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)










Deb said...

I LOVE Ultra Heaven -- I found volume 1 at a Mandarake 2 years ago, and have been talking about it ever since. It includes by far the best depiction of a drug trip ever. I asked the folks at Dark Horse about bringing it to the US and they mentioned that they had some issues w/ getting the license. Too bad, because it is a completely KICK ASS book.

Ryan S said...

@Deb Thanks for the information! I'm curious to check it out when I get there. Glenat is sorta amazing at getting licenses for everything--

Very interesting stuff

Giannis said...

That was so good. I'd love to see more of his stuff.

Great posts you've got going lately, too. Good job!

jimpac said...

Awesome stuff. I'm getting on ebay after pay day to snag myself one of these. Bet it looks even better in person.
I hope you put up more of these early manga posts. It's amazing to see the different types of manga that got translated before the boom. In some ways, I think you'd be less likely to get something like this published now, if you know what I mean?
ps. If you do continue with these posts, good luck in getting hold of the copies of Raw with King Terry/Tsuge et al. ... they're like rocking-horse shit!

Azraelito said...

Brilliant issue of epic and also nice story. My favourite story is the one that Kaze Shinobu published in Epic Illustrated 10!! Heart and Steel, is far better than the one you posted!!! Check that story and it will blow your mind!!

Best short story ever published in the 80s, The Mask of the Red Dwarf Star by Yukinobu Hoshino. Metroscope was the responsible for publishing that. Apart from that it in colour and it is wonderful!!

Saludos from argentina!

Ryan S said...

@jimpac: Thanks Jim! I am having a lot of fun with these posts-- I <3 Kago/Maruo news but I think these are the most interesting things Same Hat has contributed to "the discussion" or what-have-you in a while. And I'm personally super-interested in this stuff too! I've learned so much this past week about early manga stuff.

I totally know what you mean... I mean, the early manga stuff was pretty limited (to french-inspired action & science-fiction) so in one way we're better off now, with yaoi/shojo/D&q classics. That said, the sweet spot for us fans doesn't come until late 90s, when PULP and BLAST and CREATION fired their weirdo manga books out into the market.

Fred Schodt said something simple but awesome in our interview that I come back to a lot:
" think most people who read manga in America are not aware of the fact that the filter is huge. The filter that an American publisher is using when they decide what to publish here is very big and tight and they ultimately have to import what they can sell here, which is not what someone in Japan would necessarily want. That’s why for years all the manga here were kind of SF, young male-oriented works. It’s only recently that shojo manga caught on, which was a big surprise to everybody in the industry. Even to this day, I’m not sure how much of the popularity of manga is here to stay, or how much of it is a bubble or fad. It’ll be interesting to see."
Oh yeah, the Raw issue (with Tsuge insert intact) is pretty much at the top of my current most-wanted list for English manga artifacts.

Ryan S said...

@Azraelito: Thanks dude! I ordered that issue of EPIC from ebay last week on your recommendation-- going to do a post on HEART AND STEEL next week before I head out-- I hope!

I saw a page scanned from that Hoshino redux of Poe in the Jog post on Savage Critic about that 80s "MANGA" anthology. I'm definitely fascinated to check out now.

Dude, by the way! I have a copy of AREA 88 #1 from 1988 for you if you want it and don't have that issue :) Send me your address again over email!

Azraelito said...

First of all, I have Area 88 number one sorry .D!! Thx a lot by the way, really you are a really cool guy!!! I dont wanna be rude to say no to the present, but I have it, I still repeat thks a lot. Some days ago it was my birthday. I received a lot of presents, including some old mangas of the 80s!! Number one up to 5 of Area 88, All the issues of lost continent and more things about other countries.

I hope Darkhorse or Kodansha can release more things about Yukinobu Hoshino, that is an incredible writer. The only thing that I am missing of him, is the second volume of 2001 nights, that I am ordering right now and that short story that I mentioned that belonged to that mythological book called manga from Metroscope.

As always great posts, really!!

You have to do one about rare stuff or bizarre anthologies like sake jock, manga surprise, secret comics japan, comics underground japan!! I still rememberd when I found in a comicstore Manga Surprise I couldnt believe it what I was seeing!!

