Monday, February 22, 2010


Did you know that there was an issue of GARO in the 90s showcasing Suehiro Maruo's work? The May 1993 issues of GARO featured a Maruo cover, and included a long interview with the main. The issue also featured a gallery of Suehiro Maruo's full-color paintings, comic panels, and a photographic bibliography of his work (to date at the time).

Here are some of the lush, full-color pieces featured in the magazine. Many thanks to Stefan, who originally posted these great scans on his Tumblr. Stefan posted recently to help on the Early Manga Days chronology, and posts art on his DeviantArt page.
[Click for larger scans of these pages]

I'm gonna try to track down a cheap used copy of this when I'm at Mandarake this coming weekend. I leave for Japan in less than 48 hours!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


(This post is part of a series I've tagged as "early manga days", chronicling rare/weird gems from the beginning of manga's now 30+ year history of publication in English)

Today, I'm happy to share another piece of history from the early days of manga publishing in English. This one was provided to me by Paul, a manga fan in Holland. Below are the pages to "Landed" by Keiichi Koike, an 8 page comic published in Epic Illustrated #26 -- the October 1984 issue on pages 83-90.

This post features scans from Epic Illustrated found online by Paul, but I was just able to order a copy of the original publication off eBay for only 5 bucks. (Thanks internet, you the bestest).

I didn't know too much about Keiichi Koike before digging around for this post. Koike began his career as a published cartoonist in the late '70s, with a steady stream of series in the 1980s and some in the '90s too. You can see a full bibliography of his long career on his Japanese Wikipedia page. Unfortunately for English speakers, "Landed" seems to be the only work of his that's been translated and published.

As usual when it comes to art/indie manga, the Europeans have it way better than us. Glenat has released a French collection of his stories called Heaven's Door (2003), and is currently releasing his ULTRA HEAVEN (2008-2010) books. You can read about Volume 1 and Volume 2 on their site, which also featured a 20 page online preview of the book.

The third volume came out pretty recently in Japan, here's the cover:

As you can see, Keiichi Koike looks to be another mangaka heavily influenced by the French science fiction comics of Philippe Druillet and Moebius. According to the JP Wikipedia article, he won the Tezuka Prize for New Talent for his comics URASHIMA in 1976, at the age of 16(!). His books often muse on psychedelic experience and transcendental philosophy. I just saw that the July 2009 issue of Seidosha's magazine about manga EUREKA is themed "Moebius x Manga" and features comics & articles by Naoki Urasawa, Jiro Taniguchi, Koike and others!

His line work also reminds me of the '80s style of super-detailed cityscapes/technology and tones from SF and cyberpunk manga, a la Katsuhiro Otomo. I really don't know much beyond that Wikipedia page, but would love to hear more about him (especially from folks in Europe that have read the Glenat releases).

Without further ado, I'm happy to share with you "Landed" by Keiichi Koike from 1984:
(Click for full size pages)









Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Exciting news for the East Cost. New York City's unique and prestigious Center for Book Arts will be hosting a radical exhibition on Garo Magazine this Spring. The exhibit is titled "Garo Manga, 1964-1973" and is organized by Ryan Holmberg, Assistant Art Professor, Writer.

Running from April 14, 2010 - June 26, 2010, this will be a must see for any manga fans that can make it out there. From their site:
"Garo Manga, 1964-1973" will be an exhibition focused around the renowned manga (Japanese comics) journal Garo during the period of its greatest aesthetic experimentation and political commitment. Garo is well-known amongst comic enthusiasts and historians of postwar Japanese culture both for its challenging of formal and thematic conventions within the field of comics as well as for its engagement with the main political issues of the day, from rightwing incursions into national education policy to Japanese involvement in the Vietnam War.

This exhibition presents the work and development of Garo during this seminal period. The core of the exhibition will be each and every issue of Garo, from its first issue in September 1964 to its 120th issue in December 1973. Most of the issues will either be shelved serially on a book shelf roughly 8 feet from the floor or, alternately and perhaps preferably, each issue mounted serially upon the wall with their covers facing outward. Exhibition cases will be used to display a number of individual Garo volumes open, showing representative moments in the history of the magazine and the work of important artists. In other exhibition cases, supplementary materials will be exhibited, including direct precursors to Garo, a selection of important Garo issues from later periods, other journals inspired by Garo (including Tezuka Osamu’s COM), and issues of Manga-shugi (Manga-ism), a small but important magazine of manga criticism, much of which focused on the work of Garo.

