Tuesday, December 08, 2009


The weekend's completely over and it's been rainy and now feezing cold in San Francisco. Totally bogus. Here are some heard-warming links to interesting reads from the past weekend.

  • Tokyo Scum Brigade vs. Kazuo Umezz Parts 1 & 2 The big news! My friends at TSB have begun serializing their in-depth interview with Kazuo Umezu! They were lucky enough to visit the Makoto-chan house in person, have lunch with Umezz & Demerin, and interview him on camera a few weeks ago. By everyone's reckoning, this is Umezu's first English language interview. In the first two parts, the TSB boys talk to Uncle Kaz about his childhood, and early encounters with Tezuka's manga and drawing Shojo weeklies. These are a MUST-READ for Same Hat horror junkies!
    [PART 1] & [PART 2]

  • (Kazuo Umezu in high school showing off a drawing!)

  • Jog dissects the '80s MANGA anthology (and in doing so, drops major science on the definition of "manga" among Western audiences). This was a fascinating read from pretty much the best comics/manga reviewer on the internet. Jog uses this odd collection of manga (featuring Keizo Miyanishi , Noriyoshi Olai, Otomo and others) as a jumping off point for a long discussion of publishing trends since the early 80s.
    [PART 1] and [PART 2]

  • I DRAW YOUR SHIT series on the Electric Ant Zine Blog! It's a series of posts where we take turns doing tributes/covers to each other's characters. It's admittedly self-referential, but has become a great excuse for the extended EAZB readership to get off out butts each week and draw. So far, we've done TING & TERNG, the conjoined twin bullies from Hellen Jo's Jin & Jam #1, and MAX GUY from Lamar Abrams' Remake. It's open to anyone that wants to join, so check 'em out and take part in the next round (starting on Monday)

  • The Drifting Classroom: The Game: The Soundtrack OTAKU USA games/anime editor and Same Hat buddy Joseph Luster created a chiptune tribue to an imagined 8-bit game adaptation of Kazuo Umezu's child/anarchism nightmarescape manga Drifting Classroom.

  • Daul Kim, RIP Not necessarily relevant to everyone here, but I wrote up a short memorial post for the passing of supermodel / blogger Daul Kim, who died by suicide last month. Among other things, Kim was a cool girl and into the same stuff as us: blogging, zines, Shinya Tsukamoto, Wong Kar-Wai, Klaus Kinski, etc.

  • Who is Makoto Takahashi? Same Hat BFF zytroop has been on a role lately at KURUTTA (despite a tragic hard drive crash), but this post was a stunning gem for me- a collection of art from a "1957 shōjo manga called The Rows of Cherry Trees (さくら並木) by a man named Macoto, or Makoto, Takahashi (高橋真琴)."

I also share a bunch of random posts on Google Reader, which you can see on the links on the left or can view/subscribe to them here.


jimpac said...

Well looking forward to reading the Umezu interview. Just had a quick look at the link and it looks as though it will be awesome (old family photos... sweet!)
Funily enough, I downloaded the chip-tune drifting classroom album on Sunday. It's pretty dope.

Joseph Luster said...

I can't wait to see what the next IDYS is.

And thanks for linking to Drifting Classroom. You rule!

Sup! said...

Yep, the Drifting Classroom album is awesome, I listened it like 20 times the past weeks :p

And thanks for linking the interview! I'm a fan of his mangas (Drifting Classroom in the 1st place) but I didn't know the man very much.

Ryan S said...

@Jimpac: Yeah, definitely check it out! I hear that part 3 is where it starts getting juicy :)

@Joseph: of course dude! it's some incredible work, glad folks are digging it.

@Sup! :)

Joseph Luster said...

Gosh, in my excitement I also forgot to big up this killer Umezu interview by TSB. I just finished part 3. They are doing Good Things.

Also, though I didn't know of Daul Kim prior to reading your post, I found it pretty fascinating and very sincere.

Anja Flower said...

Thank you SO much for that link to the Takahashi Macoto thing. I saw it and practically fell out of my chair.

I'm always looking for old manga to use as a stylistic guide (read: to totally rip off elements from), and this shit is just the most fucking amazing thing I've seen in a long time. I'd seen the posters Macoto did for Gothic & Lolita Bible, but to see the style that stuff evolved from... I actually like it a lot more! It has a gorgeously chilling undertone that I love. A bit of Maruo-ness there in the panel design now and then, too. I wonder if they've met? :P

SO downloading that shit.

Ryan S said...

@Joseph: I totally agree :) I was trying to push a few angles to get the interview published for them but the place we were trying didnt bite fast enough. Glad they are sharing the article online and hope folks from all over take time to read it... super exclusive and compelling stuff :)

Glad you read up on Daul and found it interesting. She was a really odd and charming person :)

@Anja: Glad you are digging the Takahashi images :) zytroop has fantastic taste and is an internet sleuth, so i always try to keep up with what he is digging up. There is something pure and striking about that imagery that ends up looking tacky in some of the filtered down contemporary art (not Maruo, but other magazine illustration etc). Seeing the original stuff is so much more visceral and enjoyable (much like seeing original Tadanori Yokoo works from the 60s vs. Hysteric Glamaour now).

Houston said...

I didn't know about Kim until now either but it makes me sad that we lose the people like that . . . there are so many others I would have rather read about leaving this world than someone that interesting . . . does anyone know how she did it?

Ryan S said...

@Houston: There is more information about the details if you follow the links on the EAZB post... rather than focus on those specifics, much more cool to check out her body of work. It's a bummer that her family locked-down her blog, it was really one of my favorites on the web.

ryan :)

Houston said...

Yeah, I tried to go to her blog, to no avail. For, some reason I feel like I really want to get to know her albeit through the internet, and unfortunately, posthumously. To echo the statement on EAZB I don't usually get so upset about strangers deaths, hell half the time I "lol" at suicides but it's sad we lost such a cool one.

Ryan S said...

@Houston: ah yeah, i know the feeling. Daul was really humane and familiar, but also alien & privileged... She was very cool. And we talked a few times about zines and comics on Facebook, haha :)

it's a bummer; Suicide always seemed really foreign and incomprehensible to me, but having now had the experience of losing a close friend to it, it's become something more tangible and complex and awful for me to think about. Not to get too personal on here.

but yeah, as for ILIKETOFORKMYSELF, I know I still have access to her blog via Google Reader RSS cache... ?

best, Ryan

VoidMare said...

@Ryan: thanks again for the big ups!
Part 3 just went up. I really appreciate your help trying to get this published, but by suggestion from Umezu's camp we wound up just putting it on our blog.

@Everyone else: Thank you so much for all the links and kind words!!!

Anja Flower said...

@ryan: Yeah, I know I'm unlikely to be able to ever capture that haunting oldness in my own work... but I guess I'd like to try. Maruo seems to have succeeded at capturing/keeping it, but he was much closer to the actual thing (GARO scene etc.) than I ever have been or will be. And if I try too hard, my work won't be anything more than an imitation. Still...

Dude, Sands, we need to hang out again or something.

Um, I'm having a secular Hannukah party. You available on Sunday?