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Secret Comics Japan: Underground Comics Now

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Selected by a former editor of the acclaimed manga magazine Garo and a former editor from Japan's third-largest manga publisher, Shogakukan, this collection of underground comics from the last decade ranges from the beautifully surreal to the graphically gruesome. Selected by a former editor of the acclaimed manga magazine Garo and a former editor from Japan's third-largest manga publisher, Shogakukan, this collection of underground comics from the last decade ranges from the beautifully surreal to the graphically gruesome.


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Selected by a former editor of the acclaimed manga magazine Garo and a former editor from Japan's third-largest manga publisher, Shogakukan, this collection of underground comics from the last decade ranges from the beautifully surreal to the graphically gruesome. Selected by a former editor of the acclaimed manga magazine Garo and a former editor from Japan's third-largest manga publisher, Shogakukan, this collection of underground comics from the last decade ranges from the beautifully surreal to the graphically gruesome.

30 review for Secret Comics Japan: Underground Comics Now

  1. 4 out of 5

    Troy

    "The Life Of Momongo" - Junko Mizumno I've never been a big fan of Mizumo, but I'm not sure why. She's a skilled draftsman and an accomplished storyteller, but I've never loved her work. Maybe I'm just not into the Goth Sanrio aesthetic, but THIS story is pretty damn good. It's a quiet story about a future apocalypse ending a world of cute Sangrio Monster Girls. "Gedatsu Man" - Hironori Kokuchi Just not into this. I like the anarchy of it (it reminds me of a Kaz and Gary Panter inspired comic strip "The Life Of Momongo" - Junko Mizumno I've never been a big fan of Mizumo, but I'm not sure why. She's a skilled draftsman and an accomplished storyteller, but I've never loved her work. Maybe I'm just not into the Goth Sanrio aesthetic, but THIS story is pretty damn good. It's a quiet story about a future apocalypse ending a world of cute Sangrio Monster Girls. "Gedatsu Man" - Hironori Kokuchi Just not into this. I like the anarchy of it (it reminds me of a Kaz and Gary Panter inspired comic strip that used to run New York Pressin the 90s) but I don't particularly like the drawings, don't get the cultural references, and don't understand what's going on, so I was bored. "Swing Shell" - Yuko Tsuno A really beautiful story. Strange and dreamlike and gentle, like David Lynch doing a perfect Downy commercial, but with a bubbling undercurrent of impending doom and violence. I desperately want more from this artist. The art is beautiful as is the story, and it's deeply odd and unique. It's about a girl who is either losing her mind, or whose dad has turned into a bear - the very bear that raped and killed her mom. Maybe. And who might kill the girl? "Jr." - Yoshitomo Yoshimoto Another great piece. I read on the internet somewhere that this is based on a Donald Barthelme story, and I immediately retconned my memory and thought, "Oh yeah, I think I read this story." Anyway, this is really wonderful, and is about a 30-something man who is back in grade school. It's played straight and is delightfully bizarre and disturbing. And the art is gorgeous. [Ok, I just did a quick search and found out the story is based on 'Me and Miss Mandible'. Now I'm going to have to dig through my Barthelme books, find, and re-read that story.:] "Heartless Bitch and Painful Love" - Kiriko Nananan Two slice of life stories about relationships. Reminds me of an American indie cartoonist who does static (and realist) single-page drawings bounded by dialog balloons recounting everyday conversations, but Nananan does it better. Her dialog is note perfect and the emotions are on target. Still, this doesn't seem very avant-guarde, but it is good. "Punctures" - Shintaro Kago I love Kago. He's insanely inventive, and a perfect draftsman. This is about fear and contemporary salaryman living. About avoiding danger and pain and change by making people -literally- hollow. It's super gross and obscene, but also damn smart... and oddly beautiful, despite the gore. "Mutant Hanako" - Makoto Aida Nationalist trash about a girl who is raped and shot (in the asshole and vagina, naturally) by evil (and demon-faced) U.S. soilders. Of course, they are the demons who drop Little Boy and Fat Man, and the girl, after getting nuked, turns into an avenging angel who fights for the divine emperor. The introduction to this comic is filled with a bunch of pretentious crap about how this is supposed to be crass, like all manga. Whatever, it's just offensive junk. "Editor Woman" - Benkyo Tamaoki Fan boy toss off bullshit. About a girl who is jealous of her workmates and searches out a porn artist, who she proceeds to practically rape. The girl acts like a boy and is generally completely unrealistic. Again, garbage, and again for lonely hateful boys, but at least it's drawn well. "Palepoli" - Usamaru Furuya I've been hearing about this forever, and I guess I expected too much. It is good, sometimes brilliant, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes just dumb. This artist also made "Short Cuts" which was also good/ brilliant/ hilarious/ dumb, but which centered around Japanese kogals - which I know is some sort of subculture of Japanese school girls. I missed a lot of the references in Short Cuts, but even as a clueless outsider, it was still sometimes hilarious. This, on the other hand, is wider ranging, and as such seems more understandable. I want to read more from Mr. Furuya.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Balfour

    Mostly good, and worth buying. There are a few really awful selections like Gedatsu Man, Jr. and Editor Woman, but the good ones make up for it. The opening story by Junko Mizuno is wonderful, and Punctures, Palepoli and Mutant Hanako are great. Swing Shell is OK though the translation in English is really awkward. Heartless Bitch and Painful Love are OK though they too closely resemble the boring and pretentious autobiographical comics that are popular in America.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Datsun

    There's a whole world of unusual, outré, bat-shit creative comics in Japan, but most of them never get released in English. This collection contains a sampling of some of the best work of the 90s. My personal favorite is the outstanding work of Usumaru Furuya, but there's probably something in most any section to make you think twice about what the medium is capable of. There's a whole world of unusual, outré, bat-shit creative comics in Japan, but most of them never get released in English. This collection contains a sampling of some of the best work of the 90s. My personal favorite is the outstanding work of Usumaru Furuya, but there's probably something in most any section to make you think twice about what the medium is capable of.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    A couple of good stories, a couple of TERRIBLE stories, and a lot of mediocre in between.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bob Dobbs

    A compilation of the stupidest, crudest, ugliest, short comic book stories that you will ever see, outside of the compilation Ax. If that sounds like fun to you then good for you I guess.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert Koskulics

  9. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Brewer

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kirsten

  12. 5 out of 5

    Murilo

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

  14. 5 out of 5

    Thim Sagefjord

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  16. 5 out of 5

    M A

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eline

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Desmarais

  21. 4 out of 5

    Readless

  22. 5 out of 5

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  23. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aboringtuna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jon-Mikel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

  27. 5 out of 5

    Valuska

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andru

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clint

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