Thursday, May 16, 2013


Guys, oh my god Guysssssss. GUYS!

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island by Suehiro Maruo is now on sale and available direct from the publisher, Last Gasp!!!


The book is hefty and sexy, and over-sized at 6" x 8.5" with gold-foil on the cover! 272 pages and hardcover, I'm SO EXCITED to share this book with the Same Hat crew. It was a long time in the making, but I am confident you will dig it.

Major thanks and adoration to Same Hat co-founder Evan Hayden for his masterful lettering and book design, and Colin at Last Gasp for believing in the project.

They are shipping direct orders now, and I understand book will be making their way to shops in the next 2 weeks in the United States, and then percolating out after that! If you'd like your local comics stop to carry the book, please have them contact Last Gasp directly via their site.

HERE ARE SOME PREVIEW PICS! (via our friend Deb Aoki's Twitter feed!)


Thursday, March 07, 2013

Toren Smith, RIP (1960 - 2013)

I learned the sad news today that Toren Smith has passed away at the young age of 52.

Toren was a fascinating guy, the founder of Studio Proteus and arguably one of the most important figures in the entire history of the English-language manga industry. Please take a few minutes to read this personal tribute from his friend Jonathen Clements - it paints a picture of a unique and exciting life, and fills in details about the earliest days of manga and anime fandom in America. The instrumental role Toren had in American comics history (alongside folks like Same Hat heroes Fred Schodt, Fred Patton, and others) can't be overstated.

If you were a manga/anime nerd in the '90s like me, and enjoyed any of the following Studio Proteus-powered titles, please remember Toren Smith today and keep his family and friends in your thoughts:









Thursday, February 14, 2013


Hey guys, so um... I have been waiting to post news about this until it was really real, because of the near-mythical status is has accumulated after many false starts and anticipation over the last few years. 

But listen up now finally:

THE STRANGE TALE OF PANORAMA ISLAND by Suehiro Maruo is coming soon from Last Gasp. I will have copies for sale at my booth at Toronto Comics Art (TCAF) in May! That's the cover above, except the actual book will have gold-foil printing for the text. And it's hardcover and 274 pages. Will be available online and through stores in the U.S. officially soon after, starting in late-June.

And in case you still don't believe me, here are some proofs from the overseas printer that we approved yesterday: 

Also: I just posted on the Same Hat Tumblr the logo designed by my extremely talented friend Jillian Tamaki for "Frontier" - a quarterly art and comics zine I'll be putting out as part of my new publishing house I'm starting this year.

Holy hell, YES -- I'm finally taking the plunge and becoming "a publisher"...!?
I'm currently busy working on all the mundane and exciting preparations to make everything happen; I have very limited and modest goals for release in the first year or so of doing this, and I still am keeping my full time day job and Same Hat going all the while. I am extremely excited to be able to share more details on the company and first issue of this new series in the coming months. The current plan is to debut Frontier #1 at TCAF alongside The Strange Tale of Panorama Island. You should come to the festival... It's gonna be a doozy!

Friday, January 25, 2013


Just in: delightful news, sent to us from Same Hat reader cat-heaven! Did you know that the NHK has a program called Renman that features professional artists facing off in a jam comic competition?? Where they meet and draw together on the same sheet of paper, then are judged by a panel of critics and television personalities?

And did you know... the January 6th episode of Renman featured a friendly faceoff between HIDESHI HINO and KAZUO UMEZU!?!?

NHK is notoriously on point about removing uploaded videos of their content, and I've yet to find a clip of this show... but I was able to grab some promotional images from their site, for your viewing pleasure!

The comic's theme was 初夢 (hatsuyume - "First dream of the new year") and the competition uses a chess clock approach, with 30 total minutes for each cartoonist. They start it off with a game of janken and Hideshi Hino wins, electing for Umezu to draw first.

Thanks to an Anonymous reader, here is the full episode (for now), enjoy!

Kazuo Umezu!!

And his opponent... Hideshi Hino!!

The episode's judges (Simon, Randy, Paula, Randy 2)

Umezu remains the happiest and sweetest person I've ever met

Hideshi Hino's horrible horror-drawing hands. I actually met him at ComicCon 2005 too, he was very sweet but much less friendly.

The Laughing Vampire/Grandpa

Facing off in their fancy, signature looks.

This is a scene from an imagined buddy film in my mind: "Grumpy Old Mangakas."

And finally, here is their comic! HIDESHI HINO vs. KAZUO UMEZU:
The winner as decided by the judges on the show: KAZUO UMEZU

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Exciting news comes to us from Comic Reporter's Tom Spurgeon, as we embark upon a 2013 full of strange and unexpected comics. He reports that PictureBox is launching a new manga line featuring old , called "Ten Cent Manga." The line (imprint?) will feature titles edited and translated by manga expert and Garoholic, Ryan Holmberg.

Head over to Comic Reporter's post for the full details. They have announced the following two titles will be released in 2013!

Last Of The Mohicans by Shigero Sugiura - May 2013

The Mysterious Underground Men (地底国の怪人) by Osamu Tezuka - October 2013

Below are some pages I dug up from Japanese edition of "Mysterious Underground Men"... I am extremely excited to see where the combined sensibilities of PB's Dan Nadel and Holmberg go in the coming months with this line... very good news for the Same Hat community.

 (click for bigger versions) 

Thursday, January 03, 2013


Happy New Year to everyone from your absent editor, Ryan!

("Friends of Same Hat" by our friend Jillian Tamaki)

I posted two short posts on the SH Tumblr: here and here, showing off your handsome faces!

FOR REAL, SOME GREAT THINGS AHEAD IN 2013: More posts, new contributors, print zines, a new t-shirt, a hosted Forum for us!