Unfortunately, the exhibit will be opening the week after this year's MoCCA Festival (bad timing, folks!). But this would be a great excuse to stay a few days in New York...

UPDATE!: Ryan Holmberg, curator of this Garo exhibit, stopped by and left further details in the comments. Turns out there will be a pamphlet from the show and in-person discussion with Ax mangaka Akino Kondoh! Details from Ryan:
Thanks for posting news of the Garo exhibition. I am happy to see that it is getting some publicity. There will be a small scholarly catalog accompanying the exhibition: a portable version for those unable to visit. Also, on April 21st, there will be a public event, a conversation between myself and Akino Kondoh, an artist associated with Ax (her work appears on the cover of the forthcoming Ax volume from Top Shelf), whose early comics were inspired by early Garo artists like Tsuge Yoshiharu and Hayashi Seiichi. Please attend if you are able. It should be interesting.

The show builds on my dissertation, which was on Garo, focusing on the work of Shirato Sanpei, Tsuge Yoshiharu, Sasaki Maki, and Hayashi Seiichi. I have recently begun expanding the dissertation for a book-length manuscript on early Garo, spanning the magazine’s inception to its transformation into a subcultural magazine in the mid-70s, and treating all the main artists of that period. It will be a couple years before I finish.

As for obtaining old Garo issues: it's super easy and cheap if you are in Japan. Go to Mandarake, the used-manga megastore -- which by the way was founded by Furukawa Masuzo, a central Garo artist in the 70s. If you are not in Japan, still go to Mandarake on the web. They have English-capable personnel. However, you will have to tell them exactly what issue you want. Single issues -- excluding special issues and early issues -- cost between 300 to 800 yen, typically -- that's about 4 to 10 USD. Shipping, on the other hand, will be high.

Thanks again. I hope you are able to make the show. If you make either the opening or the Kondoh event, please say hello.


I started compiling this list over on the site MyAnimeList, which has a cool community called "The Alternative Manga Club" that I've been posting on. Since it's a bit hard to comment on that thread without being registered, I decided to move it here. Please help fill in details below!

I'm trying to compile a chronological list (by publication date) of very early manga from Japan published in English. Specifically, I wanna list everything that was translated and published in America (or in bilingual editions in Japan, in Europe, etc) prior to the big explosion at the end of the 80s by Viz and Dark Horse, etc.

(Thanks so far to Joe McCulloch, Azraelito, pekochan, Deb Aoki, and Fred Schodt for their additions)

+ Concerned Theatre Journal (CTJ), Volume 2, Issue #1

  • Sakura Illustrated ("Sakura Gaho") by Akasegawa Genpei   [1971]
  • Red Eye ("Akame") by Shirato Sampei [1969]
  • The Stopcock ("Nejishiki") by Tsuge Yoshiharu [1969]
Scans, downloads, and details on Same Hat

+ Star*Reach #7 (January)

"The Bushi" written by Satoshi Hirota & art by Masaichi Mukaide
Great piece on Random Manga Experiments about Mukaide
Star*Reach bibliography

+ BAREFOOT GEN Vol.1 by Keiji Nakazawa

Published by Project Gen in April
Photos and details on Same Hat

+ Imagine #3 (August)
"The Spider Thread" by by Masaichi Mukaide

+ Imagine #4 (November)
"The Awakening of Tamaki" written by Lee Marrs & art by Masaichi Mukaide

+ BAREFOOT GEN Vol. 2 published by Project Gen
From Frederik Schodt's bibliography page

+ Imagine #6 (July)
"Salvation" by Masaichi Mukaide

+ Heavy Metal, March issue: "Violence Becomes Tranquility" - Kaze Shinobu
+ Heavy Metal, December issue: Front Cover by Hajime Sorayama
Scans and details on Same Hat
List of full issue contents

