Junko Mizuno Signing New Graphic Novel at Kinokuniya SF

Join us on Saturday, August 10th to meet Japanese artist Junko Mizuno at the Kinokuniya San Francisco Store!

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Junko will be signing her new book, LITTLE FLUFFY GIGOLO PELU VOL. 2, with a personalized sketch for each copy!

EVENT DETAILS

When:
Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 3:00pm

Where:
Kinokuniya Bookstore
1581 Webster St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone:(415) 567-7625

Event Page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/642749552409981/

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of a space alien in search of love in an off-kilter Tokyo

Pelu, the cute and fluffy gigolo from outer space, is back, determined to find himself true happiness in the form of a human bride.

Pelu’s quest to have a child continues to unfold across a surreal Tokyo cityscape populated by mythological creatures, loveable losers, living puppets, nymphomaniacs, and a visitor from Pelu’s own home world. Will Pelu finally gain the confidence to woo a bride? Can Pelu finally find a girl willing to stick around long enough to have his baby?

Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu, Vol. 2 by Junko Mizuno

Little Fluffy Gigolo Pelu
Volume 2

Perfectbound
Black and white
168 pages
8″ x 10″
ISBN-13: 9780867197433
Published by Last Gasp

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Junko Mizuno unleashes her unique graphic storytelling sensibilities on a tale that’s frequently adorable, sometimes grotesque, and surprisingly moving. Mizuno’s alluring blend of cuteness, gore, and eroticism has been dubbed Gothic Kawaii and has earned her legions of enthusiastic fans around the globe. In addition to graphic novels, she also produces toys, t-shirts, calendars, and postcards. She has had multiple gallery exhibitions of her work.
Junko Mizuno’s website

IMAGES FROM LITTLE FLUFFY GIGOLO PELU VOL. 2

Pelu2 Pelu22 Pelu23 Pelu24 Pelu25 Pelu26 Pelu27 Pelu28 Pelu29 Pelu-both-covers

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island – Now Available

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island

The Strange Tale of Panorama Island has finally arrived. And it’s BEAUTIFUL.

http://www.lastgasp.com/d/36181/the-strange-tale-of-panorama-island

Fans of Suehiro Maruo, who have patiently waited for over a decade for new work to be published in English by the master manga artist, will not be disappointed. Maruo transforms Edogawa Rampo’s twisted pulp novella, The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, into a stunning work of art.

Strange Tale of Panorama Island - interior

About the Creators:
Suehiro Maruo was a frequent contributor to the legendary underground manga magazine Garo. His manga works include Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show, Rose-Colored Monsters, The Laughing Vampire, and many others. Maruo enjoys a cult international following around the world, and his art has been featured on a number of albums, including John Zorn’s Naked City.

Edogawa Rampo (1894 – 1965) was an immensely important figure in the development of mystery fiction in Japan. His most well known works include The Stalker in the Attic, The Black Lizard, The Monster with 20 Faces, and others. A number of films have been adapted from his works, and his stories continue to be read by new generations of pulp fiction fans.

Pre-War Japanese Manga: Tank Tankuro

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Tank Tankuro is one of the first robots ever to appear in Japanese comics and may be the first manga “superhero.”

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First published in 1934, Tank Tankuro was one of the most famous manga characters at the time.  The comic by Gajo Sakamoto is famous for its innovative and captivating adventure stories full of surrealism, nonsense, innocence, absurdity, and eccentricity.

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Lost in the turmoil of WWII, this hidden gem has been unearthed by Presspop Gallery.  It is soon to be published as a full color, deluxe hard cover with slipcase, beautifully designed by Chris Ware!

