I realized recently that lots of fans of this stuff, waiting to see it in translation, might not be aware that the rad folks at Seirinkogeisha have been posting online a growing selection of previews of their new releases. These are all in Japanese (of course) but even untranslated hopefully present a cool flavor of what's happening right now. They post updates to their blog each time they add new previews too!
If you're interested in seeing what's happening in contemporary indie manga from one of the most interesting comics publishers in the world, I strongly encourage you guys check out the samples! For most titles, they put up the first chapter or so of the book-- and though their web reader is a bit slow to load, it's a great resource for nerds like us. I haven't read any of these books (except for the Yamada Hanako one) so please share comments if you have!
Thematically and visually, Seirinkogeisha's crop of new releases are all over the place (in a good way), but here are a few of ones I found most interesting:
生きる2010 (Ikiru 2010 aka We Live 2010) by Takashi Nemoto [PREVIEW]
The gnarliness we've come to love and expect from Takashi Nemoto is in full force here. The first story in the book/preview is in trippy full-color, and the entire book looks to be equally dense and brimming with sketchy details.
レッツゴー!!おスナック (Let's Go! Snack Bar) by Toyo Kataoka [PREVIEW]
Kataoka is featured in the AX Anthology, and has published a series of short story collections. In his work, Tokyoite Kataoka's uber-ornate and grotesque manga style is used (to great effect) to tell blue collar neighborhood stories about the city's day laborers, bar flies, and housewives.
ドストエフスキーの犬 (Dostoevsky's Dog) by George Akiyama [PREVIEW]
I picked up a copy of this book, along with Akiyama's ANGURA after having them recommended by Shintaro Kago himself. In Dostoevsky's Dog, Akiyama's elegant and clean lines serve up a a collection of raw tales, full of sex, sin, and coming of age angst. One of my favorite discoveries of the last year!
FLIGHT by Tsurita Kuniko [PREVIEW]
I'm not super familiar with Tsurita Kuniko, but this book collecting various manga from her short career has majorly piqued my interest. From a few online bios, it sounds like Tsurita's comics were published by Shirato Sanpei in GARO, starting right away in the mid-60s when she was just a high school student and continuing until the early 80s. She is reported to have worked in some way with Shigeru Mizuki, but fell ill with SLE and died at the early age of 37,
砂の剣 (Sword of the Sand)) by Susumu Higa [PREVIEW]
Another title/creator I'm not super familiar with, this one is Seirinkogeisha's latest book released (also featured on the cover of the latest AX). Sword of the Sand looks to be a humane and personal wartime tale set on Okinawa during the end of WWII.
Sujiko by Osamu Kanno [PREVIEW]
This is the first collection from Seirinkogeisha of the absurd and weirdly literary art comics of Osamu Kanno. I don't know much about this guy (post in the comments if you do!) but he has been consistently publishing short stories in AX since the beginning, and made his cartooning debut in 1982 (according to this profile via a Tsuge site). His "The Stranger" is the first story in the new AX Anthology. I am intrigued by this preview and want to learn more about these comics...
From Caroline Bren in the comments:
In addition to last year's book from Serinkogeisha, Osamu had another collection around the same time by Hokutoh Shobu, which I believe has been his regular publisher since the begining of his 80's. The recent book as well as one older one seem to still be available, but there is larger bibliography here. Most of the excerpt from his book that appears on the Serinkogeisha site first appeared in AX #58, and AX #71 had a cover feature on Osamu (but only a short comic). I haven't read any of the books but the pieces in AX are great.
ダニー・ボーイ (Danny Boy) by Shimada Toranosuke [PREVIEW]
I picked up a manga called "Träumerei" by artist Shimada Toranosuke last Spring in Tokyo, after seeing his works at the BIG AX FESTIVAL (pics of him from the show in that post). At first I didn't realize he was a contemporary cartoonist, and thought Seirinkogeisha had reprinted something from the early 70s.
Shimatora has a lovely little story in the AX Anthology ("Enrique Kobayashi's Eldorado"). His style is cartooning in a really beautiful and literal sense, simplifying faces and settings down to elegant lines and contrasting black & white shapes. I haven't read any of his stuff beyond Träumerei, which jumped setting from Cambodia to Japan to the Middle East to America, but this book seems to be a series of short stories named after songs (Danny Boy, Far East Suite, etc), focusing on war, music and late-20th Century politics(?).
正義隊3 (Justice Corps 3) by Yuka Goto [PREVIEW]
The third volume of this action series by young & awesome cartoonist Yuka Goto (age 32). Justice Corps looks like weird shirt drawn in a retarded and mean high school girl's notebook, which is an aesthetic that I love. Goto has a story called The Neighbor in the AX Anthology, and I just love that Seirinkogeisha publishes this type of work. The HETA in her heta-uma is STRONG, but also hilarious, like if Mat Brinkman's MULTIFORCE was drawn by Tammy from Esther Pearl Watson's Unloveable.
As a final note, I realized I never blogged about "Tamashii no ASOKO" the book about the late (& genius!) Yamada Hanako-- a fantastic biography & collection of her high school comics, college zines and assorted works. I've had an art crush on her since first seeing her comics in Comics Underground Japan, and will devote a full post to the book sometime (of which, you can get a sample at the link above).