Tag Archives: art

The Art Of Suehiro Maruo

I don’t know what to say about Suehiro Maruo that the art he’s created cannot. The only thing that I can come up with is that it’s obvious that he’s completely out of his mind in the best way possible. I hate the fact that I’ve read almost none of his work, but then again, almost none of it is available in English. Sure there were a few books published here and there in the U.S., but there’s nothing left that’s widely available.

I’ve put together a brief overview of what’s available online in hopes that more than a few people will get more than a little interested in his work. Links to articles and et cetera are below. As always, double click on the larger images to blow them up.

Excerpt from The Comics Journal 2005 Special Edition

Suehiro Maruo books available through Amazon Japan

Article from Media/Culture Journal – Oct. 2004

Suehiro Maruo fan site and gallery

Suehiro Maruo on SAME HAT!

Suehiro Maruo’s official site

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Giant Robot Invades UIC

Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong from Giant Robot magazine will be coming to UIC for a “fun and interesting talk about Asian American pop culture” this Wednesday according to the UIC Asian American Resource and Cultural Center. The talk will be held at Student Center East, Room 302 with a reception following.

Giant Robot.com

(Learn more about Giant Robot here. Check out Eric Nakamura’s blog here.)

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Awesome Book Week: Day 6 – Manga (published by Taschen)

Awesome book. Period.

Manga (published by Tashen) - cover

Even if you’re some weirdo who isn’t into comics or manga, this is still great. Much like nearly every other Taschen book I’ve seen, regardless of my interest to its subject matter, the final product often embarrasses other books within the same category. Also like many other Taschen titles, this book is written in more than one language, two of which are English and Japanese.

Though I wish the samples of work from each individual mangaka (manga writers and illustrators) were translated into English, I can understand and respect the editor’s choice to remain faithful to the original work and publish the manga and covers as they originally appeared.

The icing on this researched and well-thought out cake is the DVD included with it. In addition to interviews with a few mangaka, there’s a gallery of hundreds of manga covers and interviews with employees of various manga retailers as well as footage of the insides of the stores themselves. It seems like it’s a whole different vibe than a major book retailer in the U.S., probably because each manga bookstore is crammed floor to ceiling with comics. Sure I wish there was more on the DVD, and in the book too, but the overview that this book provides is the best attempt at an encyclopedic, reference style book on manga I’ve seen thus far.

Manga (published by Tashen) - DVD

Just to give you a few examples of why this is more than just a coffee table book, click on the thumbnails below. Also, keep in mind that the table of contents is only a portion of all the mangaka covered. The fingerprints of each mangaka’s own individual style when compared to other artists and considered in the grand scheme of art and manga as a whole is considerably interesting.

Manga (published by Tashen) - inner cover       Manga (published by Tashen) - table of contents       Manga (published by Tashen) - Ootomo

Manga (published by Tashen) - Umezz       Manga (published by Tashen) - Shirow       Manga (published by Tashen) - Hagio

If there’s any book out there that can obliterate people’s misguided preconceptions of what manga is and can be, it’s this one.

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Awesome Book Week: Day 3 – Araki (published by Taschen)


I really don’t know where to start with this one…as it would be an understatement to say that Nobuyoshi Araki is in his own world in which photography is at the center. I can’t say that I know much of anything about Araki, though I can say I was near overwhelmed at the astonishing amount of Araki’s work that manages to find its way within this book of monolithic proportions.

