Thursday, February 04, 2010


(This post is part of a series I've tagged as early manga days, chronicling rare/weird gems from the beginning of manga's now 30+ year history of publication in English)

The internet is a magical place. I posed a question about the circumstances around the publication of Shinobu Kaze's Violence Becomes Tranquility in Heavy Metal in 1980, and within a few days the exact right person to answer that question came and filled us in!

Many thanks to Dan Steffan for this super interesting anecdote:
I worked in the art department at HM during Ted White's year as editor. Besides editing two sf mags, he is also the author of 17 books -- including "The Great Gold Steal" a 1966 novel about Captain America. He was also one of the first comic fans from the early 1950s, among many other things.

Anyway, as far as I remember, "Violence" was a blind submission to the magazine. It may have come into the mag before Ted got there, as there was a huge pile of material that had accumulated, but was never looked at by the previous editor. Ted pulled it out of the "slush pile," and put it into the magazine.

I'm not sure that many of us had seen much in the way of manga before this, except for perhaps Tezuka, but we all thought it was worth publishing anyway. But the thing that really cinched it was the fact that the strip very closely resembled -- in rendering, design, and coloring -- the work of the French cartoonist and fantacist, Philippe Druillet.

Druillet was one of the founding partners at Metal Hurlant and HM had published as much of his work as we could get our hands on. We all welcomed the opportunity to publish something else that seemed to be inspired by his work. "Violence" fit the bill.

The fact that the strip was from Japan was cool, but it wasn't really the main reason why it was published. I hope this helps fill in some holes for you. Thanks.

Dan Steffan

1 comment:

Azraelito said...

It is known that kaze shinobu is fan of Druillet. I checked that in comipress the manga zombie book. Perhaps because of his storytelling, his unique splash pages and and the bizarre things he does!


While the young Kaze was busy creating gag manga with idiot heroes, his collaborators at Dynamic Pro were looking much further afield. In particular, they were reading the cult French graphic novelist Philippe Druillet. When he looked through Druillet's Lone Sloane, Kaze was blown away by the ultra-intense coloration and 4-D graphics. He wasn't slow to pay homage. His own work immediately started taking on Druilletesque characteristics like the Frenchman's intense sharpness of line. And as he moved away from gag manga, Kaze really started to come into his own as an artist.

Apart from that, It is really exciting about knowing the stories behind the publications.

One of the best things about manga that was published in the 80s was Samurai Son of Death. It was a collaboration between Sharman Divonno and Hiroshi Hirata. Eclipse published that one. Stan Sakai did the letters for that manga. It is a nice prestige that you can found it very cheap in milehighcomics o mycomicshop. An incredible art. Stan Sakai told some anecdotes about that in his forum.

Apart from this, thanks a lot for the researching about cool and underated mangas that you recommend and you talk. It is really very worth to read people who doesnt talk always about naruto and dragon ball!!!

Saludos from argentina!!

keep as always the good work!!

ps: Yes I know that there is the graphic novel about mazinger that is all painted by go nagai that is impissible to find that was published by first comics! But I dont have it in paper that is why I dont believe it is the best .D