Tuesday, March 31, 2009


...the mother of all "CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME SHIT, JAPAN RULEZ!" posts, featuring dozens of previously unseen pics of Maruo, Kago, Umezu, Hanakuma, and Tsuge goodness from TACO CHE.

How to cram all these photos into one post?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I received this nice surprise from my publisher (Last Gasp) on Friday! They have recently printed up a packet of new stickers, featuring the Last Gasp logo designed by Yusaku Hanakuma. As you might remember, this logo was created specially for the English edition of Tokyo Zombie, and features Afro & Hage inside it.

As said, I have a small packet of these and want to share them with you guys. How about this: the first 10 people who comment with evidence of making a blog post / tweeting / adding a permalink to your site / putting up a forum post about Same Hat get two stickers in the mail.

Yes, this is shameless self-promotion... but it's FREE STICKERS, dudez. After posting in the comments, can the the first 10 folks shoot me their address at samehat[at]gmail[dot]com? THANKS!

UPDATE! All 10 sticker packs are gone! I'll post again in the future when I get another stack from Last Gasp and have more available. Thanks!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


As has become habit on the weekends, here's a recap of recent posts going on over at the Electric Ant Zine Blog. Thanks to folks that have linked to it or come over and left comments!

+ Screencaps from the indie game collaboration by our buddies (and EA#1 contributors) Derek Yu, Hellen Jo, and Calvin Wong. [link]

+ A lovely animated short film by wunderkind Elio, featuring the MIDI stylings by Michael DeForge! [link]

+ Admiral Adama portraits by Anthony Wu (and details about his upcoming Battlestar Galactica manga from TokyoPop)! [link]

+ Recommendations for the animated films of Koji Yamamura, new Comix Claptop podcast w/ Hellen & Calvin, and a gallery show featuring works by Saicoink in April. [link] [link] [link]

+ A gallery of incredible posters/fliers and works by Adachi Kokajyou, my new favorite design crew. You probably may already know them from their work for Guruguru Eigakan; now I'm on a mission to track down everything Adachi has done. [link]

+ More retardo collage postcards by me - I think I'm gonna make a cheap xerox zine of them for APE 2009. Want to become pen pals? [link]

+ A gallery of paintings of presidential intimacy by zine contributor and our friend Justine Lai, who got insanely internet famous this week with posts on her work at Boing Boing, Jezebel, Drawn, Journalista, and Gawker. Site traffic went up about 10x for a few days from all the publicity! [link]

+ Electric Ant #2 feature work has begun! Spurred on by fan art 4-koma manga by Root, I've sent invites to a number of contributors. In addition to the usual gang, tentative new folks on board are getting me super excited (Dash Shaw! Jon Verymilyea! Shawn Cheng! Aeron Alfrey!). The issue will be released in time for the Small Press Expo in September.

+ And more stuff being posted all the time... (Drop by, say hi, and browse through the previous pages at the bottom)


Happy weekend to everyone! Shintaro Kago has added another animated short to his YouTube channel. Please enjoy 虫めがね/Magnifying glass:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I swear, sometime soon I'll post something other than Umezu's house or Shintaro Kago news... But you're not complaining, right? Here is the latest short clip from KagoTube, 時計の復讐 / "Revenge of the clock":


All Shintaro Kago, all the time! Kago is at again with another update to the Daily Manga section of his site. This time it's a little different, and no translation required! Enjoy this 7-panel gag strip:


Sunday, March 22, 2009


Lots of news coming in from the interwebs regarding Kazuo Umezu's wonderful and incredible Makoto-chan House, located west of Tokyo in Kichijoji.

The first and most exciting order of business? Nate (Same Hat's man in Japan) biked over to Kichijoji on Saturday, and visited Umezu's house! The location he noted on the Same Hat Guide to Everything is accurate, and here are his photos to prove it:

(RSS folks, you'll have to click through to see them! Sorry!)

On another note, more stories about the housewarming and interior decorations of Umezz's house are making the rounds. I've gathered together photos from both Takekuma-san's blog and Variety magazine for your please, here:

(RSS folks, same deal here, sorry!)

Takekuma-san noted on his blog that his traffic spiked after he posted the first of his photos from inside the Makoto-chan house, and posted the above follow up for those new readers (like us!). If more photos make their way out, I'll continue to post and link them from here.

One more huge thanks to Nate for tracking down the house and biking over to document it for us! Dude, I will buy you some luxurious ramen and Japanese whiskey when I'm in Tokyo next time!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


The map was right :) I just got this keitai photo from Nate in the middle of the night!

Today in Tokyo, Nate biked over from his apartment and was able to spot the Makoto-chan house easily. Tomorrow, we'll hopefully be posting his proper camera photos from outside the Kazuo Umezu's house of wonders. RAD!

