Imiri Sakabashira (evidently a pen name for Mochizuki Katsuhiro) is, to us gaijin, a figure shrouded in mystery. Born in 1964, he is an important contributor to Garo, one of the major alternative manga anthologies (that, intriguingly, was also born in 1964). While the long awaited publication of The Box Man will go a long way to exposing Sakabashira to western readers, it will do little to remedy the mystery enshrouding the artist, as it does not contain one shred of editorial or biographical information – neither the original publication date nor it's original Japanese title are included on the copyright page. It is almost as if there is a conspiracy of silence in place to deliberately obscure this creator of this work. (editor's note: in the interim, we have been able to find out [from Wikipedia, no less] that the original manga of The Box Man [Hako no Otoko] was serialized in Seirinkogeisha's alternate manga magazine, Ax and collected on October 31, 2004.) Were this actually to be the case, it would make a perverse kind of sense as The Box Man is nothing if not a deliberately obscure work. Clearly working in the surrealist tradition of channeling the unconscious and getting it all onto the paper without worrying too much about what it all means, The Box Man strikes us here at The Copacetic Comics Company as possibly informing contemporary creators as diverse as Geoff Darrow and Chris "C.F." Forgues. However, not knowing when this work was originally published hinders any speculations of this nature. It does appear that he himself has been influenced somewhat by Suehiro Maruo. So, anyone reading this who is hep to the details of this enigmatic figure, please clue us in! Meanwhile, peer into a corner of The Box Man by downloading a PDF preview, here. And, for further delectation, check out his online gallery and spend some time with his sumptuously weird illustration work, here.
Please Note: This 2010 release is very close to going out of print, so don't miss the chance to get it at retail – as opposed to an inflated collector – price.