Tuesday, May 27, 2008


These have been updated and reflected on the PictureBox site for a few weeks now, but I wanted to highlight them here--- covers for their upcoming 2008 books!

Travel by Yuichi Yokoyama

I picked up Travel on my recent trip to Japan and had fun reading it. It's an entirely wordless comic, in the geometric and dynamic style Yokoyama employed in New Engineering, and definitely has a bit of mental learning curve of a few pages before I could wrap my head around it.

Like New Engineering, the back of Travel includes pages and pages of supplemental, panel-by-panel commentary; I assume they'll again been translating all these details for English readers. I'm excited to have a second book by Yokoyama available, and hopefully this will be the next step in him gaining the popularity he deserves. Dude is continuously fantastic and cerebral.

Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby by Takashi Nemoto

The cover design was done by King Terry, and it's Takashi Nemoto's first book available in English. Nemoto is a king of heta uma grossness, like an SF-influenced, psychadelic and political step-brother to R. Crumb. You've probably seen his work in Comics Underground Japan, or Fantagraphics ill-fated collection of international comics, Bete Noir.

In addition to these translated books, PictureBox is selling some rad imports like Painting by Yuichi Yokoyama, a collection of color works. This is just one of the many Japanese titles they sell directly through their web site (and now, at their brick & mortar store in Brooklyn).

My one big beef with PictureBox is that they don't clearly make a distinction on their site between Japanese books and comics they import and sell and the licensed and translated comics. For example, they sell copies of Yusaku Hanakuma's original (Japanese) manga, but if you didn't look closely you might think they've licensed and translated everything by him. Not the case, as Last Gasp is the only one that's licensed his work with Tokyo Zombie (at least, so far!).

That said, PictureBox is definitely working on some crazy interesting projects, and I love the place they have staked out for themselves in the art/indie manga corner of the world -- A nerdy and awesome corner we like to find ourselves in often. I'm hoping to meet Dan (the publisher) at MoCCA in a few weeks and find out more about what they've got planned for 2008 and beyond.


Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! I was so wondering if Picturebox would be working on more Japanese stuff. Glad to see more Yokoyama and it's awesome they're branching out with Takashi Nemoto. Always loved his story in Comics Underground Japan. What next!? that's what I wanna' know.
Hey Ryan, when can you tell us the other project you're working on at Last Gasp?
also, new scans at my siteXX

Ryan S said...

Thanks rizzah :) I'm gonna be meeting Dan from PictureBox at MoCCA hopefully, and I'm looking forward to learning more about their longterm manga plans. I've seen the full Nemoto cover wraparound design and it's really gnarly. The book is gonna be really rad.

I can't spill the beans yet about the next project, but we are in talks with them about something. I can't say anything until well after the point that it's a done deal and the license is in the bag. The focus starting now is Tokyo Zombie and getting folks hyped about that :)

Will check out the scans in the morning. New KREMLIN! chapter this week too? :)