<<•>> edited by Sean Michael Wilson <<•>> This much anticipated anthology of manga from off the beaten path premiered at SPX and is now on our shelves. It weighs in at a substantial 400 pages and contains the work of 33 artists, including the recognized figures, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Imiri Sakabashira, Takashi Nemoto and Kazuichi Hanawa, who have had books published in North America by Drawn & Quarterly, PictureBox and Ponent Mon. More important, perhaps, is the first time looks at lesser known and unknown lights of Japan's alternative manga scene, and they are on ample display here. The material in AX runs the gamut from the crudely drawn and obscenely scatalogical work of Takashi Nemoto, who makes Johnny Ryan look tame by comparison, to the cutesy cuddly Shinya Komatsu, to the super-polished works of both Keizo Miyanashi (think Paul Gulacy) and Takato Yamamoto (think Suehiro Maruo), to the jaggedly angular Otoyo Mitsuhashi and a world of variety inbetween. Sexual relations are a common thread in many, but by no means all, of the works in AX, and are plainly on disply in more than one tale, making this a definite ADULTS ONLY item.