Sunday, November 20, 2011


The Same Hat t-shirt is now on sale! Wear your allegiance to indie/weirdo/horror manga loud and proud with this dorky thing celebrating our blog and community. YOU CAN GET IT HERE It's on sale for $16 (+ shipping) to anywhere in the world, and features a design by JONNY NEGRON, and lettering by MICHAEL DEFORGE. The shirt is available in sizes XS to XXXL on that familiar high-grade American Apparel Men's tee. White ink on black shirt, printed locally in the Bay Area with assistance from our buddy SEIBEI. All orders ship within 2-3 business days, and there should be enough for folks who want one to get them without problems. I'll have some shirts at my table at Brooklyn Fest on 12/3 as well. If you have any question, leave a comment or hit me up at samehat AT gmail DOT com!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Holy crap, it's time again! Halloween is upon us and like every year I wanna know... is anyone dressing up as anything horror-manga related? If you're on the fence, let me present this still awesome tutorial on horror manga make-up! (I've posted it every Halloween since we started!)

In previous years, the Same Hat community has shared some intense and rad costumes. If you bust out a manga-related costume and wanna share, please send it to SAMEHAT at GMAIL doot COM and I'll post it after the weekend! Can't wait to see what folks come up with... I wonder what the Tokyo Scum guys will bust out this year?

(PS: If you wondered, I'm working on a Reverend Harry Powell (from Night of the Hunter) costume, if I can get my act together!)

Friday, October 28, 2011



(click for bigger versions)

This shirt features a design by JONNY NEGRON, and lettering by MICHAEL DEFORGE. I’m planning to sell it in sizes XS -XXXL depending on what you want, and it’s looking like it will be around $16-18 bucks depending on how many we print. I’m getting printing help from apparel wizard/buddy SEIBEI, and he says the shirts will be a supersoft print on a high-grade American Apparel Men's tee.

I am planning to have the shirts at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival on December 3 (where DeForge/Negron will be in person too) and then selling via this site right beforehand!

And yes, creating an actual t-shirt means that I plan to fully revive Same Hat with regular posting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I'm back on the scene, and working for you to keep Same Hat rolling and interesting. I'm happy to report that while the blog was in temporary haitus, the SAME HAT TUMBLR has continued serving up the goods!

I've continued to post at least a few times a week, and the other super contributors like Jim, Olivia, Caroline, Mis Nas, and the crew have been keeping it fresh. Here are a few highlights recently:

Please follow this thing and contribute links if you aren't already!


[My first post back! I've been working on zines and translations and mostly my day job, but have plans to get this jam up and rolling again--- with guest posts and some long-planned essay posts. We are also just about a month away from finally releasing our first Same Hat shirt--- a joint-design by Michael DeForge and Jonny Negron that I think you will love. My goal is to get posting regularly on here again before that happens, so you and I won't be ashamed to don the shirt!]

I read last month that early fandom contributor and zinester Jerry Fellows passed away -- my condolences go out to his friends and family. I never had the chance to meet Jerry, but he sounds like a dude after our own hearts and the kind of person I'd like to highlight here on Same Hat.

Jerry came to my attention a few years back, when I was reading Fred Patten's personal history of the development of Anime/Manga fandom in America, "Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews". In Patten's timeline of anime fandom, he noted the following about February 1983 (the same month that Nakazawa's I Saw It was published in English by Educomics):
Space Fanzine Yamato is published by Steve Harrison, Ardith Carlton, and Jerry Fellows in Michigan as "the ultimate information source" on Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers. This is the first American fan effort to produce a "Roman Album"-style complete information guide to a particular anime title.

Manga fandom is a strange and fascinating thing to me, and treads somewhere between the two (formerly-overlapping) worlds of early SF fandom and comic book fandom. Manga (and more specifically, Anime) fandom developed along similar timeframes as the SF scene, but remained the realm of very devoted enthusiasts for a long time; the scene was, perhaps happily, kept small initially by the double-whammy limitations of 1) a physical barrier to getting your hands on the actual media you wanted to consume-- first 16mm films, then later more easily VHS tapes-- and 2) a language barrier to understanding the anime/manga, in a time before the "boom" in Japanese Language programs at US universities that happened alongside the Japanese economic bubble of the mid-to-late 80s.

Interestingly enough, a "collector" market of manga/anime (as distinct from toys, models, vinyl) remains mostly non-existent to this day; you can find old VHS tapes and 1st editions of early Viz floppies for under a buck easily at used book shops. The fan translations, early dubs, and fanzines at the start of the scene were simply labors of love, currency of in-group identification between folks "in the know" but mostly invisible and valueless to folks outside of fandom--- and now mostly forgotten to all but the hardest core/weirdest of current anime/manga fans.

