Wow! At last! We here at Copacetic are excited that this has finally been released and are looking forward to poring over each and every page. The Strange Tale of Panorama Island is an adaptation of a novella by Edogawa Rampo – widely considered the godfather of Japanese detective fiction – that runs to 272 pages. It was originally serialized in Japanese in Comic Beam from 2007 to 2008. This edition presents a translation by Ryan Sands and Kyoko Nitta in a book beautifully designed by Evan Hayden - who also provided the English lettering. Set in 1920s Japan, it involves a wealthy industrialist, death, impersonation, hedonism and, above all, secrets and mysteries – Suehiro Maruo's forte.
When Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show was first published in English in 1992 -- by the aptly named Blast Books -- it blew many a mind; nothing like it had been seen before. Originally published in Japan in 1984, it is one of Maruo's major works as well as being the first of them to make it to North American shores. Simultaneously horrific, surreal and perverse, entirely drawn with a meticulous attention to detail it is a work of unrivalled strangeness. Out of print for years, it has just been reprinted by Blast at an amazing inflation-free price!
Originally published by Blast Books in 1996, Comics Underground Japan was – and still is – a trailblazing anthology that provided most American readers a first look at the powerful creative ferment bubbling under the surface of the massive Japanese manga scene, many of which appeared in English here for the first time (and a few for the only time!). In this anthology's 200+ pages, a dozen creators unleash their personal visions in a wide variety of graphic styles, ranging from brutally stripped down and simplified to painstakingly detailed, relating tales of humor, sexuality and violence, employing fantasy, grotesquerie and satire – sometimes all at once! Gaining plaudits from the like of S. Clay Wilson, Gary Panter and Joe Coleman, Comics Underground Japan remains one of the best single-volume anthologies of alternative/underground manga in English translation. Now, back in print!
Here's what – and who – you'll find:
"Hell's Angel" by Yoshikaze Ebisu, "It's All Right if You Don't Understand" by Yoshikaze Ebisu, "Steel Pipe Melancholia" by Masakazu Toma, "Future Sperm Brazil" by Takashi Nemoto, "A Love Like Lemons" by Carol Shimoda, "Selfish Carol's Summer, "Don Quixote #1 & #2" by Yasuji Tanioka, "Planet of the Jap" by Suehiro Maruo, "Mary’s Asshole" by Hanako Yamada, "Volvox” by, "Bigger and Better" by Muddy Wehara, "Laughing Ball" by Hideshi Hino & "Cat Noodle Soup" by Hajime Yamano & Nekojiro.
Also, worth noting is the fact that while the cover is oriented in the western fashion, the contents are "unflipped" and read right to left – a forward looking compromise for 1996!