+ Epic Illustrated #4 (Winter):
Article: "Portfolio: The Art of Shotaro Ishimori" by Gene Pelc & Archie Goodwin
List of full issue contents

+ Food Comix: "When Socrates Drinks, Everybody Drinks!," by Akira Narita with Fred Schodt and Leonard Rifas
Published by EduComics, San Francisco

+ Heavy Metal, August issue: Back Cover by Hajime Sorayama
Scans and details on Same Hat
List of full issue contents

+ The Rose of Versailles Vols. 1 & 2, by Riyoko Ikeda,
Published in bilingual editions by Sanyusha in Japan

+ Epic Illustrated #10 (February issue): "Heart And Steel" - Kaze Shinobu
List of full issue contents

+ I Saw It! The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima: A True Survivor's Story by Keiji Nakazawa
Published by Educomics

+ Epic Illustrated #18 (June issue):
"Article: The Art Of Go Nagai" - Jo Duffy
"Oni" - Go Nagai
List of full issue contents

+ Manga translated & excerpted in Frederik Schodt's Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics:
- Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka
- Rose of Versailles by Ryoko Ikeda
- Ghost Warrior by Leiji Matsumoto
- Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa

+Bilingual edition Urusei Yatsura by Rumiko Takahashi
Published by Shogakukan, at least 3 volumes were released
Listing on Bunkoudo

+ Epic Illustrated #26: "Landed" - Keiichi Koike
Scans and details on Same Hat

+ RAW v. 1 n. 7
Edited/published by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman
Featured an insert of Yoshiharu Tsuge's "Red Flowers"
along with comics by Terry Yumura; Yosuke Kowamuro; Sugiuro Shigeru;
Indy Magazine article by Bill Kartalopoulos

+ Golgo 13 No. 1: Into the Wolves' Lair by Takao Saito
+ Golgo 13 No. 2: Galinpero by Takao Saito
+ Golgo 13 No. 3: Ice Lake Hit by Takao Saito
All published by Lead Publishing

+ Golgo 13 No. 4: The Ivory Connection
Published by Lead Publishing

+ Samurai Son of Death by Sharman DiVono & Hiroshi Hirata
Published as Eclipse Graphic Novel #14
My Comic Shop listing

+ Legend of Kamui by Sanpei Shirato
Published by Eclipse/Viz starting in May
eBay listing

+ Mai the Psychic Girl by Kazuya Kudō & Ryoichi Ikegami.
Published in May by Eclipse/Viz
Covers and details on Same Hat
eBay listing

+ Area 88 by Kaoru Shintani
Published by Eclipse/VIP
eBay listing

+ Lone Wolf & Cub by Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima
Published in May by First Comics
eBay listing

+ Xenon by Masaomi Kanzaki
Published by Eclipse/Viz

+ Cheval Noir #1 (comics magazine)
"Angel Fusion" by by Keisuke Goto and Hiroyuki Kato
Published by Dark Horse

+ Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo
Published by Epic Comics
eBay listing
Background on publication history
Same Hat post about Steve Oliff's color guides

+ Mazinger by Go Nagai
Published by First Publishing

+ Dirty Pair by Haruka Takachiho
Published by Eclipse Comics
eBay listing

+ Appleseed by Masumune Shirow
Published by Eclipse Comics
eBay listing

+ Outlanders #1 by Johji Manabe
Published by Dark Horse / Studio Proteus
eBay listing

+ Justy by Tsuguo Okazaki
Published by Viz

+ Crying Freeman by Kazuo Koike & Ryoichi Ikegami
Published by Viz

+ Pineapple Army by by Kazuya Kudo & Naoki Urasawa
Published by Viz

+ Good-Bye and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Published by Catalan Communications
(A "semi-legal" book, translated from Spanish into English by Catalan)

+ Rumic World by Rumiko Takahashi
Published by Viz
Issue 1: Fire Tripper
Issue 2: Laughing Target

+ Lum #1-8 by Rumiko Takahashi
Published by Viz (May - December)

+ Baoh by Hirohiko Araki
Published by Viz

+ Panorama of Hell by Hideshi Hino
Published by Blast Books
Noted by Fred Schodt as the first manga published "unflipped" in English

