Sunday, November 28, 2010


These images came in via the Same Hat Tumblr's open submissions form :) Same Hat reader Han was recently in Tokyo and saw an amazing exhibit of pieces from the "Kitahara Collection" at the Mori Gallery in Tokyo.

Many, many thanks to Han for sharing these amazing photographs! Once again, Same Hat readers prove themselves to be the coolest and most generous comic fans on the interwebs. Han, you rule! If you like what you see below, check out the complete Kitahara Collection photos.

Poster pattern frenzy!

A wall full of Tadanori Yokoo poster prints. I think I would have straight-up fainted on the spot.

Signed piece by Yokoo-- this poster was adopted as a poster campaign by some national onsen organization, remember seeing it earlier this year while visiting Nate in Nakano at a public bathhouse.

Damn, the tiny details on these Yokoo pieces never cease to amaze me.

Giant robots / record players!

Does anyone recognize this sculptor/artist's work?

These look to be paintings by Imiri Sakabashira, but someone correct me if I'm wrong...

Astro Boy redux

Click here to check out the rest of this great set of images.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

QUESTION: Any interest in a Same Hat shirt?

Quick question for regular readers: Would you be interested in a Same Hat t-shirt?

A few people have asked about this over the years, and recently the idea stuck with me... before I go down that road, I was curious if folks would actually get one and wear it-- and what you'd like to see?

For my tastes, a white/color on a black t-shirt is probably the best, right? We wouldn't be able to use any panels/art from our favorite folks without getting permission, but it could be a type-treatment or new logo or other design by cartoonists we know. Lemme know if this is something you'd be interested in, how much you'd be willing to pay (my impulse would be to sell it as cheap as possible to cover costs and give a bunch away in contests and stuff), and I'll talk to a few t-shirt designer friends I know!


I just noticed that Shintaro Kago posted another batch of original art for sale on his site-- and this time most of them are only $50 dollars! These include a number of really catchy and sharp watercolor paintings (some of which were reproduced as part of his postcard sets):

Instructions for ordering a piece of original art on listed on the pages above, and in my experience Kago is a very fast and careful shipper. Christmas presents, anyone?

Monday, November 22, 2010


As I blogged earlier this month, San Francisco is playing host to a rare exhibit of the works of famed erotic artist, Toshio Saeki! My girlfriend and I were running errands on Saturday nearby 111 Minna Gallery, and decided to stop by and check it out!

The show took advantage of the large space (where previous magazine release parties, Last Gasp shows, etc have been hosted), and featured a mixture of Saeki's original inked B&W drawings, his color guides for the printmaker he works with, and a number of lush chinto prints in various sizes. For folks in the area, you have until November 27 to see the exhibit, and I strongly encourage any fans of the perverted and elegant to stop by!

Without further ado, here are my photos and notes from the exhibit!

Mood lighting... we were the only folks during a rainstorm and got to check the entire exhibit out in peace.

Color prints lined both rooms of the exhibit, in Saeki's signature style. These pieces are created in collaboration by Saeki in collaboration with a print-maker via his "semi-traditional" offsent print technique. These were full color prints in his most distinct style, and each is one of an edition of 75.

As much as I like Saeki's normal work, which reproduces really well on glossy paper and as big posters, I was most excited about these more subtle and elegant prints on washi with a slight grain and imperfections. Though these are each chinto offset prints, each one is only printed in editions of one (!) making each one of them "unique".

An original color guide by Saeki, used by the printer per his instructions in the collaborative process of creating the actual print.

Ghost grandma does not approve.

Lush colors and balance, achieved via CMYK-esque color separations dictated by Saeki.

The other room of the exhibit.

Also on display were a few original ink drawings (on the right), selling for around $5K each!

We stared at these for a long while-- some of my favorites of the entire show! The middle one was so damn impressive (but sold already!), as well as the shakier lines of the upper-left print.

Every one of these full-color prints were sold when we visited, each one of an edition of 75.

Micah, the nice guy curating the gallery was cool enough to bring up additional prints that hadn't been displayed in the show. These were additional pieces (all 1 of an edition of 1) that they hadn't had room on the wall for but were available for sale. I decided I really wanted to get the following piece, and though my credit card is sad I will deal with it later after my next paycheck...

It didn't have a title, so the dude made one up for the invoice; "Dwarf on the road with 4-wheeled severed head". I think Saeki would approve.


Like I mentioned, local folks have just a few more days to check out this awesome show! Another high-five to 111 Minna Gallery and Last Gasp for putting this exciting exhibit together! Check out their site above for a full gallery of the prints/originals that were on the walls.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Hey folks! Today's post is something a little different than usual-- a guest post by Ryan Holmberg, who as many of you know was the curator of Garo Manga: The First Decade (1964-1973) show earlier this year and is currently a postdoc in Contemporary Art.

This is a group research project of sorts, as he's looking for our help (and the help of the greater comics/mangasphere) to dig up details about the American reaction to the translated works of Koike Kazuo. I'll let him take it away below, and please add your thoughts/links/contributions in the comments. Some answers to these questions may be in interview with Frank Miller and Dark Horse editors, along with books by Paul Gravett or Frederik Schodt. But I also I know there are lots of other writings from the 80s and 90s, along with personal anecdotes, that can fill in the details. Thanks in advance!

