, Jesse!

We didn't get quite, enough copies to send along to everyone who commented and asked for one, so I put together a first-come, first-serve list.

If you're on the list, please shoot me an email soon at samehatATgmailDOTcom with the subject line "MY VICE COPY" and your mailing address. Also, if you're on the list but managed to track down your own copy already, please let me know--- there's about 5 folks on the waiting list who'd love your copy. I'm gonna try to get these all shipped out by the end of the week, so get in touch with me soon!

[UPDATE: 5/2/08]
1) Anonymous K SENT
2) Hellen Will give in person
3) Calvin Will give in person
4) MissUrine SENT
5) Gizmogal SENT
6) Amber SENT
7) Arngrim SENT
9) Minerva Got a copy
10) Bryan Reynolds SENT
11) Myrto SENT
12) Zoe Moss Got a copy
13) colorsduke SENT
14) Lewis Ryan SENT
15) Paul SENT
16) Cyphane SENT

For everyone else, you can still enjoy the entire article online at Vice's site.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I'm working on organizing the 600+ photos I took on my recent Japan trip, and hoping to start posting a recap (with tons of pics of manga, t-shirts and other Same Hat-related oddities) this week. But before that, I wanted to first blog a flyer I scanned today featuring an illustration by Suehiro Maruo.

While at the Tower Records in Shinjuku, I came across a free flyer featuring Maruo's art and grabbed a pile of them. This piece is from a similar set of drawings in the opening section of Panorama-tou Kidan. (I'm hoping to send flyers to folks that buy Electric Ant or win a future Same Hat contest of some sort).

Here is a tour flyer, featuring Suehiro Maruo's cover illustration for the CD/DVD 呪恋 by the band 犬神サーカス団 (Inugami Circus Troupe):

I feel like I've read the name before (also known as Dog-God Circus Troupe online), but never heard their music. For more info you can visit Inugami Circus Troupe's website, or check out their videos on YouTube. Interesting to note, Wikipedia says that "They started in 1994 when Kyoko placed an advertisement in Garo, a manga magazine."

Other album covers by Inugami Circus Troupe include a parody of King Crimson's famous In The Court Of The Crimson King cover, and an album called Panorama of Hell, with a cover illustrated by Hideshi Hino:

Friday, April 25, 2008


I've received our first photos from yesterday's Shintaro Kago exhibition opening in Amsterdam, courtesy of Dan. Thanks to him for sharing these great pics, so all us suckers stuck in other parts of the world can see what we missed. If anyone has more photos to share, send me an email- I'd love to post them here!

Front window of the K-SPACE Gallery.

It was noted in the comments of a previous post that Anonymous K's English scanlation of Abstraction was part of the exhibit!? While one poster was disappointed by the size of the exhibit, another sounded really pleased with the show, saying:

"There is a good selection of his art (the Vice cover and similar prints; works mostly displayed before in Vanilla Gallery in Tokyo and used as the cover art for manga collections) and even some original pencil art. Everything is for sale, by the way, including the originals!

Kago also made about five small crayon 'murals'. He came out to talk to and pose for fans, dressed in a robe."

Originals... for sale? Innnnteresting.

Looks like poster-sized color pieces, from the same set as the Vice Magazine cover.

Concentric circles and psychedelic inner-worlds. So awesome.

Some of the crowd, facing out at the entrance of the small gallery space.

Kago's color drawings (in crayon?)

I wonder what this is from? It seems like a commercial spot illustration.
(Noted in the comments as the cover to Yume no omocha koujou [Dream toy's factory, 2006] )

Getting to meet Shintaro Kago? Priceless. (Dan, you lucky bastard)

The rest of the picture set are on Dan's Flickr. (thanks again!)

[UPDATE 1]: Kago has posted a few pics of the exhibit on his blog, which you can see here. From his post it sounds like he did some press while there, and was interviewed for an Amsterdam newspaper, etc.

[UPDATE 2]: Talked today to Vice's editor-in-chief Jesse over email. He was generous enough to send more than a dozen copies of the Kago issue (as I blogged about before); I'm gonna post soon with the names of folks who we're sending them to- I had to do it first-come first-serve, but I think I'll be able to get copies to the majority of folks who wanted one.

