Friday, June 26, 2009


A little different than my usual posts, I wanted to take a minute and shout-out the rad blogs that help me pass my days. If you enjoy Same Hat, you simply must give each of these a look, and add them to your RSS for continued perusal!


Kurutta is hands-down my current favorite blog on teh internet. I can't recommend it highly enough! Run by Nicke, my gay Swedish brother-from-another-mother, Kurutta follows a great posting style: weekly posts chock-full to the brim of media/photos/details on one specific topic. It doesn't hurt that Nicke's interest match up exactly with everything I'm into (and that Same Hat is all about): Jun Togawa, GISM, rare Tezuka artwork, Masaaki Yuasa's Mind Game and Seichi Hayashi pin-ups (along with other oddities).

Start with these posts: Maruo's punk covers, 50 yaoi shlongs, and Pinkman.
If you enjoy this: Imagination Takeover, a blog I found via Nicke all about Terayama Shūji and Tenjō Sajiki.


Nate (of Same Hat's Man in Japan posts!) is my best buddy from college and is currently living in Takadanobaba while working on his dissertation. He's been blogging extensively about all things Ramen while living near Waseda, (which is basically in Ramen Ground Zero in Japan). His mission is to document every shop in Takadanobaba (with numerous stops around Tokyo, in norther Japan, and even slurping noodles in mainland China).

On Waseda Ramen, each post is like a rad wikipedia entry of awesome, where he dissects the speciality at a particular shop-- often going into the nuances of the regional variety and noodle style served, ridiculous details on the store owners and clientele and lush, makes-me-so-hungry-I-wanna-bite-my-computer photos of the meals. Nate also peppers in lots of found photos, YouTube clips and keitai pics.

This is my go to site for all things Ramenology. I can't fucking wait to go visit him and hit some of his favorite shops.

Start with these posts: Yagura-tei (CRAZY SPICY!), Sado ga Shima (Niigata island ramen!), and Canned Ramen!!
If you enjoy this: Check out Nate's newest blog, RICE BALLS, which features short 2-line reviews of Onigiri from around the world. It's actually open to any contributor-- you guys should check it out and start posting!


I've talked before about the greatness of Tokyo Damage Report, run by our buddy Schultz. TDR is my favorite in-country blog about Japan for a bunch of reasons, but the main one is that it's free from the self-obsessed, boring and often orientalist bullshit perspective of a lot of blogs about Japan by foreigners. Schultz doesn't forget that he's a white dude living abroad, but he's learned the language, lived there for years, been in Tokyo bands, and really knows his shit.

His blogging specialities include a guide to Tokyo (where I originally heard about Nakano Broadway!) metal and punk show reports, Japanese trade show photojournalism, fetish club and disco parties, and the occasional interview. He also created an unique Kanji-learning dictionary, which I recommend if you're past the intro levels in your studies.

Start with these posts: Security Trade Show, Unit 731 Walking Tour of Okubo, and 2008 Kawasaki Halloween Parade
If you enjoy this: Check out my friend Dan's lush photograpy-in-Tokyo blogs Fervor de Tokio and Street Level Japan. I also recommend Koenji Calling, a local scene blog run by a few Western punk girls living in Umezu's neighborhood.


Blonde Zombies is the most NSFW out of all the blogs mentioned here, but I assume that wouldn't scare any of you all away. "Crazy/Sexy/Cool Tumblr collection of weird shit" has become a major blog genre of its own, but Blonde Zombies goes a bit beyond that (and does it better than anyone else). One way to judge that kind of blog is by how much stuff you've already seen somewhere else before, and BZ is consistently showing me stuff I've never heard of.

Even the stuff I'm not into at least gets my synapses firing. Blonde Zombies' latest pre-occupations seem to be vintage porno mags, European horror comics and Russian pop album covers from the '80s.

Start with these posts: From the categories sidebar on the site: Zombies!, Euroterror!, and also early word processor Fangoria fanzines
If you enjoy this: Check out the like-minded Spanish grindcomics scans goldmine ERO-TRASH (The book Muerde is the best!) and the collection of exquisite Showa magazines and dirty pin-up clippings at Tokyo Girl

5. Michael Kupperman on Twitter [LINK]
This is not a "blog" per se, but it's one of the most constant sources of delight in my daily drudgery. Kupperman is not only a genius cartoonist (Tales Designed to Thrizzle 5 continues that trend, and the collected Tales 1-4 is out too!) but suited perfectly for the short and spontanerous (retarded?) madness of tweeeeting.

His speciality lately is random meme generation, such as "Star Trek Facts" and "Cool bands made Uncool". It's like free 140-character nuggets of comedic gold!

If you enjoy this: Check out British writer/actor Peter Serafinowicz, who was on Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and Look Around You (and was the voice of Dark Maul!?). Peter rocks the Twitter right.

[PS: If you're so inclined and into RSS, you can follow my shared items via Google Reader at this link.]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Still shaking off the beginning of the week doldrums? Let's watch Kazuo Umezu ride down the 2nd story slide he installed in his holiday house in Nagano:

Um, have I ever mention that I love this man?

