Guillermo Del Toro's "anime/manga cabin" is as breathtakingly nerdy as it sounds

Some people use art as an escape, but others immerse themselves in it, wanting to live and breath it every hour of the day. It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that The Shape Of Water director Guillermo del Toro is one of the latter, but that he owns an honest-to-god “manga/anime cabin” just might.

The Troublemakers collects Baron Yoshimoto’s suggestive short stories

Comic books from the 1960s and ’70s, even the good ones, often ask contemporary readers to bring to them some degree of moral relativism, and Baron Yoshimoto’s The Troublemakers (Retrofit/Big Planet) is no different. Collecting a number of short stories that the author produced in the late ’60s and early ’70s, the…

If you've never read Seiichi Hayashi, pick up Drawn & Quarterly's Red Colored Elegy  

Red Colored Elegy (Drawn & Quarterly) is the longest sustained narrative produced by author Seiichi Hayashi, a cartoonist most recognized (when he’s recognized at all) for his opaque and elliptical short stories. His work tends to concern the interior lives of angsty young adults—most of them suffering from oppressive…

Umami #1 draws from a range of influences to cook up a high-fantasy culinary comic

In the European and Japanese markets, comics about cooking aren’t uncommon. Take, for example, Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s Food Wars!—a popular, slick serial that runs in Shonen Jump magazine. In the United States, cooking is portrayed similarly to any other kind of action in modern mainstream fighting comics: It’s…

Yuichi Yokoyama’s Iceland highlights how loud comics can be

Comic books are a silent medium, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be loud. Yuichi Yokoyama’s comics are a prime example of this, and he creates gekiga (his preferred term over “manga”) that are fixated on the relationship between sound, images, and time. Iceland (Retrofit/Big Planet) is a new translation of Yokoyama’s…

Akira kicked open the door for manga’s rise to popularity in the U.S.

Back Issues discusses a major comic of the past, reevaluating its strengths and weaknesses while exploring the cultural context of its creation and how it has impacted the future of the comic-book medium and industry. This week: Katsuhiro Otomo’s award-winning Akira Vol 1., a seminal work frequently credited as the…

NSFW Koyama exclusive: What Is Obscenity? tells the true story of a renegade artist

The life of Japanese artist Rokudenashiko is one in which reality has become stranger than fiction. Known for her manko (vagina) art that includes manko-shaped dioramas (dioramanko), manko iPhone cases, and the world’s first manko­-shaped kayak, Rokudenashiko was arrested by the police in July 2014 for “distribution…

G.I. Joe: Deviations makes Cobra Commander’s victory a laughing matter

This past March, IDW released a series of “Deviations” one-shots for assorted licensed comics, offering What If?-style stories detailing how these characters’ lives would change if one key element was altered. What if the Ghostbusters never crossed streams in their fight against the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? What if…

Master Keaton, Shaft, an X-Force finale, and a haunting graphic memoir

The earliest of Naoki Urasawa’s works to be translated to English (pre-Monster, 20th Century Boys, and Pluto), Master Keaton (Viz) is a 12-volume series co-written by Hokusei Katsushika and Takashi Nagasaki, originally published between 1988 and 1994. It follows the “adventures” of Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, a…