I have to mention too, Jesse told me that while he now is a reader of Same Hat, it actually wasn't the Kago scanlations we blogged about that led them to Shintaro Kago (sorry Anonymous K). Seems the editor of Vice Japan is a deep cuts manga nerd too, and he was the one who pitched Kago's work and the idea of a cover feature, and also helped make the Amsterdam exhibit happen. Great minds think alike, and all that!

Mr. K, you should still feel proud that you got Kago on the radar of mainstream and/or non-manga folks, like The Comics Journal, Scott McCloud and MC Frontalot, and introduced tons of new fans to his works.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

REMINDER: Kago in Amsterdam today!

Just a quick reminder, Shintaro Kago will be appearing in person at K-Space Amsterdam TODAY, for the opening of a month-long exhibition of his work. This will be his first show in Europe, and an opportunity to see his original art, the new mural he created at the gallery, and pick up a t-shirt.

If you go to the exhibit, please send me pics! For us suckers that can't be there, it'd be great to see what it was like...

Date: April 24, 2008 until May 24, 2008
Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 262, Amsterdam
Opening hours: April 24, opening exposition from 17:00-21:00
Other days: 12:00-19:00
Entrance: FREE

Monday, April 21, 2008


After many months, Evan and I are very excited to announce the publication details for our labor of love. The book is...

TOKYO ZOMBIE by Yusaku Hanakuma!

The release date of Tokyo Zombie is September 18, and the manga's being published by Last Gasp. Last Gasp is working hard to be able to debut the book at San Diego Comic Con, and we will be there promoting this manga with Colin Turner (our awesome editor at Last Gasp, who is behind this book, Barefoot Gen, Town of Evening Calm, Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance and many other gems).

Tokyo Zombie is a self-contained story featuring Yusaku Hanakuma's two characters Afro and Hage. It was originally serialized in AX Magazine in 1998-1999, and was collected and published the year after by Seirinkogeisha. Seirinkogeisha is an incredbile indie/underground manga publisher, and publish the vast majority of Same Hat favorites including Suehiro Maruo, Takashi Nemoto, Shintaro Kago, Kazuichi Hanawa and many, many others.

Tokyo Zombie was also made into a movie a few years ago, starring Tadanobu Asano and Sho Aikawa and features a short cameo by Kazuo Umezu! The storyline for the movie differs from the manga, but this is probably where most folks have heard of the book (but we hope to change that this summer).

Through researching this project (sitting around reading tons of awesome manga and learning Jiu-Jitsu terminology), Yusaku Hanakuma has become one of my absolute favorite contemporary cartoonists. I haven't gotten to gush about his work much yet on the blog, for fear of giving away the project, but over the coming months I'll be posting more info about him and his work. Tokyo Zombie is his first book to be released in English, and I'm hoping to be able to work on more in the future.

For the project, I've worked as the translator and editor, while Evan has beautifully handled all the lettering and retouching, along with designing an awesome cover for the English edition. It's been basically our absolute dream gig, and we had a blast working on such an hilarious and gross manga. I think you guys are gonna really, really like this one. In the comments and later on, I'll be happy to post more specifics about our work, but first I wanted to make this announcement as quickly as possible!

For your reading pleasure, here is the book summary and details, which will soon be on Last Gasp's site and the Amazon listing. Stores can pre-order the book directly from Last Gasp, and I definitely encourage you to ask your local shop to order you a copy (more details on doing that soon). I'd be supremely geeked if this book is an alternative manga success story... And you guys are gonna make that happen, right?

Tokyo Zombie is a horror-comedy manga about two blue-collar factory workers, Mitsuo and Fujio, whose plans for martial arts fame are sidelined when zombies take over Tokyo. In this gory and hilarious tale, the survivors of the zombie apocalypse have been enslaved by the wealthy ruling class, and must cater to their every depraved whim...or be thrown outside the city to fend for themselves. When some of the survivors are enlisted to fight in an undead gladiator arena for the amusement of the rich, Mitsuo and Fujio are locked in a battle for fame, freedom, and their very lives!

Years before Shaun of the Dead introduced Western audiences to the zombie comedy genre, Yusaku Hanakuma's hilarious and outrageous manga was already a cult classic in Japan. Tokyo Zombie's class-conscious storyline about the haves and the have-nots during a zombie uprising anticipated such films as George Romero's Land of the Dead. Now English-speaking audiences will have the chance to check out the genre-mashing tale that started it all.