(Frank Miller/Lynn Varley's cover to the first issue of First Comics' run of Lone Wolf & Cub. Check out the complete covers from those floppy issues)

From Ryan Holmberg:

A colleague of mine in Tokyo is currently writing about the famous manga script writer Koike Kazuo of "Lone Wolf and Cub" and "Crying Freeman" fame. He recently asked me some questions about the reception and reputation of Koike Kazuo in North America. Having first come into contact with his work in Japan, I was not sure how to answer. So on his behalf, and to satisfy my own curiosity, I wonder if readers of Same Hat might be able to share some facts or general impressions or anecdotes? The more specific people can be about dates and places et cetera, the more helpful it would be.

First, does anyone know the history of how Koike's work came to be translated in the United States? Is there an industry back story of any note? Also, any thoughts about what kind of audience his work was initially marketed to – age-wise, reading taste-wise, et cetera? Was there any substantial critical response at the time?

Second, Frank Miller's admiration of Koike Kazuo is well-known. I wonder if anyone could flesh out the details of that, and the various ways in which it shaped Miller's work, or how Miller was involved in popularizing Koike's work? I am aware that Miller/Varley did covers for Lone Wolf and Cub, and the impact on Ronin and Sin City…but I am wondering if anyone might be able to expand on that.

Third, it seems the status of writers is much lower than that of artists when it comes to comics in North America. Do you think this might also be the case for Koike? In other words, do people first think of Kojima Goseki and Ikegami Ryoichi when the titles of Koike's work come up?

Last, in the early 70s, Koike was writing a Japanese version of the "Hulk" for Bokura Magazine. It has never been collected, and probably never will be because of copyright issues. My colleague is wondering whether, in North America, at the time of "Lone Wolf and Cub's" release, would it have had the same readership as the Hulk? He’s trying again to get a sense of if the readership of Koike's work in Japan overlaps with that elsewhere?

Sorry for the many and lengthy questions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

(Lone Wolf & Cub board game by Mayfair Games, 1989. Cover by Grendel artist Matt Wagner)

UPDATE: Received this update from Ryan Holmberg:

Thanks for this treasure trove of information. It's amazingly helpful and much much more than I had hoped for. I apologize for not being active on the posting myself. On the one hand, I couldn't be of much use as my contact with Koike's work has been almost entirely in Japan. Also, I have been too buried in circa 1960 "hardboiled" manga the past few weeks -- essentially the breeding ground for Koike-type gekiga. Maybe I can return the favor in a week or so with some gems from that world. Again, thank you thank you

[From Ryan: Covers from Bokura Magazine, 1971]

Monday, November 08, 2010


Here is some serious Halloween/Suehiro Maruo realness, courtesy of my friends Monika and y16o.

y16o is dressed in a Maruo/Rampo-inspired outfit, while Monika is dressed as Midori, the Camellia Girl (Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show).

What did YOU dress up as for Halloween?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Exciting news for Shintaro Kago and monster manga fans! The cover of his new manga, アナモルフォシスの冥獣 (The Dark Beast Animorphosis), has just been published on the ANIMORPHOSIS blog:

Here is a video of Shintaro Kago inking this cover illustration. I read on Kago's twitter that he just finished proofing the book a week or two ago... The book is scheduled to be published in in Japan on 11/18/2010, published by コアマガジン (Core Magazine).

UPDATE: Here's a newly-added description of the book on
事件や事故の現場を再現し被害者の霊を呼び出す降霊イベント”ア ナモルフォシスの館”。特撮セットの中で非業の死を遂げた男の霊 の降霊に成功するが、イベント参加者の男女6人が次々と怪死を遂 げていく・・・。(帯文) 前作「フラクション」で第三回世界バカミス☆アワードを受賞し、 ミステリ漫画家としても評価の高まる駕籠真太郎の133ページ もの単行本書き下ろし長編第二弾。著者の特撮への造詣の深さを思 わせる小ネタ、オカルト描写など、これまでの駕籠真太郎作品の別 解釈+αがてんこ盛り。一挙書き下ろしを通じて新たなマンガ体験 をお楽しみください。書き下ろしと同時収録されるのは、全て単行 本未収録の短編が9本。

Will post a quick translation when I'm not riding on a bus (feel free to Google Translate or suggest one in the comments)

UPDATE 2: They added a short book trailer for the title as well:

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Hot on the heels of a series of horrific and exciting San Francisco events (Alternative Press Expo, Halloween parties, post-World Series victory riots), our fair city has another trick up its sleeve for November: A solo art exhibit by artist Toshio Saeki!

[Click image for directions/details of the Opening]

This Thursday, 111 Minna Gallery will be co-presenting a show of Toshio Saeki's chinto printing pieces with publisher Last Gasp. This show will run until November 28th, and be a rare opportunity for folks outside of Japan to see Saeki's prints in person.

If you're a fan of Toshio Saeki and/or erotic art, you should've already checked out Last Gasp's fabulously oversized art book Onikage. It's a lush and unique hardcover showing both large color works and the chinto printing process via interesting vellum overlays in the book itself. Pricy but worth it for fans-- I've never seen another book that gives such interesting insights into how CMYK or woodblock printing works.

I'll be stopping by the opening to see the pieces in person- I'm super curious to see if any prints will be on sale and how much they run! Will post pictures and a report from the event here on Friday morning for folks outside of the Bay Area.

UPDATE from Colin at Last Gasp: "There will definitely be prints for sale, and some originals too. Prices range from $125 - $5100, I think."