(shown with a rear view of the slipcase)




Flowers, street photography, a smattering of experimental photography, photos of his cat and photos that chronicle his life are what make up this enormous collection of Araki’s work. Oh, and page after page after page of photos of women. Highly questionable, pornographically outlandish photos of women. Tons of them. This is what makes this write up so hard. Sure the other stuff is good; it’s honest, charming and his flowers are swarming with color. Though most are nowhere near the intensity and impact of the nude and nearly nude photographs that singe your brain. It’s pretty hard to forget the numerous photos of women, each barely wearing a kimono, being suspended from the ceiling with nothing but rope. It’s my opinion that simply writing these off as pornographic and nothing but would be misinterpreting them. I’m at a loss for words when it comes to trying to understand just what Araki is trying to communicate with such photos or even the very idea, though I suppose that’s why they’re so interesting. At the risk of dealing with crybabies, I’ve chosen not to upload any of these photos. I mean no offense to Araki himself, but that’s not something that I have the time to come under fire for.

I’ll let you be the judge of such artistic entanglements on your own time…

Your local bookstore or library should have something similar to this book if not this very book itself, but if worse comes to worse, you can order it here.

Nobuyoshi Araki

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“You people just ruined Daredevil.”

Daredevil #187

I forget what prompted me to look up old Miller issues of Daredevil the other day, but I was pretty taken aback upon seeing this amongst drawers of other comics. Its straightforward cover stuck out like a brick of gold in a pile of shit. This is such a great cover.

While being decidedly minimalist, it’s rather direct and carries a heavy impact without being boring. Even the use of color is stripped down to just black and red. Given the fact that a majority of this cover is white, it’s a stretch to speak of it as being frenetic, but I don’t think it’s totally unfair to say so. The space that the illustration occupies in relation to the frame of the page is excellent, and the “dialogue” is the icing on the cake. Awesome cover.

As far as what’s inside this issue, Daredevil’s senses are going haywire and ninjas are involved. Saying anything else would ruin it for you. I will say however, that Janson and Miller pull together elements that make this superhero comic more enjoyable than most; but then again, I’m sure you already know that.

“What about the quote at the beginning of this entry? What’re you talking about?” Believe it or not, it’s an actual quote from reader mail published in this issue – #187.

Also, just in case you were curious what Frank Miller would look like on top of a pile of dead bodies, I’ve gone through the effort of including this photo:

Miller and corpses

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Completely Doomed

(Notice the white knuckles of excitement.)

Within these black and white pages are sixteen different comics adapted from earlier written works. So what if they’re adaptations and not the originals? You have A.D.D., so what do you care? You should be thanking these guys for doing you the favor of putting these stories into comic form.

You should especially be thanking Ashley Wood for such a favor. Wood’s distinctive art helps flesh out a fourth of these sixteen tales and the illustrations for every one of those four stories is definitely impressive. Sure the written content itself is important, but there is a dynamic that I’m willing to say would be unreachable if it weren’t for Wood’s take on the stories. The part that I didn’t expect was that a large majority of both the art and the adaptations were quite above par. Saying that Completely Doomed is something like Tales From The Crypt, but in book form would be unfair. It’s the best analogy that I can think of, though Doomed remains far more stylized and lacks the kitsch that Tales often allows for.

To be honest, the adaptation of Richard Matheson’s Crickets was the only story that I hated (though the art does just fine). There were only two others that I could either take or leave. What gets me is that the adaptation of Matheson’s Blood Son and Legion of Plotters come across really well.

The bottom line is that this is one of the better collections of printed matter I’ve seen in months, and this is far from the hit or miss book that I assumed it would be. It’s not without its flaws, but Completely Doomed seems as if it fully actualized what it was set out to be: great.

If you’re not convinced you can read more about it here.

I was going to put up a few pages from a story here and there, but that would spoil the fun wouldn’t it? If you absolutely have to ruin it for yourself, there are a few pages (and the whole first story) that you can check out by clicking the link below.

You can get Completely Doomed here along with single issues and even a trade paperback with just the stories Wood adapted and did the art for.

About the photo: I was going to write about how I thought (and still think) that this is good enough to eat…but upon looking at the ridiculous and/or horribly embarrassing photos of me looking like I was getting ready to take an enormous chunk out of the book with my gaping mouth, I decided to go with terribly off center photo that you see above.

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