Finally, a hefty, easily obtainable dose of the wildly inventive and surrealistically inclined mangaka, Shintaro Kago is now available to English language readers in the US. This Fantagraphics edition of Dementia 21 is a fun, flexi-cover edition that contains the titular 272 page graphic novel, along with an afterword by Gary Groth, a brief interview with Kago conducted by Groth, and a bonus portfolio of ten full page, full color illustrations by Kago that are quite a nice bonus.
Groth succinctly summarizes Kago's "persistent theme" as "the totalitarian reductio ad absurdum of mass bureaucracies and technologies, whose limitless humiliations we suffer, large and small," and which Kago "render(s) with a mocking, abrasive contempt."
Here's the complete set of the Hollow Press edition of Day of the Flying Head. All four issues are printed on heavy, flat white stock, and heavy, cardstock covers with French flaps. Printed in Italy.
Day of the Flying Head is entirely pantomime (wordless) - so no translation necessary! (It has, presumably, been flipped, however, as it reads left to right.)
Import. Limited to 600* copies. We only got a few...
*(Well, the print runs were: #1 - 1000 copies; #2 - 800 copies; #3 - 700 copies; #4 - 600 copies. But, that still works out to only 600 complete sets!)
This stand alone fancy pants comic book from Italy by Shintaro Kao is a pantomime (no text) comic book, so no translation necessary. It has, however, presumably been "flipped" for a western audience, as it reads from left to right.
printed in an A4 format on 170g paper
32 pages | fullcolor cover (soft spine + hard frontcover and backcover) | black & white interior
german glued paperback binding
Foreword by James Harvey (the creator of the GAIMAN award-nominated short Masterplasty)
"You know Kago’s iconic image of a head exploding and it being filled with cheap plastic junk,
mass-produced goods? The reason it's horrifying is because it suggests that we aren’t that special.
As a civilisation we mass-produce plastic shit because we are mass-produced shit.
We are a joke told through our pointless repetitive lives,
and it’s that black joke that’s at the heart of Shintaro Kago’s work."
-David Surman, from James Harvey's foreword
The madness continues – and concludes – in this 280 page flexi-bound volume, the second and final part of Shintaro Kago's hallucinatory pen & ink journey to the center of the mind, exploring the tricks it can play in the "realitiy" of these manga adventures centered on Yukie, a health aide for the elderly, in a hospital like no other...