+ Cyber 7 by Shuho Itahashi
Published by Eclipse Comics

+ Golgo 13 #1 - The Impossible Hit by Takao Saito
Published by Lead Publishing
eBay listing

+ Dominion #1-6 by Masamune Shirow
Published by Eclipse

+ Golgo 13 #2: Hopper the Border
Published by Lead Publishing

+ RAW v. 2 n. 2
Edited/published by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman
"Oba's Electroplate Factory" by Yoshihiro Tsuge

+ Black Magic #1-4 by Masamune Shirow
Published by Eclipse

+ Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction
Published by Kodansha International
Features: 38 page manga by Michio Hasauchi called "Japan's Junglest Day."

+ Grey by Yoshihisa Tagami, published by Viz [eBay]
+ Lost Continent by Akihiro Yamada, published by Eclipse [eBay]
+ Hotel Harbour View by Natsuo Sekikawa & Jiro Taniguchi, published by Viz [MyComicShop]
+ 2001 Nights by Yukinobu Hoshino, published by Viz [MyComicShop]
+ Saber Tiger by Yukinobu Hoshino, published by Viz [MyComicShop]
+ Shion Blade of the Minstrel by Yu Kinutani, published by Viz [eBay]
+ Cobra by Buichi Terasawa, published by Viz [MyComicShop]
+ Horobi, published by Viz [MyComicShop]
+ What's Michael by Makoto Kobayashi, published by Eclipse [MyComicShop]

MANGA 1984
- Front cover by Hajime Sorayama
- Two Warriors by Hiroshi Hirata
- Down Time by Yosuke Tamori
- The Mask of the Red Dwarf Star by Yukinori Hoshino
- Olai Portfolio by Noriyoshi Olai (illustrations)
- Watermelon Messiah by Otomo Katsuhiro (wordless)
- Midsummer Night's Dream by Lee Marrs & Keizo Miyanishi
- The Great Ten by Noboru Miyama
- Schizophrenia by Youji Fukuyama
- The Promise by Masaichi Mukaide
- Cat in Animation by Masayuki Wako (wordless)
- Back cover: Hiroshi Hirata
This book was published in Japan and exported to America. This 88 page book contains color and B&W entries.
Complete analysis and descriptions by Job on the Savage Critic blog

1977: Star*Reach #7 includes a story by Satoshi Hirota/Masaichi Mukaide

Ostensibly, the first English "Manga" was Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama's "The Four Immigrants" comics, created in the 1920s while he was living in the United States. These comics were translated by Frederik Schodt and published by Stone Bridge Press in 1998
Further reading on Fred Schodt's site

+ "Manga: Another SF/F Trend Missed by SF/F?" by Cynthia Ward (published in Locas Online)
Cynthia states in this article (among other great tidbits):
Eclipse/Viz followed these titles with several SF manga (Appleseed, Cyber 7, Cosmo Police Justy, Dominion, and Xenon: Heavy Metal Warrior).

+ The Age of Fake Manga - a fantastic collection of American comics created in the 80s that mimicked the style of manga, including: Ninja Funnies, The Fat Ninja, Eagle (a ninja comic unrelated to the Sawaguchi political manga), Shuriken, Mecha, Gigantor & Speed Racer remakes, Metal Bikini, and Rion 2990. CHECK THIS OUT!

From Indy Magazine article by Bill Kartalopoulos
Mouly: We did go see all of those people while we were in Tokyo in 1983, so we managed to find out about them even before we went... We also very very early on made contact with Kosei Ono... Kosei Ono is a book critic, and a writer, and a scholar of comics and he's the one who put us in touch with Tsuge and, a really smart guy. So we basically made connections with the right people.

It's the only time that Tsuge published outside of Japan. He just won't allow it. He let it happen with a book that just came out in France this year, ten years later. It was basically because Kosei Ono vouched for us, and Tsuge gave us permission for "Red Flowers." And of course we had to do it as an insert. He didn't want it blown up in Raw, and he liked the idea that it would have its own format, that he would be presented. The reason that he doesn't want to be published anywhere else is that he contends, and I can see, if you read his books you can understand what he means, that if you truly want to understand his work, you have to go move to Japan, learn Japanese, and then you can understand his books.