[Via the blog]

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Great news for international Suehiro Maruo fans, the Spanish edition of "The Strange Tale of Panorama Island" debuted at FICÓMIC (Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona) recently [UPDATED! - Thanks, Manuel!]. The book was published by Maruo's longtime Spanish publisher Glènat.

I don't know any specific details, but I assume Maruo/EnterBrain's long-running relationship with Glènat may be the reason this edition came out so quickly. The book is available now and sells for 15€. Enjoy, Spanish-reading manga fans!

UPDATE: Glenat posted a little something about their Spanish edition on their manga blog.

Friday, June 19, 2009


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Before we start the weekend, I wanted to post a quick suggestion for a hot MILFYTR. That is, a "Minicomic I'd Like For You To Read."

Cartoonist Jose-Luis Olivares and I met via Same Hat over email, and he was nice enough to send me a copy of his latest book. The comic is called End of Eros, and I highly recommend you guys check it out.

End of Eros is a 32pg experimental comic, which tells a crazy but earnest tale of humanity, sex and the concept of a "melting pot" to the monstrous degree. The art is rad, and does some really interesting and subtle stuff with panels and layout. I really enjoyed this book.

Jose is a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies (CCS) and counts heta-uma masters King Terry and Takashi Nemoto among his influences. I also was feeling a definite Hedwig & the Angry Inch animations vibe in this work; Makes sense, since Jose said he'd seen the Hedwig production in Japan! He is currently interning with Drawn & Quarter

Go over now and add Jose's blog to your RSS and pick up a copy of this book.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


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This has been reported around the internets, but manga artist Junko Mizuno will be appearing in Toronto today for the opening reception of a solo art show. Details via

RED TRESSES AND FRECKLES: Junko Mizuno Solo Exhibition
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 18 from 7-10pm

Narwhal Art Projects (Near Magic Pony Gallery)
680 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON, Canada
Exhibition Dates: June 18 - July 26, 2009

If anyone attends, definitely send some pictures my way and I'll be happy to post them here!

It seems Junko Mizuno has been busy, recently attending FICÓMIC (Salón Internacional del Cómic de Barcelona), which is a major and awesome manga/comics convention in Barcelona, Spain. She also visited the Mondo Bizarro gallery in Rome where she'll be presenting new paintings as well.

Here are some nice photos of Junko signing and meeting fans at the Editions IMHO booth at FICCON. These photos all come via the IMHO Blog, fantastic French publishers of works by Suehiro Maruo, Tori Miki, Atsushi Kaneko, and many others we love. (Worth noting, Editions IMHO is opening a shop in Paris, and carry copies of Electric Ant #1!!).

Enjoy the photos:

Since we're talking Junko Mizuno, it's worth noting again that her new manga, Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU Vol. 1, will be published by Last Gasp this fall. More details in this post.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


NOW IT CAN BE TOLD! We are extremely excited to share the news that Last Gasp has licensed and will be publishing Suehiro Maruo's beautiful masterpiece "The Strange Tale of Panorama Island" (パノラマ島綺譚). Kudos to readers that guessed the book already! :)

As with Tokyo Zombie, Evan Hayden and I will be adapting the title for English audiences-- with Evan handling the book production, design and lettering, and me tackling the translation (with friends' help) and editing the book with Last Gasp's Colin Turner.

The Japanese edition was published by EnterBrain and is around 275 pages. This English edition will be only Suehiro Maruo's third book released in English (after Creation Books' "Ultra-Gash Inferno" and Blast Books' "Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show"). The publication is planned for Spring 2010, and some of the book release details are still being hammered out. Generally speaking, it's rare for a publisher to announce a title license this early in the process, but we are all so excited we wanted to share the news as soon as possible.

About the book, from previous posts:
Panorama is an 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!

Evan, Colin and I will be working hard over the coming weeks and months, and I probably won't have any updates in the immediate future. But later on, I'll be sharing tons of details on the process and title here at Same Hat.

So um... is anyone excited?!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The second piece of Shintaro Kago news? His latest manga collection was released in Japan. Details and cover are taken from his site's main page.

TITLE: アリ地獄vsバラバラ少女 (Arijogoku vs. Barbara Shojo aka Doodlebug vs. Brokedown Girl(?))
PUBLISHER: Kubo Ama Shoten
RELEASE DATE: June 10, 2009
PRICE: 1260 Yen

DESCRIPTION: A horror collection, featuring splatter horror stories from Horror M and gag manga style horror from Young Jump.

Anyone heading to TACOche in the next little while? :)


The first of two pieces of Shintaro Kago news is that he seems to be really falling for the daily gag format. Last week, he posted another set of comics to the Daily Manga section of his site.

As usual, I'm happy to present this batch of six 1-panel gag comics, with quick English translations by me! Kago-san stays squarely on various dopey facets of suicide this week:

MONDAY - Carpenter Suicide

TUESDAY - Rakugo Storyteller Suicide

WEDNESDAY - Vengeful Ghost Suicide ()

THURSDAY - Surgeon Suicide

FRIDAY - Fetal Suicide

SATURDAY - Firefighter Suicide

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


For a special announcement regarding the second official manga adaptation Evan and I are working on...


