Thursday, August 26, 2010


A minor release of note, but perhaps of interest to folks with a Kindle. Shintaro Kago announced on his site that he contributed a manga to a new manga eMagazine called COMICLOUD, which just launched in Japan:

The first issue of COMICLOUD is available (in English) for fans for $4.99 digital download!

It's not clear yet how frequently new issues will be coming out, or exactly what type of stories this anthology will specialize in... but it is definitely unique in terms of a Japanese-created digital magazine made for English consumers. Other cartoonists involved in this first issue include Takeshi Okamoto, Shizuka Nanami, Taro Matsumoto, and our friend Shintaro Kago.

I don't have a Kindle myself, but I am curious about the Kago comic... if someone checks this out, let us know about it in the comments!

UPDATE: Okay, DUH... you don't need a Kindle to read the magazine; as JRBrown has noted in the comments, you can download software to read Kindle books on any device.

I actually just read it, the first issue is a little weak in my opinion-- stiff production/lettering and the quality of the Kindle images is not super high. That said, it is awesome to see Shintaro Kago officially available in English. I think readers can skip this first one but it sounds like Issue 2 will be quite interesting!

From Brian about the issue:
The mag has four one-panel gag manga from Kago (one of which is about toilet paper). I didn't get the first one, "Ultra high level endgame," but I think that's because it alludes to a Japanese TV show I haven't seen.

The preview for the second issue is tempting with even more Kago: "Shintaro Kago is pushing into a new frontier: an authentic mystery story! The out-of-this-world manga artist has attempted his first genuine work in the genre. Can you solve the puzzle?!"

The mag is also on Twitter - @comicloud (mostly Japanese) and @bookloud (English).

UPDATE #2: Jiro Nemoto, one of the editors of COMICLOUD stopped by and left a comment! He notes:
[Shintaro Kago's] new shot is a comical mystery (??) with 24 pages. I'll post the news about Shintaro Kago and our e-magazine via @bookloud in Twitter. Stay tuned for COMICLOUD No.2, please!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Satoshi Kon died yesterday in Japan at age 46 from pancreatic cancer. This is some bullshit is what's up.

I was late to getting into his work-- somehow missed it during the first half of college when everyone else was first freaking out over Millennium Actress -- but was an admirer of his films and the wide-ranging inspiration to 2D animators and illustrators he wrought. In retrospect, I first saw his "Magnetic Rose" as part of Otomo's Memories, and have fond memories of the cerebral impact of watching Paprika's insane imagery unfold in front of my eyes. There's been no word yet on the status of his ongoing most recent project, THE DREAM MACHINE [Yume miru kikai].

+ Details via ANN
+ A nice tribute from LA Weekly
+ We're posting up Satoshi Kon art and works on the Same Hat Tumblr

"It's not that anime will never be the same with Satoshi Kon gone. It's now much more likely that anime will always be the same." - Jeff Betteridge on his twitter.

UPDATE: ANN has reported that Satoshi Kon's final message (written in May 18 after his terminal diagnosis) has been posted to his site today. The site is crashing from traffic, but you can read a copy here (in Japanese).

今 敏

With feelings of gratitude for all that is good in this world, I put down my pen. Goodbye now. Satoshi Kon

Thursday, August 19, 2010


What were you doing this weekend, while my buddies Voidmare & Dr. Senbei from TOKYO SCUM BRIGADE were covering Comiket? By definition, whatever you were up to was nowhere near as rad as this:


Pull your jaw off the floor and go check out all of their Comiket 78 coverage.


I missed (skipped?) Comic-Con this year, but followed the details vicariously through friends' tweets. I was actually relieved to not have to deal with the mash of BO and lines, the dehydration and sterile air, and cramping 5 people into one hotel room.

That said, I am bummed to have missed a chance to kick it with a lot of the Electric Ant Zine crew, and high-five Moto Hagio-- who was brought as a special guest by Fantagraphics to celebrate/promote the release of A Drunken Dream and Other Stories. I also would've loved to congratulate in person MBQ and Peepo Choo artist Felipe Smith for his much-deserved success.

[As a side note, I highly recommend folks read my friend Deb Aoki's interview with Felipe Smith at He drops lots of REAL TALK about what it takes to make it as a professional creative, and in the Japanese manga industry specifically. It made me like a guy I was already a huge fan of even more than before. Oh yeah, and pick up a copy of Peepo Choo v.1 from Vertical, fucking duh!]

During the week of madness, a few exciting licenses were announced by our buddies at Vertical and Drawn & Quarterly. These are old news by now, but I thought I'd do a quick round-up and link dump for anyone that missed them:


Original announcement on the D+Q blog.
Drawn & Quarterly has acquired North American English rights to two graphic novel memoirs, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths and NonNonBā, by one of Japan's most acclaimed and legendary manga-kas, Shigeru Mizuki

In addition to the licensing of these works filling a glaring and long-present gap in the English manga scene, Shigeru Mizuki himself is an amazing dude. How can you not love this guy?!


Were you feeling sad because CMX crashed and burned and it become painfully obvious that the first new Usamaru Furuya manga in English wasn't ever coming out? (Me too). Well, despite his post-apocalyptic survival shonen (seinen?) seres 51 Ways to Save Her getting killed in the CMX meltdown, we have a lot of stuff to look forward to...

Haters gonna hate (on Viz's forthcoming Genkaku Picasso), but my buddy and editor wunderkind Ed Chavez announced that he and Vertical have picked up the license for Furuya's Taisho madness tale, Lychee Light Club. The hilarious thing about this to me is that I actually first got a copy of this manga (in Japanese) from Ed himself about two years ago!

The book is a whopping 320 pager, and the English edition (softcover) is coming out next April, 2011. As described deftly by ANN (because I'm too lazy to summarize things properly, sorry!), the story is about:
nine students at an all-boys school who create a god-like Lychee machine — that runs on lychee fruits — to seek out the beautiful women of the world. However, the machine eventually becomes self-aware "and is soon equally capable of measuring beauty and executing justice."

The look of Furuya's lines and inks in this book will (happily) remind many Same Hat readers of a mix of Suehiro Maruo, and also a grimier version of the Showa aesthetic in Koji Kumeta's Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Furuya's manga is quite goofy(?) at times, but seriously grim and gory too. It's a mixed bag of good elements, and I think Same Hat folks will really love it.


Johnny Ryan, a friend of Same Hat and all-around great dude, released the second volume of his battle epic Prison Pit at Comic-Con. It is amazing, nasty, and Lovecraftian. It also features a direct allusion to a scene from Tetsuo Hara's CYBER BLUE!!! Did anyone spot it?

Johnny Ryan & Calvin Wong, power-twins unite!

If you're not already on board with this series (What's wrong with you?) check out the cover to #3.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


For folks that haven't checked it yet, the newly re-launched SAME HAT TUMBLR is up and running!

The Tumblr is off to a fantastic start, being curated and run by 8 awesome contributors: Marie, Olivia, Carrie, Stefan, Katano, Adam, Miss Nas and Jim (with occasional posts by me & Evan). It features art/videos/music and random whatever from the bowels of the internet-- all stuff loosely related to the imagined community that is "SAME HAT". Please check it out, follow it, reblog it, and all that good stuff!

I am MAJORLY behind in all areas of my life-- my day job and some family stuff have completely taken over my days and nights!-- but will be back with more stuff soon. I'm planning a week of AX ANTHOLOGY artist highlights next week as we get very close to its official release!