Saludos from argentina!!

My english sucks!!

keep up the good work!!

jimpac said...

Woah, back up, what the hell is 'manga surprise'!? If it's in the same category as those other titles mentioned then someone needs to provide more information! :)

Ryan S said...

@Jim: I think it must be a comic shop in Argentina, based on what Lucas said. Though I like the idea of an anthology called "MANGA SURPRISE" haha

Ryan S said...

@Azraelito: Ah cool, I wondered if you already had a copy! I'll send you something else as a thank you after my trip from Japan then :)

I just saw issues of 2001 Nights at the used book shop by my work. I am gonna have to check it once I get my next paycheck.

Secret Comics Japan, Comics Underground, Sake Jock...those anthologies are among my favorite comics ever published! I actually did a post about them in the first month that Evan & I were doing the blog back in 2005!

Anonymous said...

I went back to the used book shop by my house and found their stash of Epic Illustrated issue! For 3 bucks each I was able to buy this issue (featuring LANDED) along with the February 1982 issue featuring Kaze Shinobu's HEART AND STEEL, and the June 1983 issue featuring ONI by Go Nagai and a sample of his paintings.

I <3 this bookstore.

Anonymous said...

I also got a copy of the comic book release of PINEAPPLE ARMY #1 by Urasawa & Kazuya Kudo for 95 cents :B

Azraelito said...


manga surprise is not a comicbookstore!!

Is an incredible one shot released by kodansha international!!

I know my english suck or that I wrote wrong. I will try to improve it. Reading it maybe it sounds that it was the name of the comicbookstore.

the full name is "Manga Surprise!"

the authors

chen uen
david mazzuchelli
jon j muth
yasuji tanioka
tony takezaki
hiroyuiki yasuda
iou kuroda
tom hart
ana juna
hitoshi ashiano
anthony zierhut
garret izumi

Kodansha International started looking for authors from other countries to publish things that maybe in such a way could be manga!!

Apart from this authors there is a great list from authors from another country that did manga!

* Pierre-Alain Szigeti ( France)
* Vittorio Giardino (Italy)
* Christophe Kourita (France)
* Bruno Leandri (Italia)
* Joly Guth (France)
* Edmond Baudoin (France)
* Frédéric Boilet (France)
* Moebius (France) / Jirô Taniguchi (Japan)
* Baru (France)
* Cizo (France)
* Eric Violet (France)
* Marcello Jori (Italy)
* Alex Barbier (France)
* Andreas Dierssen (germany)
* Alex Varenne (France)
* Beb-Deum (France)
* David Mazzuchelli (USA)
* Paul Pope (USA)
* Tom Hart (USA)
* Igort (Italy)
* Silvio Cadelo (Italy)

the list of the authors from spain!!

Jaime Brocal Remohí
Juan Carlos Beneyto
Richard Castells
Abel Ippòlito

That is all!!

Sometimes in it appears! I dont know in ebay or amazon!!


Ryan S said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. I had no idea! I just did some searching and see references to it--- like a mix of Japanese creators and manga-inspired illustrators-- not just OEL but folks like Pope and Mazzucchelli etc. How interesting :)

Interesting list you posted, some folks I really like and some that I really strongly dislike ( Frédéric Boilet, for one).

It's the wrong decade, but another publication that is really recent but of interest to indie manga fans is the Ganzfield 5 issues from PictureBox-- lots of cool stuff there. Also Fantagraphics Bete Noire #1, which feature Nemoto and Yokoyama :B

have a nice weekend, Ryan!

Azraelito said...

Nejiki the great story done by Tsuge is hard to find, but Comics Journal 250 has it. It is a number dedicated to Gary Panter, I dont know if Raw released this truly gem of Tsuge. It is more easy to find the comics journal 250 that the difficult raw issues. If you still want the raw issues, check the tradepaperbacks of penguin books if it has some stories of tsuge!

And that is the last post at last for today. Now I go to sleep, too tired!!

Nice weekend to all the people who write here everyday!!

Ryan S said...

@Azraelito: you lied and stayed up!
I actually don't have TCJ250, so i don't have that copy of Screw Style on hand. That said, I remember that I do have the tpb Penguin collection with the later story he did for them. I still want that stupid insert though!

