Sunday, March 14, 2010


I forgot to mention before I left for Japan, I was a guest on a special manga-themed edition of the excellent comics podcast, Inkstuds! Inkstuds is hosted by Robin McConnell, and features interviews and group discussions centered around indie comix. I've been listening to Robin's show for a while now online, so it was an honor to get to participate in this discussion (along with folks whose blogs and opinions I hold in high regard).

Today’s episode of Inkstuds takes a detour East, with a chat about Japanese manga for indie comics readers with your guest host, Deb Aoki, Manga Editor for ( and special guests:

Chris Butcher, manager of The Beguiling, comics blogger ( and co-founder of the Toronto Comics Arts Festival.

David P. Welsh, manga and comics blogger at The Manga Curmudgeon, and former columnist for Flipped!, a weekly feature on Japanese comics for The Comics Reporter.

Ryan Sands, indie/horror manga and comics blogger at Same Hat!, editor of Electric Ant Zine and translator/editor for Tokyo Zombie by Yusaku Hanakuma and the upcoming The Strange Tale of Panorama Island by Suehiro Maruo, both from Last Gasp.

You can check out the podcast here; it's a 45-minute discussion, talking about how folks got into manga, manga titles of interest to comix fans who usually read Fantagraphics/Drawn & Quarterly/Top Shelf style American comics, and lots of other stuff. It's over Skype, so I sound even more dorky, nasally and professorial than usual; The link above includes a full list of all the titles that came up, including many Same Hat favorites. Thanks again to Deb for putting a great show together and inviting me to take part. Enjoy!(?)

[Working today on a few Japan trip posts and the back log of "Early Manga Days" posts too!]


Harri said...

Maybe you all already know this, but it looks like D&Q is going to put out Sakabashira's Nekokappa (as Working Kappa) in November this year:

Yukiko Forever! said...

Everyone in fact does love Sailor Moon. Even as a 9 year old living in the "Toonami era" who was trying to be way too manly to like it . . . I still watched that shit. Really great blog entry. I'm sort of envious in a way because living in Tennessee in the "Toonami era" I was a little cute off from some of these experiences you guys recounted at the beginning. I'm not saying it would have been impossible to have similar experiences, and maybe I would have had I been more of a comic nerd first (I've never really read American comics) but I was just contented by the more "obvious" Anime and Manga coming out in the early late 1990/2000 boom. It just seems way more Romantic to be part of generation inspired by Akira than the one inspired by Toonami. I just saw Akira for the first time around 1 or 2 years ago. :( However, thanks for this it was really entertaining.

Yukiko Forever! said...

So I'm still listening so pardon the multiple comments but . . . "the Pokemon generation is 30 in about 5 years"? lol fallacy . . . I'm not so old yet! D: I'm only 19. lol . . . thanks again; I'll quit bitching now.

Ryan S said...

@Steven: Thanks for the tidbit! I did see that on Amazon this weekend, but forgot to follow up! I actually haven't picked up The Box Man yet (I know, shame on me). Did you like it?

@Yukiko Forever!: How interesting! I really hadn't considered that perspective, but it was one that Chris started moving toward during that discussion. The successive generations, growing up on Astro Boy, Robotech, Akira, Evangelion, , then Pokemon/Toonami, then Narutards on the horizon too.

I definitely read other manga stuff, but my bread and butter at age 13 was the Cyberbunk anime of that time--- Bubblegum Crisis, Battle Angel, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Wicked City, etc.. The other side of that was Rumiko Takahashi, Devil Hunter Yohko, and Tenchi Muyo, I guess. But it was a different time, you're right. When Pulp took over for me was also right when I was 16or17 and really into Sandman/Frank Miller/Alan Moore and just starting getting into america indie comics by Daniel Clowes and stuff. This is in like 1998?

Anyway, Chris makes a great point about the ubiquity of manga/anime in the consciousness of folks my age (and younger),,, I"m excited to read the zines and comics in a few years of folks that grew up reading Kago and Junji Ito scans. Or wait, maybe that's a little scary! haha/.

Thanks for listening though, glad you enjoyed it and could bear my annoying voice.

Ryan S said...

hahahaha CYBERBUNK!
i meant CYBERPUNK!!!

Yukiko Forever! said...

