Wednesday, April 29, 2009


PictureBox publisher Dan Nadel just announced on Facebook that they are opening an online gallery to sell original art by their stable of artists. This is cool because in addition to folks like CF and Ben Jones, they are selling original comic pages and panels by Yuichi Yokoyama!

Have $200-$1000 laying around and want to own a piece of Garde, New Engineering, Travel, or his other works? Check out PictureBox Auctions!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I saw posted earlier today on the Drawn & Quarterly blog: images from their upcoming release of THE BOX MAN by Imiri Sakabashira (on September 29, 2009). Sakabashira is an avant-garge painter, and was featured in Vice a few months back (his first print exposure to English audiences Oops, Sakabashira had a story in Sake Jock, as Azraelito points out in the comments!) and profiled on Sakabashira will also have a story in the upcoming AX Anthology from Top Shelf! Check these out from D&Q:

[As usual, RSS folks please click through to view the PictoBrowser galleries! Mouse over the gallery for captions.]

From the Amazon listing:
Enter the strange world of Imiri Sakabashira, whose denizens are zoomorphic creatures that emerge from one another as well as their equally bizarre environs. The Box Man follows its protagonists along a scooter trip through a complex landscape that oscillates between a dense city, a countryside simplified to near abstraction, and hybrids of the two; the theme of hybridity permeates throughout. One is unsurprised to encounter a creature that is half elderly man, half crab, or a flying frog in this world where our guide apparent is an anthropomorphic, mollusk-like cat. Sakabashira weaves this absurdist tale into a seamless tapestry constructed of elements as seemingly disparate as Japanese folklore, pop culture, and surrealism.Within these panels, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the animate and the inanimate, the real and the imagined—a tension that adds a layer of complexity to this near-wordless psychedelic travelogue.

Imiri Sakabashira (real name Mochizuki Katsuhiro) was born in Shizuoka, Japan, in 1964, the same year that Garo, the influential manga anthology in which he would first be published, was founded.

The Box Man is included in the story collection, Red Tights Man:

[Thanks, Anonymous!]
English edition of The Box Man:

According to Amazon, Drawn & Quarterly will also be publishing Red Snow by Susumu Katsumata on September 29, 2009. [UPDATED]: Here are 4 pages from the English edition, posted on the D&Q blog today:

From that listing:
Continuing D+Q’s groundbreaking exploration of the fascinating world of Gekiga, this collection of short stories is drawn with great delicacy and told with subtle nuance by the legendary Japanese artist Susumu Katsumata. The setting is the premodern Japanese countryside of the author’s youth, a slightlymagical world where ancestral traditions hold sway over a people in the full vigor of life, struggling to survive the harsh seasons and the difficult life of manual laborers and farmers. While the world they inhabit has faded into memory and myth, the universal fundamental emotions of the human heart prevail at the center of these tender stories.

Katsumata began publishing comic strips in the legendary avantgarde magazine Garo (which also published his contemporaries Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Yoshiharu Tsuge) in 1965 while enrolled in the Faculty of Science in Tokyo. He abandoned his studies in 1971 to become a professional comics artist, alternating the short humorous strips upon which he built his reputation with stories of a more personal nature in which he tenderly depicted the lives of peasants and farmers from his native region. In 2006, Katsumata won the 35th Japanese Cartoonists Association Award Grand Prize for Red Snow.

Japanese edition of Red Snow:

Monday, April 27, 2009


Oh yes, this fucked up apocalypse week of international viral worry has one brief bit of respite... new Daily Manga by Shintaro Kago! Not one to deviate from a topic once he gets his groove on, here we get seven takes on suicide (in a slightly larger format). Check out the gags now, with quick English translations by me!

SUNDAY - Godzilla commits suicide

MONDAY - Ultraman commits suicide

TUESDAY - Kamen Rider commits suicide

WEDNESDAY - Grandma commits suicide

THURSDAY - A virgin commits suicide

FRIDAY - A chef commits suicide

SATURDAY - A mangaka commits suicide

Friday, April 24, 2009


Exciting news for indie manga nerds... Last Gasp will be releasing a new book by Junko Mizuno this Fall!

Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU Vol. 1 by Junko Mizuno

Not too many details on Amazon, but it looks like the book is 172 pages and scheduled for September 2009. This book is the first volume in a short series, and will add to the list Mizuno titles in English, PURE TRANCE, HANSEL & GRETEL, CINDERELLA, PRINCESS MERMAID, and HELL BABIES.

I don't know the exact details, but I believe Patrick Macias & Izumi Evers' jaPress did the translation/editing for this book. More details and images from the book as I hear about them!

[To note: Evan & I did not work on this book in any capacity.]