I am thinking more and more that we should start a Same Hat forum. what do you guys think?

Anonymous said...

great idea :-)

Azraelito said...


First of all I would rather think why a forum?

¿Are you leaving the blog in order to become a community in a forum?

Great message boards for example!!

In both, the promote new things and the talk about a lot of things!!

Here, ¿ What can we do?

-Last Gasp News!!
-Japan World!!
-Manga maniacs!!
-Anime and all your life is wasted
-Why dont you pay taxes instead of buyimg toys!!

-Secret message boards

-Ryan Private parts
-Where the fuck is Evan when we need him?

I love the blog, I know that everyday that passes more people often write here. That is true, but is there an average?

¿ Do you know people who wanna be administrators or mods to help you?

Doing a poll in the blog about, ¿why not a samehat forum? maybe could be a great idea, but we have to think that a lot of people who vote sometimes they dont even write or read the forum or blog.

If changing this blog to a forum, or all the site is for good, and to have a better way of talking, showing new mangas that are licensed and cool things that you read for me it is ok!!

Saludos from argentina!!

I will post!!

ps: Before going to japan, make a poll or an opinion about forums and what people will think about it!! When you come from Japan, then there you will read all messages and your mind will decide!!

that is all folks!!

Ryan S said...

@Azraelito: haha, ryan private parts, gross. That would be a low-traffic forum section.

No, this wouldn't be instead of the blog, but in addition to it. I'm hesitant to start one if no one will use it but it could be cool.

Later this summer Evan and I are gonna move this site over to finally.

it will be:l
- the blog (of course)
- a page for our other projects/links
- a page with the Same Hat Guide to Everything
- a page embedded possibly with a community-contributed Tumblr (
- mayyyyybe a forum. maybe.

so it wouldn't be for another few months at earliest :)

Elchinodepelocrespo said...

Azraelito: there is a two volumes graphic novel by Hoshino published in France. It´s called something like "Le trop bleu", la conoces? I read it a couple of years ago and it is good stuff.

Besides, there is an manga anthology published in France too, including mangakas like Tezuka, Tatsumi, Mizuno, Maruo, Taniguchi, Otomo and TSUGE too. Here is the link:

Azraelito said...

Cyber Blue maybe the thing that you are talking. I saw the interior art I think in the pages of Shueisha or Kodansha, I dont remember well. I never read it, I only read english or spanish. If it is published beter, some things in scan I have read and the only thing I have ever read in another language was Hokuto No ken 2 in italian.

I got in my hands new national kid of maruo, ddt of maruo and gogo monster of taiyo matsumoto. That will be things that I will be reading in the next weeks.

Apart from this, I hope to see more things about this author. The book about the tribute to moebius, was incredible. All the things about this crazy guy, must be very cool. I hope we can have more stuff of him, at least one book!


Azraelito said...

Checkin now and old post about Kaze Shinobu and his short comic in heavy metal, I have found something that is wrong.

There is a person who said that there is a Ken Tsukikage story in an epic illustrated. Is wrong, I think he confused Keiicho Koike with Tsukikage.

That is all folks!!

Saludos from argentina, live long and prosper!!

Anonymous K said...

Ultraheaven was one of my scanlation projects at one point. The first 2 volumes have already been published in italy where I live and I agree, they were really awesome.

Too bad I wasn't able to find raws of it anywhere though :)

Unknown said...

Hey Ryan, I have several Keiichi Koike books you are welcome to borrow any time. I love them. If our next couple of projects work out and people buy enough of our weird manga releases, maybe we can try to do a Koike book down the road...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what happened in that story (the astronaut was turned into light or something?), but I know that it was awesome

Unknown said...

I read something like this by Strugacki brothers in anthology of russian scifi.
Can´t remember name of that book. I read this 20 yeas ago.
I think the story is the same. When the orbital station explodes the astronaut was turned into light and came back. So he landed. Returned to life by use of life of the baby what became astronaut then.
Interesting idea. And inseparable part of certain traditions. By the way, did not came N. Tesla with something like this in 50´s? I regret this can´t work in real world. Or even can?