Monday, November 30, 2009


When it rains, it pours! After posting a pictures of Sam's Suehiro Maruo tattoo, I received another horror manga submission from Ola, a reader in Sweden. This one is nuts, a level of Kazuo Umezu devotion previously un-seen on the interwebs.

Cat-Eyed Boy!! This masterpiece of madness was created by "Spanarn" at the Old Bones Tattoo shop in Malmö, Sweden:

[click for a bigger version]

Thanks to Ola for sharing his tattoo here! You can also check out the growing collection of other tattoos featuring horror & indie manga.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I just received this email from Sam, a Same Hat reader. This weekend he spent 6 hours getting a gory Suehiro Maruo tattoo on his arm. Sam's tattoo was created by James the Human Furnace at 252 Tattoo Columbia Station in Ohio. Thanks for sharing it with the community!

You can also check out the growing collection of other tattoos featuring horror & indie manga.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I saw some cool pictures on the PictureBox site today. It seems that Same Hat favorite. Yuichi Yokoyama (Travel, New Engineering, Garden) was commissioned to create a massive mural at the NIKE flagship store in Harajuku. These photos taken from a NIKE HARAJUKU blog post:

This comes on the heels of his wall and store interior designs for the New People center in San Francisco. It seems like Yokoyama is turning into the go-to guy in Japan if you want to spice up

Since we're talking about PictureBox, it's worth noting that they now have some rad stuff by Takashi Nemoto for sale in their online shop, including a gallery exhibit poster from TrancePop, and two signed prints!

[Thanks to Jim for the head's up on the Nemoto stuff!]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Sean Michael Wilson, cartoonist and editor of the upcoming AX Anthology from Top Shelf, was nice enough to stop by the comment thread of a previous post to give an update on the excitedly-awaited tome's progress. He said:
Two things to tell you: the AX book interior is now complete - Top Shelf will soon begin the final design stage and wrap it up in the cover, etc. It is, of course, looking super good!

Second thing, is that a French edition of the AX collection will soon be agreed on. I will help put that together too.

And... (third thing!) I may soon have some very good news to tell about ANOTHER classic gekiga book to come out in English.... watch this page.

Exciting stuff all around. The bad news is that Amazon currently lists the book as not coming out until July 2010. Hmmmm. I'll keep you posted as I hear more from Sean and Top Shelf!


I'm back, babies! Just got home from a week visiting my girl friend, and also fighting off a head cold. With the holiday shopping season (?) right around the corner, I return to you guys will some awesome news.

Shintaro Kago is selling original B&W and color illustrations via mail order, and he's shipping to overseas folks! All the details are available on this page, which includes ordering and shipping instructions!

The pieces aren't cheap, ranging in price from 10000 YEN (~$115) for B&W to 30000 (~$330) for full color ones. Plus shipping. That said, this is a great opportunity to snag something direct from the man himself... and for what are totally fair prices (actually a big low considering the size of 10" x 14").

My wallet is a bit stressed out right now, but I decided to go for it and grab one and pinch pennies later. There are tons of amazing pieces, but I opted for an B&W one I could put on the wall and not have to worry about folks calling the cops on me:

If you're in the art/gift buying mood anytime soon, go check them out!

UPDATE! Since I posted this Kago has sold 3-4 drawings and started adding additional ones to the site for sale :) Keep checking back!

Monday, November 16, 2009


I recently had the pleasure of contributing a small written piece to THE UNKNOWN PORTRAITS, a new book of illustrations and stories by the art duo kozyndan! They are friends-of-friends, but I'm still not quite sure how I managed to sneak into the project. I just received my copy this past weekend, and it is a great looking book!

Originating from a found photo album unearthed in a Venice Beach thrift shop, kozyndan were inspired to create imagined personae documenting the essence of these lost photographs. This clothbound hardcover is comprised solely of small, detailed graphite portraits, each piece captures the surreal humour and irreverence that has become a trademark of kozyndan's distinctive style of artwork.

Illuminating select portraits are short stories inspired and imagined by a community of artist friends and writers including Pasha Malla, Mark "frosty" McNeill, Ryan Sands, Mariko Tamaki, Maggie MacDonald, Nick Flanagan and Porous Walker.

Hardcover. 8.5 x 8.5 inches.
150 pages. Over 100 illustrations.
You can buy a copy direct from their site!

For my part, I chose to tackle an illustration titled "Samurai Sam"... Their portrait of "Sam" features a charmingly lame white guy with horn-rimmed glasses, tombstone teeth wearing a yukata, and flanked by a stream of sakura swirls:

I decided to write up a faux-obituary for this imagined dude, with a number of self-indulgent Japan nerd references that folks will hopefully enjoy. Extra points to anyone who recognizes the last name:

It was a real treat to be a part of what turned out to be a lush and creepy book of illustrations. As part of the project, Kozy did small portraits of each contributor! Here is me, looking like a mentally-disturbed individual:

They even sent me the original art for my wall!

The pieces (done in pencil) are all really surreal, trippy and charming. (How do they get these details with just a pencil?) Here are a few of the other choice portraits:

Many thanks again to kozyndan for making me a part of this project, and hope folks check it out!


This past weekend in Tokyo was Comitia 90, an insane 1-day event of epic proportions. Billed by many as the premiere con for indie manga talent, lots of cartoonists, manga nerds, and cool people were in attendance... including Shintaro Kago!'s manga guide and Same Hat buddy Deb Aoki was at Comitia with a group of American cartoonists/manga fans and was lucky enough to meet Shintaro Kago! From her tweets it sounds like she was able to meet the man AND buy an original pen drawing from him.

Here is a photo of Kago (seems to be rocking the winter skullcap & swine flu mask):

[photo by Deb Aoki, click for bigger version]

Wish I could have been there! Maybe the Spring DESIGN FESTA in Tokyo in May??

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Other sites have already reported this news, but I wanted to post it here for folks that haven't heard yet. A new documentary about the life & work of Kazuo Umezu is coming out very soon! The film is titled "Gwashi! Kazuo Umezu Desu".

I read that the footage was filmed over the course of 3 years by Koji Ito, one of Umezu's staff/webmasters, and shows us Kazuo Umezu's daily life (including his lawsuit over the Makoto-chan house), creating manga and art, in addition to "exploring Japan's issues with creativity and art appreciation." From the trailer it looks like the doc also features interviews with other manga artists, authors, and pop culture talking heads.

GWASHI! KAZUO UMEZU DESU debuts properly on 11/23 in Tokyo's Tollywood Theatre, and plays through December. Umezz and company have created a new site just for news about the film, so check it out! The boys from Tokyo Scum were able to see an advance screening of the film and say it's rad... and will be interviewing Uncle Kaz very soon in person!

Friday, November 06, 2009


You guys are awesome! I ended up staying in on Halloween and drinking an abundance of whiskey-- too lazy to put together a good costume. I DID come up with a costume for next year, as a juggalette (look it up!) or maybe Shaggy 2 Dope. I have to stay true to my Michigan roots, you know?

Not to be outdone by anyone, Same Hat readers rocked the manga/horror angle like mad geniuses. Here are their radical costumes!!

TOMODACHI (from 20th Century Boys)

as worn by Johnny Landmine

SAMARA (from Ringu)

as worn by M


as worn by Dreed


as worn by Diana & friends


as worn by Dr. Senbei (Tokyo Scum Brigade)


as worn by voidmare (Tokyo Scum Brigade)


as worn by Jaclyn


as worn by Jaclyn

and because it's simply awesome...

as worn by Helvin