Friday, March 20, 2009


When it rains, it pours. Shintaro Kago has added another clip to his growing YouTube Channel (now lovingly referred to as KagoTube). This one is a live action gag, titled "携帯電話/Mobile phone". Check it our here, then click through and leave a comment!

All previous videos (and the extensive Kago coverage) can be seen by following the shintaro kago label.

UPDATE: Looks like Kago-san is getting tons of hits to his videos in the last few days... I think I've seen a bunch of you guys over there, whic is awesome! But he's also getting a handful of really racist, bullshit comments on his main page. Go over and show him some love!


Thanks to Jaclyn for pointing this out. It seems that (at least on the US version) Shintaro Kago has been placed in the Featured Videos section on the front page of YouTube... with 32K views so far.

Kagomania continues to grow. Not to toot our own horn, but... Same Hat, Anonymous K/rizzah, and you guys (and Vice) deserve some cred for getting the ball rolling for English audiences, don't you think? :B

Click here for Kagos' growing YouTube channel.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The puzzle has been solved, thanks to Nate's sleuthing skills. For context, Nate is my best bud from college, and now living in Tokyo working on his dissertation. He also is the dude that covered the Shintaro Kago event on Halloween for Same Hat, wrote the hilarious photo-article "DEPARTMENT FOR IMPLEMENTING 15 KINDS OF VIOLENT DEATH" for Electric Ant #1, and runs the hardcore ramen-ology blog, Waseda Ramen (Your newest MUST-READ Japan blog, add this one to your RSS!).

But dang, Nate's newest and biggest claim to fame? He tracked down the location to Kazuo Umezu's Makoto-Chan house in Kichijoji! Using a combo of Japanese search terms, GPS, and deep-cuts google.co.jp skills, he found the spot. It has now been added to the Same Hat Guide To Everything Map!

Without further ado, here is the location (DUN DUN DUN):

View Larger Map

AND EVEN COOLER? Check out this sneak peak of the house-in-progress from Street View:

View Larger Map

Umezologists, we now have our Mecca. Nate is gonna go visit it in person soon and share pics here, and you KNOW this is at the top of my list when I get back to Japan later this year. FRESH.


Apparently they mentioned Shintaro Kago on Monday's episode Attack of the Show? Did anyone see it (or have a clip?)

UPDATE!: SH reader Dan is awesome and hooked us all up with the clip from the G4 site. THANKS DUDE! The Kago part starts around 2:32.



Linked from Umezz.com, I just read an article detailing the ins & outs of Kazuo Umezu's famous Makoto-chan house in Kichijoji. In summary, it is a dandy horror nerd Valhalla.

The article is written by mangaka and author Kentaro Takekuma, who has written and lectured on manga and co-wrote Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga! with another favorite of mine, Koji Aihara. Not surprising that Takekuma and Umezu are buddies, huh?

Takekuma explains in his post that these pics were taken in February at a housewarming party hosted by Kazuo Umezu. He notes that Umezz decorated the entire house (surprise!) and not pictured here are an amazing library curated by Demerin, including every published work by Umezz. Also worth noting, apparently the woman who filed the original lawsuit against the home lives... next door to the Makoto-chan house!

Okay, so here are the pics from inside the house. PREPARE TO BE AMAZED:

Check out the original post here. I am still waiting for someone to FIND THIS HOUSE and put it on the Same Hat Guide To Everything!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Wow, these are lovely designs. Yes, you can now get your own fan shirts for the maniacal manga of all things awesome, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (edited by my buddy, Jason Thompson. If you know someone living in Japan (and can figure out the site), go here for ordering and additional pictures. Check out my favorite designs here (and click to page through the slideshow, or mouse over the bottom to see thumbnails):

And yes, I'm testing out a new image hosting thing for posts with a lot of pics, called PictoBrowser. I created a minimal Same Hat Flickr to go hand-in-hand with it. Let me know if you like the way it presents images in the comments!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I'm out of town for the weekend, visiting my GF at grad school. No news posts on Same Hat until Monday, but things continue to be hopping at the EAZB. Click to go check out recent posts on the Electric Ant Zine Blog:

+ Revolting and beautiful scans of Spanish horror/exploitation comics via EROTRASH.

+ Monsterous comics and prints by the Sophia Foster-Dimino!

+ Obligatory nerd rage discussion of the Watchmen movie's failings.

+ Recommendations for SUPERJAIL, vintage camera shopping in Tokyo, and the new Morrison/Quietly Batman & Robin comic.

+ The Covered! meme continues, with Michael DeForge tackling Batman, Evan attacking Gene Aubry, and Robert Syrett sending up Bloodpool.

+ Preview pages from our buddy Anthony Wu's upcoming Battlestar Galactica comic for Tokyopop!

+ Surreal weirdo xerox collages by me (preparing stuff for Electric Ant #2).

+ New Animal Collective video animated by zine friend Jon Vermilyea.

+ And much more... (Browse through the previous pages at the bottom!)