Details in one week, finally!


Get excited ya'll,, Suehiro Maruo's newest comic has begun serialization in the monthly magazine COMIC BEAM. The first chapter premiered in the June 2009 issue, and I've just picked up my copy at our local Kinokuniya in San Francisco. Let me tell you, it's beautiful and awesome. (The issue also features the newest chapter of SOIL by Atsushi Kaneko, a short by Yoshida Sensha, and outsider SF stuff by Sugiura Shigeru. From my previous post on the new Maruo:
The new comic is 芋虫 [Imomushi - The Caterpillar], which will be an adaptation of the 1929 Edogawa Rampo short story of the same name. The Caterpillar is a haunting psychosexual tale of Lt. Sunaga, a disfigured and limbless veteran of WWI who returns home to his young and beautiful wife. Sunaga initially is given a hero's welcome, but is quickly forgotten and shunned because of his injuries. Unable to speak or care for himself, he is completely at the mercy of his wife as she grows to loathe and toy with him. There's more, but I'll leave it there for now.

Elements from Edogawa Rampo's original short story have already been seen in Suehiro Maruo illustrations and muzan-e works; Rampo's The Caterpillar was previously translated into English as part of the Edogawa Rampo short story collection, "Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination". (This is one of my absolute favorite books! If you have not read this book, YOU NEED TO GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW!)

Here is a first look at the June 2009 issue, and chapter one of Caterpillar by Suehiro Maruo x Edogawa Rampo:

I hadn't realized how thick each issue of COMIC BEAM is... The cover and spine are a thick matte with gorgeous color art.

Imomushi's stark and beautiful title page

Similar to Panorama-tou Kidan, Imomushi features a lush color two-page opening with a quote from Edogawa Rampo.

The comic starts slowly, with subtle depictions of rural life of 1920s Japan.

I was surprised that we see Lt. Sunaga depicted so quickly. As folks that have read the original short story remember, he can only communicate by blinking or writing with a pencil in his mouth.

Large doses of psycho-sexual drama (and some EXPLICIT depictions)

Look at those outdoor details!

Halfway through the chapter, Maruo jumps back to immediately after Lt. Sunaga's maining in the war.

A crowd scene on par with Maruo's infamous short story, Planet of the Jap

SO CREEPY! The panel and formal experimentation stuff in these Rampo adaptations are so exciting and refreshing to see.

The last panel from chapter 1, a stunning depiction of Tokiko's laying eyes on her deformed husband for the first time.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Hold on to your butts. This is the post you're gonna want to bookmark and send to all your friends!

I just realized that last month Same Hat had its two year anniversary. It's crazy to think that so much time has passed since Evan and I first came up with the idea to translate a few Yoshida Sensha gag comics I had lying around, strips dating back to my high school study abroad in Japan.

This is a good chance to help newer readers get a flavor for all the crazy shit hidden in the depths of our semi-inaccessible Archives. So we're taking it back to the original manifesto for this site: SCANLATIONS. So yeah, we've made improvements to the blog itself, and now have post tags that can help you find specific topics (say, our original comics or mentions of Tezuka).

That said, until we get up and running (oh SHIT, did I let that slip?) it's still a huge pain the ass to try to track down the 50 or so scanlations we've done. To that goal, here is a complete list of all the strips and stories we've scanlated in the past two years-- ENJOY!
(PS: If you're interested, feel free to digg this post.)

'*' indicates a comic is probably NSFW.
Suehiro Maruo

Farewell Showa - 4 pages
Totally Scary - 3 pages*
The Gold Notbook - 8 pages*
Poison Strawberry part 1 - 10 pages*
Poison Strawberry part 2 - 10 pages*
Poison Strawberry part 3 - 10 pages*

Junji Ito

Falling part 1 - 16 pages
Falling part 2 - 16 pages

Yoshida Sensha

4 Panel
These are not official titles, but simply how we've referred to Sensha's gag strips
Same Hat! Same Hat!
The Men's Room 2
Wrong Number
Mussed Face
Doggy Daily News
The Men's Room
Welcome Back Kazuko!
Daddy's Little Helper
Backwash Falls
Detective Use Only
Poor Doggy part 1
Poor Doggy part 2
Poor Doggy part 3
Poor Doggy part 4
Close Shave
Doa ga Shimarimasu
The Small Assasin
Street Signs
Don't Turn Around
Ultra Boy Attack
The King of Discomfort
Your Mother Should Know part 1
Your Mother Should Know part 2
Your Mother Should Know part 3
Your Mother Should Know part 4

16 Panel
Honey #3

Koji Aihara

A Touch*
A Relaxing Bath*
Jupiter Probe Expedition

We'll be adding a new 18 page story by Yoshida Sensha called The Young Bandit to this list in the next week or so.

Monday, June 01, 2009


This weekend I received a lovely piece of Tokyo Zombie fan art by Irish cartoonist Eoin Marron. Eoin is a huge manga nerd like us, and runs the excellent but infrequent Dramatic Japanese Picture blog.

I love his depictions of Tokyo Zombie's cast of weird-ass characters! I think Hanakuma-san would be proud :)

[Click the image or here to view the full-size image!]