Karasik: The translations that I did of Tsuge's remarkable tales remain the Raw work of which I am proudest. My close pal, Akira Satake, who is one of the best banjo players in the world and quickly becoming one of the best ceramicists, as well, was familiar with Tsuge's work and would do a rough translation of the story. Because he and I are so close, even though I do not understand Japanese, I was able to take his translations into vernacular English while retain what I believe and hope is the intonation and intention of Tsuge's original work. Footnoting the "Red Flowers" was Art's bright idea. It gave us a way of explaining the sound-effects, inflection and subtleties inherent in the original Japanese which would be lost to Western readers.

Mouly: It turned out that Tsuge loved the idea of having footnotes, we loved the idea of having footnotes. It was nice, we liked the idea of a comic strip with footnotes. It slows down the reading, which was the same project that we had as well.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with another new batch of Shintaro Kago gag comics. Taken per usual from his site, the theme this time is toilet paper roll dispensers!

Monday - Toilet paper dispenser roll cake

Tuesday - Toilet paper dispenser runny nose

Wednesday - Toilet paper dispenser hair follicle

Thursday - Toilet paper dispenser waterfall

Friday - Toilet paper dispenser wave laser cannon

Saturday - Toilet paper dispenser Final Fantasy

Sunday - Obi toilet paper dispenser
Says: Oyurushi kudasai dono - Please excuse me, sir!

(You can check out all the previous Kago strips by clicking the daily strips label)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Just a quick little post before new Kago Daily strips and another fantastic set of early manga days scans...


A (relatively) short trip, I'll be there exactly one week (from 2/25/10 to 3/4/10) The agenda so far is:

  • Crash with my buddy RameNate and drink beers in Golden Gai, eat ramen & see shows, ride bikes, read and discuss manga (and translations thereof).

  • Hang out with other friends in the area, like The Notorious I-Shi-I, Mr. MCVMCV, the Tokyo Scum dudes, and other friends!

  • See the AX gallery show at Billiken Shokai gallery, featuring original art by dozens and dozens of mangaka featured in AX over the years (Including Suehiro Maruo, Yusaku Hanakuma, Takashi Nemoto, and basically everyone else we've ever posted about on Same Hat).

SO PUMPED RIGHT NOW! I'm going to pick up a lot of goodies from TACO CHE, and will definitely have giveaways and contests when I get back for you guys... along with tons of photos. If you have any recommendations, lemme know in the comments or on the Same Hat Guide to Everything!

Friday, February 05, 2010


Before I head off for, I wanted to share the link to OUTDOOR a free online "EcoMIC" by Yuichi Yokoyama. This three-chapter story is hosted at MouRa's Ecologue site. MouRa is "a digital publishing platform which covers the whole Kodansha universe".

You can check out all 3 chapters over on their site!

Thanks to Kevin at Laser Crab Revue for sending this link!

Oh, and if you're still not satiated with online manga reading (for free!), the SigIKKI site is still posting tons of new chapters... including their newest series Bob and His Funky Crew.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


(This post is part of a series I've tagged as early manga days, chronicling rare/weird gems from the beginning of manga's now 30+ year history of publication in English)

The internet is a magical place. I posed a question about the circumstances around the publication of Shinobu Kaze's Violence Becomes Tranquility in Heavy Metal in 1980, and within a few days the exact right person to answer that question came and filled us in!

Many thanks to Dan Steffan for this super interesting anecdote:
I worked in the art department at HM during Ted White's year as editor. Besides editing two sf mags, he is also the author of 17 books -- including "The Great Gold Steal" a 1966 novel about Captain America. He was also one of the first comic fans from the early 1950s, among many other things.

Anyway, as far as I remember, "Violence" was a blind submission to the magazine. It may have come into the mag before Ted got there, as there was a huge pile of material that had accumulated, but was never looked at by the previous editor. Ted pulled it out of the "slush pile," and put it into the magazine.

I'm not sure that many of us had seen much in the way of manga before this, except for perhaps Tezuka, but we all thought it was worth publishing anyway. But the thing that really cinched it was the fact that the strip very closely resembled -- in rendering, design, and coloring -- the work of the French cartoonist and fantacist, Philippe Druillet.

