Tuesday, January 31, 2006


comes out wednesday!

I'll be definitely picking this up tomorrow! Adding it to our shelf, right next to the Manga-themed Special Edition and the Frank Miller issue. Summary from Fantagraphics:

"From the cool passion of sci-fi and occasional comics writer Harlan Ellison to the soap opera explorations and genre twisting of X-Men writer Chris Claremont and Howard the Duck creator Steve Gerber, between 1966 and 1985 a generation of writers emerged that changed the face of American comic books forever. Many were fans every bit as much as they were professionals, creative artists working from an understanding of what felt right on the comics page forged by years of close scrutiny above and beyond the final sales figures.

Some were tempered by exposure to new waves in cinema, new voices in writing, and new comics from Europe and Japan. Coming to comics at a time when the financial awards were poor and the chance for ownership of what one created was even poorer, these writers breathed new life into the dying icons of the past. Writers like Len Wein, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, Harlan Ellison, Marv Wolfman, Denny O'Neil, Mark Evanier, Mike Baron and Alan Moore infused comics like X-Men, Captain America, and Swamp Thing with a progressive social outlook that ran directly in the face of decades of simplistic might-makes-right pseudo-moralizing.

Some made their careers in other writing fields but toiled in comics out of a sense of loyalty and passion; others became comic book writers just out of their teens and never left. They were America's comic book children come home. The Comics Journal Library: The Writers celebrates the ascendancy of writer-driven mainstream comic books with a series of revealing, in-depth interviews, many conducted at the height of their influence."

360 pages, 6" x 9" Paperback $19.95

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Sadly, no new strips yet. I've completed translations for about 3 more Koji Aihara, and Evan is working on the touch-up/lettering right now. THE ONLY DOWN SIDE: He's remote-access, back visting our snowy Midwest hometown and can't plug in to get the files online. SO, we'll have to wait for more new content 'til he gets back from his vacation!

In the interim, I wanted to mention my latest manga purchase. Recently, I was roaming the shelves of my local shop, intent on finding a new series to pick up. I mean, as much as I love coming to completed series and being able to gobble the whole thing down in one big tradepaperback gulp, I thought I'd try on supporting an ongoing title-- been missing that thrill of NEW COMICS DAY! I glanced off the usual boring shite, and settled in on DRAGON HEAD by Mochizuki Minetaro.

Here's the plot encapsulated by
Returning home after a class trip, Teru Aoki takes the most frightening ride of his life aboard the shinkansen. Inside a mountain tunnel, the train runs off the tracks, killing nearly everyone aboard.

In his horror at seeing so many of his classmates and teachers dead before his eyes, Teru finds one of his classmates-Ako Seto-tugging on his leg, despite her being barely conscious. A radio on the train informs him that all of Japan is in a state of emergency. Nobuo Takahashi, another classmate, has also survived the disaster but has emerged, somewhat deranged, as a "Master of the Darkness."

When Ako finally regains her strength, Teru and Ako attempt to travel home but instead must dodge Nobuo and his spear. Eventually, Teru and Ako begin their long and lonely journey home - and their quest to figure out exactly what happened that afternoon in the mountain pass.

WOW! A fucking great first volume! I was really digging the art (Junji Ito's DYING YOUNG meets Taiyo Matsumoto's BLUE SPRING) and the grimy moments of train wreckage corpses and the lurching, unraveling tunnel scavenging scenes really hit the spot. Oh! and after getting to the end of the first book (and having my first real taste of the POST-APOCALYPTIC HORROR that follows in the next 9 volumes), I remembered having seen a creepy poster of something sorta similar when I was living in Japan in 2003. 15 seconds on IMBD tells me that it WAS an adaptation of this story, as directed by Joji Iida (wrote Rasen screenplay). Could be awful, but I gotta track this down after I get a little deeper into the manga.

Has anyone else read this? What'd you think? Tell us in the comments!

Monday, January 16, 2006


Evan here. I made a new illustrated photo a couple days ago. It's not horror-themed, but it might still appeal to you...

... Click above or here for more info. Hope it appeals to you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006



Sunday, January 08, 2006


as usual, please read from right-to-left.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Death of J-Horror?

I wanted to share an awesome read from the great Japanese cinema site, Midnight Eye. In his article The Death of J-Horror?, Nicholar Rucka dissects and documents the lineage of horror in Japanese cinema, and vents about the shitty fare coming out these days. This is a serious must-read for any horror fan that frequents our blog.

While a nice read solely for his lamentations about the garbage that has been coming out the past years in Japanese horror, the best part of this feature is the reconstruction of the horror tradition in Japan, and the many references to horror/folk sources like Nanboku Tsuruya, Lafcadio Hearn and Edogawa Rampo--- along with much deserved praise for '50s/'60s/'70s cinema masterpieces like Yotsuya Ghost Story, Onibaba, Woman in the Dunes, Kwaidan and Ugetsu.

Atrocity ukiyo-e, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Shinya Tsukamoto, Nobuo Nakagawa, Miike--- this article ties together all the great bits (and personal favorites of Same Hat!) of horror in Japanese art, literature and film together into a cohesive history. Please give it a read here.

Oh, also! --On the promising Japanese film tip, the film Rampo Noir, a collection of short pieces based on (my personal favorite short story writer) Edogawa Rampo's weirdo/detective tales, sounds RADICAL! I read this preview and got superemely excited. Now to wait for a U.S. release date!

Sunday, January 01, 2006



Evan and I celebrated with a bout of Warriors head-to-head on PS2, Rock 'N' Roll High School and lots of junk food. wheeeee! Here's to another year of comic depravity, hilarity and ... obscurity? Looking to bring out shorts by Suehiro Maruo (lord, he's the patron saint of Samehat), Junji Ito and some fresh blood, more original horror and gag comics by us and our friends, etc. etc. SO MANY IDEAS, just gotta work on the whole 'execution and follow through' part of the process.


Another gem by our friend-- this one, a 5-pager about hanging out on Mars.

2. UNCLE MARUO on the cover of JUXTAPOZ

The entire issue is a pretty weak rehash of the Japanese art/comics/graffito scene of like 2 or 3 years ago... and the Maruo article doesn't offer any new details, but it's worth the cover price for the superlovely full spreads of Maruo paintings and panels. Plus you get two short articles on Chiho Aoshima & Hysteric Glamour. But jeez, seems like Juxtapoz is biting Giant Robot's layout slightly in this issue as well. Even with their johnny-come-lately take, it's always nice to get more Maruo in print!

as usual, please read from right-to-left.