"This book is fucking awesome. I laughed out loud several times even and I can't remember the last time a comic made me do that. Tokyo Zombie is retarded, weird, violent, bizarre, horrific, hilarious, and pornographic. In other words, everything a comic should be and then some."
- Johnny Ryan, cartoonist and author of Angry Youth Comix

"A cross between Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, 28 Days Later, Planet Terror, and Bloodsport, Tokyo Zombie is an epic tale that's either really dumb or an allegory of a twisted society."
- Eric Nakamura, publisher of Giant Robot

More details coming soon... I can't wait for everyone to get the chance to read this book!!!
PS: As a bonus, here is a gallery with images from Tokyo Zombie and paintings by Hanakuma, from a gallery show in 2005.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Remote-access Ryan coming to you live from a Kyoto internet cafe. I'm taking a break from buying WAY TOO MUCH manga and eating WAY TOO MUCH melon bread to post these details. I'll be back in the US on Tuesday, and will start posting pics soon after.

But first! Here are the press release details from this event-- Kago himself will be in attendance at the show, and I hear they're printing special t-shirts and selling original art (WHOA). I would love to see pics if anybody in Europe decides to attend!!

Shintaro Kago
First European exposition at K-Space Amsterdam

Think of satire, extreme body distortion, art and sex and getting close to the bizarre manga world of Shintaro Kago. Manga is another word for Japanese comics. Manga as we know it existed after World War II and finds its origin in the old Japanese art. The work of Shintaro Kago can be seen for the first time in Europe in K-Space Amsterdam from April 24 until May 24.

Fashionable paranoia
Shintaro Kago calls himself ‘kisou mangaka’, what means bizarre manga artist. Because of his work in many ‘adult’ manga magazines he is not only very popular in Japan but is he respected in the whole manga world. Shinatoro Kago work differentiates from others manga artist because it is innovative and experimental. His style can be described as ‘fashionable paranoia’. Shintaro Kago makes you think and wonder with his ‘in your face’ paintings.

Shintaro Kago will paint his work live in K-Space. In the days before the opening he will make a mural. On April 24, Shintaro Kago will be at the opening and exclusive limited edition work is for sale.

K-Space Amsterdam is the lifestyle showroom and creative office of K-Swiss in Amsterdam. It offers a creative platform and exposition space. The K-Space philosophy is supporting and developing all kind of projects in music, art, film, culture, design, fashion and visual art. K-Space offers next to the newest sneakers and clothing a creative hangout where you can always walk in for a coffee, check your email, listen to the newest music, read magazines and books and share ideas!

Date: April 24, 2008 until May 24, 2008
Location: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 262, Amsterdam
Opening hours: April 24, opening exposition from 17:00-21:00
Other days: 12:00-19:00
Entrance: FREE

Details on KSPACE blog

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Sorry for the lack of juicy content on the site... things got supremely busy at the end of last week... But, I'm feeling 100X better right now for two big reasons:

NUMBER 1: The Secret Project that Evan and I have been working on for over 6 months is DONE! We finalized all of the book pages last week, and passed them to the publisher the day before I left the country. This is a massive relief mentally, and it's really odd and satisfying to be done with it. All that's left is fun stuff, like helping go over the printing proofs, announcing the book, pressuring all our friends and readers of this blog to BUY IT, and then some cool events around the release. AWESOME!


NUMBER 2: Holy fuck, I'm in Japan! My GF and I arrived Friday and have been spending our first few days running around Tokyo. So far we've been shopping at TACOche, Uniqlo, saw rockabilly daddies at Harajuku's Yoyogi park, and ate yakisoba and saw cherry blossom (and right-wingers) by Yasukuni Shrine, just to name a few. It's been really rad so far, although I'm obviously and weirdly not over my jet lag, typing this up at 5:30 am on Monday...

No real pics 'til I get back, but I grabbed some amazing stuff at TACOche to blog about (and some stuff like Suehiro Maruo pins to give away... SH contest soon after we get back?).

So that this post isn't just all about my crap, here is the homepage doodle that debuted today, celebrating Astro Boy's birthday (according to Tezuka in the manga, Astro Boy was "born" 4/7/2003).

PS: No, I have not found Umezu or his house... YET! :B