In the context of typewriters and expensive/early Xerox technology (and no access to things like InDesign or um, the internet), the gleeful and thorough devotion of fans like Steve, Ardith and Jerry impresses me and inspires the little zine projects I want to work on. Steve wrote a detailed and very personal recounting of the experience creating Space Fanzine Yamato on his blog, Let's Anime!, and it details the dorky/poignant way in which friendships blossom and wither over the course of a long project. Please take a second to read it!

This excerpt from my interview with Fred Schodt in 2007 gives a little more context to the scene that Jerry was a part of, the pioneers of fandom from which all weeaboos are descended:
ANT: There’s some stuff written about other early fandoms – whether it’s science fiction fandom or American comic book fandom – that thing when a sub-culture scene later turns into a big business. I’m always curious about how that gets started. The people you knew in the US who read your first book were probably part of a sort of vanguard of manga or anime fans. Who were those people? Were they science fiction fans? Dungeons and Dragons people? Or Japanophiles?

FRED: I knew a lot of those people in the very beginning, the people from the really enthusiastic manga and anime fans were very unusual people. Jared and I were actually working and interpreting for Tezuka on an early trip – I think ’79 or 1980, I don’t remember the exact date, but I know that we went to see the C/FO folks (Cartoon Fantasy Organization) and I had never met people like that in my life. It was almost frightening. [LAUGHS] I had never met people who were so dedicated to something which was so obscure in the United States at the time, and it was a very small group. But they were people who became quite big in fandom, such as Fred Patton in particular, he was a real central figure in American fandom, and still is.
They were people who were obsessed with anime – more anime than manga, very few people could read it because there weren’t any English manga available. So their entry point had been actually the early 60s anime that was shown in the United States, such as Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. Fred Patten's good friend Robin Leyden from the C/FO was a huge Astro Boy fan, the likes of which you’d rarely see. He later on became a special effects animator. Robyn actually made a model of Astro Boy and presented it to Tezuka...

ANT: What was Tezuka’s reaction to that, to these strange American anime fans?

FRED: Oh, he was overwhelmed. [Tezuka] had been in contact with some of them even before Jared and I met him. But they were the first Anime fans in the US, to such a serious degree. Almost scary. These were not people who were interested in Japanese business or technology or anything like that. They were just focused on anime, the characters and the stories, they just loved it. So it was actually very touching.

ANT: It seems like a lot of those people in the early 80s were the ones that eventually drummed up interest in anime, and a lot of them were the people who first ones that did fan subtitles.

FRED: That’s right. And organized the first conventions.

Here are a few more images from Steve's post, I gotta take a minute and track down a PDF/scans of this great piece of fandom history sometime soon.

RIP, Jerry Fellows... and hats off to all the early fandom pioneers!

(The staff of Space Fanzine Yamato)

[More soon: Gyo manga, tons of Vertical releases, my dumb projects, Umezz Carnival 2011, etc!]

Friday, June 24, 2011


Longtime reader and Suehiro Maruo superfan Suzanne just sent us pics of her RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME tattoos. For her sleeve piece, Suzanne worked to carefully compile images from a number of Suehiro Maruo works, including panels from The Laughing Vampire and illustration work featured in his Maruograph art books.

If you can believe it, she says it's still an in-progress piece, with further details to be added to her arm(!!). The tattoo artist was Piotrek Taton at Good Times in London.

Suzanne, and our previously-mentioned friend Beth... you are the queens of Maruo fandom!

To see all of the Same Hat community's awesome manga tattoo, simply click the "tattoo" label.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Over on the Same Hat Tumblr, I restarted an open call for pictures of your manga-related tattoos... These are to add to our growing archive of tattoos (depicting the works of Kazuo Umezu, Shintaro Kago, Suehiro Maruo, and others!)

The lovely secretcat's amazing NEKOJIRU tattoo!

teendrama's crazy GURREN LAGANN tattoo!


Jake's UZUMAKI tattoo!

Jeremy's GETTER ROBO tattoo!


If you have a picture to share, send me an email at SAMEHAT [at] GMAIL [dot] COM.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Last week I spent a lovely couple of hours re-reading back issues of PULP off my shelves (for research for my Usamaru Furuya post). While most all of the series that ran in PULP have been collected in their own trade paperbacks (though I believe they are all out of print other than Uzumaki), and some of the best essays and columns were collected in "Fresh Pulp", there really is nothing quite as fun as reading these comics in serialized form, running alongside each other!