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“I considered it a pleasant diversion and a distinct honor working on the cover design of Tank Tankuro,” said Ware. “Sakamoto’s pages seemed wonderfully energetic, almost willfully naive and playful, yet also strangely dire, given their overriding military theme. The immediate Western association I saw was with cartoonist Milt Gross, of the so-called ‘screwball’ school whose work captured the slam-bang of vaudeville, Yiddish humor and never took itself seriously, while at the same time getting at some of the common frustrations and societal anger that ‘higher arts’ don’t necessarily directly address. Gross’s frenetic, loopy pen style is analogous somewhat to Sakamoto’s, and I get the same sort of feeling of hectic happiness when looking at their work.”
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TANK TANKURO’S ANTI-WAR MESSAGE
Under pressure from the militaristic Japanese government of the ’30s, Sakamoto was forced to create what appears to be a pro-war comic.  However, at a time when creative freedom was deeply at risk, Sakamoto used the pages as a silent anti-war protest, expressing his feelings in the playful, free-spirit of Tankuro himself.

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Tank Tankuro influenced a great many manga artists, such as Shigeru Sugiura, Osamu Tezuka, Fujiko Fujio and more, and is the cornerstone from which many masterpieces of manga art would spring. Tankuro became the archetype for various Japanese manga heroes that were to follow.  In the story, Tankuro fights the villain Kuro Kabuto (lit. “Black Hat”), who attacks Japan. Kuro Kabuto is famous among Japanese sci-fi fans who believe he resembles Darth Vader of Star Wars.

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GAJO SAKAMOTO
TANK TANKURO: PREWAR WORKS 1934-1935

 

Full Color, Hardcover in Slipcase
Size: 8.85″ x 6.38″
ISBN 978-4-903090-24-5
Price : $29.95

 

256pgs (including 16 pages of interpretive text)

 

ESSAYS
* How I Created Tank Tankuro
* Memories of My Father, Gajo Sakamoto
* Gajo Sakamoto Biography
* The Forgotten History of Japanese Comics Before Osamu Tezuka and Tank Tankuro’s Maverick World

 

ABOUT GAJO SAKAMOTO
Gajo Sakamoto was born Masaki Sakamoto on December 1, 1895, in Itsukaichi-shi, Nishitama-gun (present-day Akiruno-shi), Tokyo. After studying painting for 5 years at a private art institute, the Kawabata Painting School, he followed the advice of famed cartoonist Ippei Okamoto and pursued a career as a professional manga artist. While working at several newspapers, he ran comic strips and contributed cartoons for newspapers, magazines, and comic anthologies. With Shigewo Miyawo and others, Sakamoto helped form the Doshin Manga-kai manga artists’ group. In January 1934, he started the serialization of Tank Tankuro in Yonen Club (from the Dainippon Yubenkai Kodansha publishing company), which made him a popular artist. The manga was published as a book in October 1935, and the Yonen Club serial lasted until December 1936. Other works from this period included Hora-gai Hora-taro and Janken Pon-chan. In 1939, Sakamoto served as a part-time employee for the government’s public relations department in Manchuria (Northeastern part of China) but returned home a year after Japan’s defeat. After his return, he continued his active career as a manga artist, working on titles such as Gara-gara Sensei, Bari-bari Hakase, and Genkotsu Osho as well as new stories for Tank Tankuro. Around this time, Sakamoto also became interested in the art of suiboku-ga or nan-ga (ink-and-wash painting) and studied Zen Buddhism. In 1956, the same year as the marriage of his first daughter, Sakamoto ended his career as a manga artist to devote himself entirely to Buddhism and suiboku-ga. In 1969, he received an award for his distinguished service to children’s culture from the Japan Children’s Writers’ Association. He died on August 8, 1973, at 77 years of age.

 

 

 

A Note from Project Gen

In order not to repeat tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Gen tells his terrible experiences to young people in the world with Barefoot Gen.  Most of the causes of wars come from misunderstanding and discrimination.

Fortunately we live in the era of computers. Technology has developed rapidly. Using contemporary technology, mankind knows how to make dreadful weapons which commit mass murder. On the other hand, we can use contemporary technology for peace. Misunderstanding and discrimination come from ignorance.

Using the internet, we can get a lot of information held in common. Nowadays it is very easy to go abroad, so we can know the life of everyday people in each country. There are many races on the earth and they have their own religion, too. Mankind speaks various languages but grief is the same. We really need mutual understanding and cultural exchange in order to have a good relationship with many countries.