Druillet was one of the founding partners at Metal Hurlant and HM had published as much of his work as we could get our hands on. We all welcomed the opportunity to publish something else that seemed to be inspired by his work. "Violence" fit the bill.

The fact that the strip was from Japan was cool, but it wasn't really the main reason why it was published. I hope this helps fill in some holes for you. Thanks.

Dan Steffan

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


We're knee-deep in another week, and a new batch of Shintaro Kago gag comics have surfaced on his site. I'm super-impressed with Kago's tenacity, and happy to present them here (with my rought & tumble quick translations). Enjoy!

Monday - Dresser (Tansu) Deposits
Says: You deposit your dresser, and then withdraw it later... with interest!

Tuesday - Yakiniku for One

Wednesday - BARUSU! バルス!
I don't get this one... a Castle in the Sky joke? Comment if you have info! -Ryan

Thursday - Low-budget air raid(Moist towelettes)

Friday - Handshake

Saturday - Breastfeeding

Sunday - Half-Off Ticket Magic Show
Says: Restoring you back to 50%!

(You can check out all the previous Kago strips by clicking the daily strips label)

In unrelated news, I got some .98 stamps and am starting to send postcards to international folks. This is part of my new year's resolution to send mail every single day the post office is open in 2010. I'm 24 for 25 so far, and going strong.

Monday, February 01, 2010


(This post is part of a series I've tagged as "early manga days, chronicling rare/weird gems from the beginning of manga's now 30+ year history of publication in English)

Noted in Manga! Manga! by Frederik Schodt as one of the first manga published in an American publication with "its original artwork intact", "Violence Becomes Tranquility" is a short and colorful 10-page story by Shinobu Kazu. It appeared in the March 1980 issue of Heavy Metal, the long-running science fiction and fantasy comics magazine published by Leonard Mogel.

Shinobu Kaze is given a detailed profile in this section of Manga Zombie, which I highly recommend you check out right now. This great article includes tons of fantastic covers and pages of his work from the '70s, '80s, and '90s, and a great overview on his "masterpiece", 'Ryū, Strongest Man on the Face of the Planet'(Chijō Saikyū no Otoko, Ryū). According to Manga Zombie, Shinobu Kaze was influences heavily by French artist Philippe Druillet, and found his creative home among Japanese and American Science Fiction fans. (They also mention he spent a lot of time hanging out at SF Cons in the States during the Eighties!).

Known in the late '70s and '80s for being home to "adult" comics by folks like Moebius and other European artists, Heavy Metal was an American spin-off of the successful French anthology magazine, Métal Hurlant. Coming out of the French comics and SF scene (which was always a bit hipper and faster to catch on to Japanese pop culture exports), it's not a huge surprise in retrospect that Heavy Metal was the first US home to this type of manga. At the time "Violence Becomes Tranquility", Heavy Metal's editor was a guy named Ted White, who worked as a magazine editor in the 1970s at the Science Fiction monthlies Amazing Stories and Fantastic. It's not clear from the issue itself who exactly was involved in choosing to feature a comic from Japan, but I'd be very interested to hear more from anyone with insights.

Only a few months later, the December 1980 issue of Heavy Metal featured the now-famous pin-up painting by 80s hotshot, Hajime Sorayama:

Sorayama continued to work for Heavy Metal in the '80s, producing the back cover painting for the August 1981 issue.

A few years after the volunteer-produced first English edition of Barefoot Gen, but a full two years before San Francisco published Educomics released their color comic "I Saw It" (another Nakazawa adaptation), "Violence Becomes Tranquility" marks an interesting milestone in the early history of manga publication in English.

Here for your pleasure, are scans of the complete 10-page comic, from the original copy I tracked down on eBay. Enjoy!

Violence Becomes Tranquility by Shinobu Kaze
Published in the March 1980 issue of Heavy Metal

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Listed on the copyright page of the issue (March 1980, Vol. III No. 11):
"Violence Becomes Tranquility" by Shinobu Kaze © 1980, Shinobu Kaze and Hiro Media Associates, Inc. Tokyo.