As an extension of the PULP experiment/enterprise, the editors (including Jason Thompson, Izumi Evers, Carl Gustav Horn and others I'm surely forgetting) worked with Chikao Shiratori (an ex-GARO editor) to put together an anthology called Secret Comics Japan. I've previously posted about this important collection which (along with Comics Underground Japan and, to a lesser degree, Sake Jock) is a key piece of reading for any Same Hat reader.

I have really distinct memories of first encountering this book when Evan brought it along on our cross-country road trip to get me out to Stanford in 2001. This book is where I first encountered Shintaro Kago, as well as Furuya's PALEPOLI strips and Makoto Aida's groundbreaking MUTANT HANAKO. At the time of Secret Comics Japan's publication, PULP ran an overview of the state of "indie manga" in Japan in the early-2000s, as well as detailed notes on each story included in the anthology. I found it pretty fascinating to revisit this stuff, and have included large scans for your reading pleasure below:


(Interview about PULP x SECRET COMICS JAPAN, page 1)

(Interview about PULP x SECRET COMICS JAPAN, page 2)

(LOOKING AT: The Life of Momongo, Gedatsu Man)

(LOOKING AT: Swing Shell, JR.)

(LOOKING AT: Heartless Bitch/Painful Love, Punctures)

(LOOKING AT: Mutant Hanako)

(LOOKING AT: Editor Woman, Palepoli)

(A hilarious "rating" of each story in terms of Gore, Porn-ness, Huh?, Laffs, and other traits)

Friday, June 10, 2011


This quick post was spurred by a question asked over on the Same Hat TUMBLR (which, by the way, has remained very active the past two months even as Same Hat proper was languishing). strangeandstranger asked about finding evidence online of Junji Ito's "CAT DIARIES"...?

Somehow I'd missed this manga's release, but it turns out it is a real thing that actually exists!

There book is called 伊藤潤二の猫日記 よん&むー ("Junji Ito's Cat Diaries: Yon & Muu"), and here is the listing on It looks like the book is about 116 pages and pretty cheap, a one-off collection published by Kodansha.

I dug around the internets and found some panels to share. Enjoy!

There's more about Junji Ito's cat insanity here on this Japanese blog about cats and this other blog by a Junji Ito fan.

And in case you've forgotten who we are dealing with, hear is a wonderfully eerie (and oddly romantic) photograph of Junji Ito:

[As a final piece of Junji Ito miscellany, here is some Ito ASCII art I found on a Japanese message board!]

UPDATE!: Lovely readers of the Same Hat Tumblr have alerted me to the fact that a Yon & Muu scanlation does exist (and was posted recently). If you feel so include you can check it out at MANGA READER and MANGAFOX.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Over at the (relatively) recently-revamped The Comics Journal site, my buddy Michael DeForge is posting a series of rad "A Cartoonist's Diary" dispatches; in these posts, DeForge talks about his comics work and process, muses about gig poster design, and talks about comics he's enjoying.

In the "Day 2" post, Michael mentioned picking up GIRO by Jiro Ishikawa, which is a lovely little book published in-house by TACO che:

For those that missed my earlier posts, TACO che is a wonderful shop in the Nakano Broadway mall on the west edge of Tokyo, specializing in indie/horror/alternative manga. Basically, it's if the beating heart and cultural brain was manifested into a tiny bookstore of wonders. In addition to selling books by Seirinkogeisha, EnterBrain, Ohta, and others, TACO che has a series of self-published art books/collections. In addition to GIRO, they have also published booklets featuring the Namio Harukawa's thick ladies, paintings by Imiri Sakabashira, and the gay eroticism of Gekko Hayashi.

GIRO itself features an sampling of the intense and rad work of underground artist, Jiro Ishikawa, from comics and minis he cread between 1996 and 2001. Some images here (taken from

You can actually buy a copy via TACO che, or for US folks at this site (and I believe The Beguiling in Toronto has copies as well).

I didn't want to just write about Jiro Ishikawa, without adding some visual ammunition to the interweb, so I dug up two additional mini-comics I snagged while in Tokyo last year. These are both self-published book and look more like the comics our friends sling at Alternative Press Expo than the typical manga tankobon you encounter. Here are my favorite images/pages from these two minis:


(Cover for スナックまぼろし - "SUNAKKU maboroshi/Snack Bar Phantom")

(Jiro Ishikawa is really into dogs, it seems)

(Cover of チンコマン - "Chinkoman / Dick Man")

(Dick Man fighting. I love the thickness(!) of Ishikawa's lines.)

(Bird demon schoolgirls. Check out that "evil train" panel on the left page!)

(Why does this dog get in on the action?!)

(Beach babe and Dick Man drinking a coke...somehow.)

More scans from Ishikawa's work are on this Japanese blog.