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Two events happened last month at TACO che, featuring two artist on the Same Hat wavelength. Both of these events featured signings and original goods-- unfortunately, nobody I know was able to attend (were they?). Here are the photos of art and goodies from the Taco Che blog!

First up: JUN HAYAMI [beauty labyrinth of razors, etc]
This event happened on March 22, 2009, with an in-person signing with Hayami-san. [link]

Second artist of note: TAKASHI NEMOTO [monster men bureiko lullaby, etc]
This event happened on March 28, 2009, with an in-person signing with Nemoto-sign. Throughout March, TACO che has been featuring numerous one-of-kind t-shirts, hats, pencil cases, bags and cards created/painted by Nemoto. WISH I COULD GET MY HANDS ON ONE OF THOSE LOU REED CARDS! [link]

Check out these badass, handmade Nemoto goods:

Monday, April 20, 2009


ANN and other sites are reporting that Asahi Shinbun recently announced the winners of the 13th Annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, which honors the highest achievements each year in manga in Japan.

The grand prize was shared between two worthy and cool titles, Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga and A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

The coolest part? Suehiro Maruo's book, Panorama-tou Kidan (The Strange Tale of Panorama Island) won the New Artist Prize! CONGRATS, UNCLE MARUO!

As I've blogged about before (and any self-respecting Same Hat reader should know), the book is a ~300 page adaptation of a novella by Japanese detective fiction godfather, Edogawa Rampo. The story takes place at the end of the Taisho era, and follows an unsuccessful science fiction author with an uncanny resemblance to a former classmate/son of a rich industrialist family. When the industrialist's son dies, the author fakes his own death, digs up and hides the other man's body, then washes himself up starving on a beach in a town where the dead man's family lives. After some more intrigue and scheming, he proceeds to take redirect all of their money to build a mysterious pleasure palace island, and live like a sensual weirdo king. Crazy and amazing stuff!

I've read this book 4 or 5 times now, and I absolutely love it--- It's by far Maruo's most elegant and beautiful line work to date, and his pages coupled with Rampo's excellent (albeit crazy/abrupt at the end!) and twisted tale = TOTAL WIN.

In addition to the prestige and bump in book sales, "1 million yen (US$10,000) goes to the winner of the New Artist Prize. The prize will be awarded to the winners in person on June 5 in Tokyo. FRESH.


Here is a nice change of pace around these parts-- another set of rad Suehiro Maruo tattoo photographs!

These come from SH reader Matt, who had them done by artist Jane Laver at Chapel Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia. Thanks, Matt!

As usual, RSS folks please click through to view the PictoBrowser galleries! Mouse over the gallery for captions.

Do you have a cool manga tattoo that you want to share with the community? Shoot me an email at samehat [AT] gmail [DOTCOM]. Click to see other posts featuring [tattoos] on Same Hat. I'm just sortaaa starting to think about maybe getting one myself later this year with my GF-- have a few ideas but I'm still too gunshy and have my doubts. What do you guys thinks would make a rad indie/horror manga tattoo?

Sunday, April 12, 2009


This past weekend, my buddy Nate was in town from Tokyo and we had a blast catching up. In between eating burritos, drinking beers, and a metal show in Oakland, Nate handed over some amazing Shintaro Kago presents he picked up for me last Fall!

As you might recall, Nate met Kago twice last year- first at a gallery show/signing on Halloween, and then again at Design Festa. Between the two events, Nate managed to wrangle me a signed Shintaro Kago digital print, a bunch of postcards, and a copy of the Paranoia Street DVD!

As usual, RSS folks please click through to view the PictoBrowser galleries! Mouse over the gallery for captions.

(At my bequest, he was also rad enough to get Kago to sign a card for Johnny too!)

In addition to the goodies for me, Nate brought with him a present for our buddy Ben- a Kago self-published mini featuring a bunch of krasue gags! This book is en route to Ben right now, but Nate let me snap these photos before he dropped it in the mail:

I'm still figuring out the what & when, but plan to give away some of the postcards as Same Hat contest presents in the near future. I'll keep you guys posted!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


After all the KagoTube posts, I wanted to revisit Kazuo Umezu's own YouTube channel. Umezz (with Demerin's help, naturally) has continued to post goofy and interesting clips.

Here is his most recent clip, featuring a bevy of paper masks, GWASHI hands and a strange giant-sized naked Umezu cut-out! (The cut-out feature Umezu's face on a big reproduction of a naked figurine. YES). Enjoy:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I'm a day late in posting, so many of you probably have already seen this... Shintaro Kago added a new short to his YouTube channel, じゃんけん/Rock, Paper, Scissors. Enjoy!

PS: In related news, Nate brought me some Kago goodies I'll post about soon: A DVD of animated shorts, Kago postcards for a contest, and... a signed print!