If you like what you see over there, please leave a comment and say hello!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Hot off the iMovie presses! Our patron saint Shintaro Kago has added two additional animated shorts to his YouTube channel. It's fair to say they have been a mixed bag to date, and these are no different-- I'll let you guys fight it out in the comments! For the previous three videos, check here.

マーメイド / Mermaid

アリクイ舌の襲撃 / Attack of the anteater's tongue

UPDATE: Also added the new Kago stuff from VICE that I forgot to post originally. But are a little underwhelming visually, but I liked how the first illustration suited the article.

+ Spot illustration for an interesting article on Manga Kissa homelessness.

+ This month's KAGOMANIACS:

Monday, March 09, 2009


The previously posted video of Kazuo Umezu rocking "You Are My Destiny" by Paul Anka was... removed by the user? GODDAMMIT! That breaks my heart. Did anyone happen to rip or save a copy?

UPDATE! A glorious and wonderful anonymous poster has re-uploaded the video to a Japanese blog site! YES YES YES. This is most righteous of you, mysterious hero. I tried to steal the .swf or embed here, but couldn't get it to work. That said, click to CHECK OUT THE VIDEO. The site was super slow to load, but the payoff is so worth it.


It's been Kazuo Umezu overload on Same Hat this week, but you guys don't mind... right? The latest toy news from Umezz.com is an Umezz figure designed by Demerin based on her depiction of him in her gag manga, Umezology. Yes, you read all that right!

Vinyl PVC doll, Price: 4800円
Coming out March 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009


Here is an awesome and ridiculous piece of Umezz fan art from RootStudio (a contributor to The Illustrated Hall of Dark Lords in Electric Ant #1)!

"The real reason Kazuo Umezu's neighbors didn't want him to build that house."

Hope everyone has a Watchmantastic weekend! (Our SF comics crew is seeing it tonight at 10:45pm)

Monday, March 02, 2009


It was WonderCon weekend in San Francisco, and despite skipping the con itself, I had a supremely comics-heavy weekend. On Friday, I went with my buddy Anthony and saw the Watchmen exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum. I stood by like a nerd as he met Dave Gibbons, which he blogged on the EAZB.

Saturday night was an unexpected Viz party, and kicking it with another manga buddy, 20th Century Boyz editor Kit. But the real kicker and outing that put Same Hat anniversary weekend over the top for me was... Brunch with the master of manga, Frederik Schodt!

Fred & me talking shop - Pic by Jenn

PS: Viz misspelled Fred's name on the credits page for Pluto Vol 1, WTF.


I had lost track of the date at some point, but yesterday I realized that this weekend marks the four year anniversary of Same Hat! How crazy is that?

I distinctly remember pitching the idea of a blog covering weirdo manga to Evan back in 2005, and our feverish work on those initial scanlation strips by Yoshida Sensha. I had just graduated college and was looking for a place to talk with friends about weirdo manga... and have an excuse to use my Japanese degree for something non-evil. Now, 405 posts later, the site's focus has morphed and shifted since the very early days, but I hope we're still going strong.

I wanted to take a second to sincerely thank everyone who has been reading and commenting and emailing since we started. I think of Same Hat as a community more than as simply my blog, and I couldn't ask for a better vehicle for meeting awesome people and learning about cool books, artists, and assorted weirdness from around the globe. Thanks also to everyone for putting up with side-projects and diversions I post here, like the zine, Evan's photography work and other random projects.

To add a little something to this post (other than me waxing nostalgically and getting all teary-eyed), here are a few blasts from the pasts from the Same Hat archive. In the coming weeks (month or so?) I'm gonna work with Evan and friends to launch a proper site on samehat.com, which will include easier browsing of old posts, along with a home for the Same Hat Guide To Everything and other community features. In the meanwhile, enjoy these nuggets:

+ The ORIGINAL Yoshida Sensha strip that launched the site and gave us our name. [link]
+ Subsequently, fan parodies of the ORIGINAL Yoshida Sensha strip! [link] & [link]
+ A massive & ultimate English guide to Umezz's website [link]
+ Our first ever Suehiro Maruo fan scanlation... [link]
+ Long-ass treatise on Junji Ito, Dark Horse and the state of horror manga in 2006 [link]
+ Photographs of the first American Edition of Japanese Manga [link]
+ Our final scanlation from 2007, The Young Bandit by Yoshida Sensha [link]
+ Evan and my first original comic together: THE BIBLE! [link]
+ Umezu-style guide to horror manga makeup [link]

I hope folks continue to dig what I'm doing here (and the manga projects that Evan and I are working on) for coming months and... years!? If there's a specific type of thing you would like to see more of on the site, I wanna hear about it! More text-heavy essay posts? Highlights of different artists or specific series? More of Nate, SH's man-in-Japan? Just let me know and I'll work to make it happen. The site ain't shit without you guys, the readers!