I actually forgot to add that your voice is very pleasant earlier. Haha. 1998 . . . haha . . . in 1998 I was 8 years old living in Savannah, GA and worship at Satoshi Tajiri's (Pokemon creator for all you old people who were prejudiced towards cute little Pikachu) feet . . . of course I didn't even know his name until a while ago . . . I've tried to get my hands on the Ghost in the Shell manga, a friend said he would let me borrow it but I haven't been able . . . I've just own all the anime XD . . . luckily though, even though it's many [MANY!] years too late, because of online scans and the like I've become somewhat of a big Go Nagai fan . . . I mean as big as you can be having only read Devilman and 1/2 volume of Violence Jack . . . but I did buy 2 VHS of the Violence Jack OVA and the 2 VHS that make up the Devilman OVA so that has been a lot of fun . . . I just get discouraged when I've missed so much . . . hahaha . . . Battle Angel looks good, I was kind of horrified to hear that Dreamworks or some other large American film corporation has bought the rights but I've heard similar rumors about GitS and Akira so maybe it will fall through also . . . anyone know about that train wreck of a Cowboy Bebop movie with Keanu Reeves . . . I'm just rambling now but yeah I'm about the listen to the second half of the podcast so I'll be back if I have more questions or comments XD

Yukiko Forever! said...

Oh p.s. I thought your story about meeting your best friend based on Akira patches was comparable to my best friend in the 2nd grade being the only other Pokefan at the school (somehow the kids all thought that DBZ vs. Pokemon was a good comparison and so their opinions were poisoned against Pokemon, go figure, but I guess they WERE 8).

Yukiko Forever! said...

I wanted to know if you do a post about some of your favorite stuff from Pulp. I don't maybe you have and I missed it, I only started reading religiously since my computer got fixed last semester. But I'm really interested in it. I thought the Berserk (I was reading it pretty regularly last semester) mention was interesting. I always thought Berserk had a higher profile but maybe I'm mistake, maybe I'm more indie than I thought (hahahaha). I also think it's cool you did work on Tokyo Zombie, I saw the movie as a Tadanobu Asano fan (I would like to mentioned I read the whole 10 volume Ichi the Killer manga) and I didn't realize it was manga based.

Also sort of unrelated, sort of a question and an assumption of changing perspectives. You hated the Pokefans as much as we now hate the Narutards, huh? Though I do enjoy the Naruto manga, just putting that out there. It's not quite as bad without the terrible English dub.

Again thanks for this. I feel like I got way too excited over this but I am appreciative.

Also you guys talked about the first manga published here and I remember someone saying that Barefoot Gen might be the very first and you mentioned there is no collectors market for it which reminded me I saw Barefoot Gen for like $5 at the local used bookstore. I've debated getting it (if it's still there).

Ryan S said...

@Yukiko! Thanks for all the comments! It's more than I can easily reply to here line-by-line, but I am really interested to hear your thoughts. I wasn't sure if anyone would listen to the podcast, so I'm glad you found it interesting.

On the specifics, I definitely recommend the Battle Angel anime, it's short and sweet but really solid (as far as I remember). Without knowing your taste, it's hard to recommend the entire Battle Angel Alita manga, but I always loved the first 3-4 volumes especially. James Cameron has always loved Battle Angle according to lots of fan reports, so the idea of a live-action adaption comes up as his next possible film whenever he finishes a project.

On the Violence Jack OVA tip, you have to check out the two latest posts on KURUTTA, with these screencaps:

Glad you enjoyed Tokyo Zombie! I think the manga is a lot stronger than the Movie, though I will always love the movie because Kazuo Umezu cameos in the film as the zombie expert.

Last thing: That's awesome about Barefoot Gen! There are actually many, many versions out there and editions-- it's been reprinted by a few different companies. The original one is pictured on that SH post, and was published by Project Gen. Later versions were done by another company and then Last Gasp.

Hope you enjoy the rest of the Podcast and lemme know any other thoughts or questions you have!

jimpac said...

@Ryan: I didn't manage to pick up a copy of the box man until February when my local comic shop got it in stock. I was blown away by it. It's a shame that it seems to have gone widely unnoticed.

@Yukiko: The best things in Pulp, in my opinion, were Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga, Uzumaki and Bakune Young. Obviously Black and White (Tekkon Kinkreet) is awesome (it was first serialised in Pulp), and I liked both Heartbroken Angels and Short Cuts, too. The best thing about Pulp wasn't necessarily the comics (although there were some good ones as noted above) but all the articles and additional columns that it featured.

Yukiko Forever! said...

I'm a fairly loyal Kurutta reader also, I saw those shots a couple days ago and was really excited to share with him about the OVA finds at same used book store. Chattanooga isn't so big but every once in a while you'll find gems like that.

Yukiko Forever! said...

@jimpac Thanks for the info I'll have to look for those manga. I've been wanting to read Black and White since I saw the anime adaption a little over a year ago and I have yet to read any Junji Ito (because he's taken me a while to warm up to) but the rest I'm unfamiliar with as far as I can remember. However, I suppose those articles will be lost to me forever unless someone starts selling their old issues on eBay or something.

@ryan I'll definitely take a look at BA Alita!