Sunday, April 05, 2009


I have to take a second to give a shout-out to an awesome and auspicious blog debut by longtime reader and Same Hat friend, zytroop! He has launched a brand new weirdo manga/Japan blog called KURUTTA!

Kurutta launched with a Jun Togawa clip (awesome) and for its first legit post, collects a HUGE gallery of record covers and liner art by Suehiro Maruo over the years. This is a fucking wild collection, with many I had never seen before. He also includes a YouTube clip of a video from "Michiro Endo's old project VIDEO STALIN" that is a real treat.

Go check out this (leave a comment and then RSS that shit) NOW!!

Best wishes to Zytroop. I hear the next post will be coming soon, with a plethora of Yaoi comic cocks?!?


Friday, April 03, 2009


In the comments of the 4th anniversary post, jimpac asked for a post sharing pics and details about TACO che. I've had dozens of photos saved up and now that I've been kicked in the pants (and found a happy solution for hosting lots of pictures with PictoBrowser), it's time to post everything!

Folks reading on RSS: PictoBrowser doesn't play nice with you, so please click through and come see the 100+ photos! Mouse over 'Notes' to read the photo captions.

If you've been reading Same Hat for a while, you've probably heard me talk about the Nakano Broadway Mall. It's located just west of Shinjuku, and home to a sprawling complex of strange, otaku stores-- including the massive 15+ Mandarake shops. It's like a more underground and less commercialized version of Akiba, minus the foreign tourists with cameras and with more of the stuff we all like. How to get to Nakano Broadway and maps/pics from the Mandarake shops can be found here.

Last Spring, my GF and I went to Japan for two weeks, and I managed to fit two trips to the greatest shop in Nakano Broadway (and quite possibly, my favorite shop of any kind in the world), TACO che!! I was originally told about the shop by my German buddy Ben (who gavee me the Shintaro Kago Bullying kit from there back in 2007). TACO che is pretty much THE underground manga shop of your dreams. They don't have a specific tie to any one publisher, but I heard that the owner is close with the folks that fun Seirinkogeisha. The shop carries fan zines, dojinshi, along with nearly every title by Seirinkogeisha, EnterBrain/Beam and all the other indies we love.

The shop is located on the 3rd floor, in the general vicinity of the northwest end of the Nakano Broadway mall. Here are some shots from inside the store. The place is tiny, but every square foot is something cool and tempting:

These photos are all from March 2008, and reflect the books and goods that were hot at the time. Kazuo Umezu's 50th Anniversary (of his career in manga) celebration was in full force, and the store was crammed full of incredible Umezz goods:

In my two trips to the shop, I spent (eeek) over 300 bucks and filled a suitcase with books. I didn't really have 300 bucks to spend on comics, but I. JUST. COULDN'T. HELP. MYSELF. In addition to the bigger pubs and indie zines I mentioned above, TACO che also publishes their own occasional zines and pamphlets (which are insanely excellent, like this). Here is just a small smattering of the manga gems I am talking about:

Not content to be simply the BOOK store of our dreams, TACO che also carries limited edition shirts, toys and DVDs, including Suehiro Maruo posters made just for TACO che (sorry, I can't find that pic at the moment, will take one of the miniposter on my wall). Here are some of the shirts:

And here are some of the goodies:

They also carry lapel pins by all our favorites:

I tried to include good captions for all those pics, but if you have any questions (or corrections!) leave a comment here! You can see the photos directly at the non-flashy Same Hat flickr, which I'm using just to store pics for PictoBrowser to pull from.

TACO che continues to be the epicenter for all the manga and art we all love so much, so I'll keep my eyes ope on their blog and post interesting news. In the coming month or so, TACO che will be hosting signing events with Takashi Nemoto and Jun Hayami- hopefully Nate or Schultz can check those out for us!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Here's another quick, article while I finalize some captions for the 108 Taco Che post pictures. According to a recent post, Kazuo Umezu created a piece and participated in the 101TOKYO Contemporary Art Fair 2009. The fair is an expo of pop and fine art, held annually in Tokyo and going on now from April 2 - 5.

For a "CHARART" (character + art?) comics exhibit, Umezz created a new art print with some Sony Digital tie-in. The piece is signed by Umezz and features a creepy, noir-ish image from a 1969 Orochi comic of his.

Rocking the Gwashi! in front of his piece.

I don't see Demerin, who are these other fools?

Signing the print... inside the Makoto-chan house!

Sony logo aside, this is pretty wicked.

If you happen to be in Tokyo, it's 10 bucks to check out the event, though their website didn't make it seem quite up our alley (beyond the Umezu-connection). Nate won't be attending because dude will be in California this week! We are hanging out this weekend, and I hear he's bringing signed Kago goodies for me (and stuff to give away via Same Hat). Will keep you guys posted!