We hope the young generation in the world make the Earth a place without wars or nuclear weapons. We hope the young generation in the world make the planet without the tears of children caused by wars.

This is the wish of Gen, the author, the Hibakusha and all the Japanese people. Gen has been translated into many languages and they will increase in the near future.

Please listen to messages from Gen. Thank you.

–Project Gen, February 2011

About Project Gen

In the pages of Barefoot Gen, Keiji Nakazawa brings to life a tragedy unlike any that has ever befallen the human race before. He does not simply depict the destructive horror of nuclear weapons, but tells of the cruel fate they visited upon victims and survivors in the years to come. Yet Gen, the young hero of this story, somehow manages to overcome one hardship after another, always with courage and humor. Barefoot Gen’s tale of hope and human triumph in the face of nuclear holocaust has inspired volunteer translators around the world, as well as people working in a variety of other media. Over the years Gen has been made into a three-part live-action film, a feature-length animation film, an opera, and a musical.

The first effort to translate Barefoot Gen from the original Japanese into other languages began in 1976, when Japanese peace activists Masahiro Oshima and Yukio Aki walked across the United States as part of that year’s Transcontinental Walk for Peace and Social Justice. Their fellow walkers frequently asked them about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and one of them happened to have a copy of Hadashi no Gen in his backpack. The Americans on the walk, astonished that an atomic bomb survivor had written about it in cartoon form, urged their Japanese friends to translate it into English. Upon returning to Japan, Oshima and Aki founded Project Gen, a non-profit, all-volunteer group of young Japanese and Americans living in Tokyo, to do just that.

Project Gen went on to translate the first four volumes of Barefoot Gen into English. One or more of these volumes have also been published in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Esperanto.

By the 1990s Project Gen was no longer active. In the meantime, author Keiji Nakazawa had gone on to complete ten volumes of Gen, and expressed his wish to see the entire story made available to non-Japanese readers. Parts of the first four volumes had also been abridged in translation. A new generation of volunteers responded by reviving Project Gen and producing a new, complete and unabridged translation of the entire Gen series.

The second incarnation of Project Gen got its start in Moscow in 1994, when a Japanese student, Minako Tanabe, launched “Project Gen in Russia” to translate Gen into Russian. After publishing the first three volumes in Moscow, the project relocated to Kanazawa, Japan, where volunteers Yulia Tachino and Namie Asazuma had become acquainted with Gen while translating a story about Hiroshima into Russian. The Kanazawa volunteers, together with Takako Kanekura in Russia, completed Russian volumes 4 through 10 between 1999 and 2001.

In the spring of 2000, the Kanazawa group formally established a new Project Gen in Japan. Nine volunteers spent the next three years translating all ten volumes of Gen into English. The translators are Kazuko Futakuchi, Michael Gordon, Kyoko Honda, Yukari Kimura, Nobutoshi Kohara, Kiyoko Nishita, George Stenson, Michiko Tanaka, and Kazuko Yamada.

In 2002, author Keiji Nakazawa put the Kanazawa team in contact with Alan Gleason, a member of the first Project Gen, who introduced them to Last Gasp of San Francisco, publisher of the original English translation of Gen. Last Gasp agreed to publish the new, unabridged translation of all ten volumes, of which this book is one.

In the hope that humanity will never repeat the terrible tragedy of the atomic bombing, the volunteers of Project Gen want children and adults all over the world to hear Gen’s story. Through translations like this one, we want to help Gen speak to people in different countries in their own languages. Our prayer is that Barefoot Gen will contribute in some small way to the abolition of nuclear weapons before this new century is over.

– Namie Asazuma

Coordinator, Project Gen

Write to Project Gen

c/o Asazuma

Nagasaka 3-10-20, Kanazawa

921-8112, Japan

Keiji Nakazawa lives with his wife in the suburbs of Tokyo, and remains actively involved in the work of the Project Gen

volunteers. Now retired from cartooning, his most recent project was a live action film he wrote and directed about

young people growing up in postwar Hiroshima. He is currently working on another film scenario.

The statement above was prepared in conjunction with the “Manga Movable Feast.” Since February 2010, once a month, the manga blogging community holds a week-long event called the Manga Moveable Feast, in which they discuss a particular series or one shot title. Each day, the host shares links to new blog entries focusing on that work, while building an archive for the entire week’s discussion. At the end of the event, the group then selects a new host and a new “menu” for the following month.

In the words of Sam Kusek, one of the organizers:

The primary goal of this feast is to promote intelligent, in-depth analysis of manga that we as community hold strong feelings towards, while fostering a sense of community among avid manga readers by inviting everyone to take part in the event, regardless of whether they’ve participated before.

This February 2011 Manga Movable Feast centralizes around Barefoot Gen, published in North America by Last Gasp.

Why Barefoot Gen is Important



We are extremely proud to publish Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen series. Last Gasp has always championed autobiographical comics because of their emotional honesty. Many of the comics and graphic novels we have published are drawn from authors’ life stories, ranging from Justin Green‘s Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary to Toufic El Rassi’s Arab in America. Gen fits into the same category, but also speaks to other themes that have been an important part Last Gasp’s publishing from the very beginning—environmentalism and anti-war protest.

The development and use of nuclear weapons is one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of the 20th century. The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed thousands of people. On top of that, thousands more have been sickened and slowly killed by radiation exposure in Japan, as well as in other parts of the world where radiation lingers at sites where bombs were tested.

Waste from nuclear power plants is an environmental nightmare. The supposed safe use of atomic energy was horrifically witnessed by the world in both Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. With the multimillion-dollar PR campaigns by government and private industry hiding the truths of this folly there is little rebuttal. However, Nakazawa has given us an almost pure view of these dangers. Sixty-six years later his personal vision and precise memory illuminates these dark events.

In time, people can forget the gruesome realities of war, and by publishing Barefoot Gen we hope to keep this tragedy in our collective consciousness so that it will not be repeated. Over 65 years have passed since an atomic bomb was used on people. Today, more countries than ever before possess nuclear weapons, yet fewer people survive who witnessed the horror of these bombs. Keiji Nakazawa’s account is testimony to the true impact of nuclear weapons when used against a civilian population. It is vital reading for people of all ages, and especially for today’s youth.



The statement above was prepared in conjunction with the “Manga Movable Feast.” Since February 2010, once a month, the manga blogging community holds a week-long event called the Manga Moveable Feast, in which they discuss a particular series or one shot title. Each day, the host shares links to new blog entries focusing on that work, while building an archive for the entire week’s discussion. At the end of the event, the group then selects a new host and a new “menu” for the following month.

In the words of Sam Kusek, one of the organizers:

The primary goal of this feast is to promote intelligent, in-depth analysis of manga that we as community hold strong feelings towards, while fostering a sense of community among avid manga readers by inviting everyone to take part in the event, regardless of whether they’ve participated before.

This February 2011 Manga Movable Feast centralizes around Barefoot Gen, published in North America by Last Gasp.

Complete list of essays, reviews, podcasts, etc. that resulted from our weeklong discussion of Barefoot Gen.

New Reviews for PELU and Best Erotic Comics


Dusty Horn reviews Best Erotic Comics 2009 for Carnal San Francisco:

“Just as the world at large is growing to acknowledge the value of comics, the shelves are hit with a cute, unassuming trade paperback overflowing with half-octopus girls, bull-cunnilingus, drunk pistol-whipping, unprotected male sodomy and an abundance of demon fucking, to say nothing of masturbation, queers, and sexually aggressive females.”

Read the rest of Dusty’s review here.

Michelle Smith reviews Junko Mizuno’s Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU for Comic Book Resources:

“I’m not one who enjoys weirdness for the sake of weirdness, but in Junko Mizuno’s hands, the absurdity of certain situations makes me laugh out loud, which is a pretty rare occurrence.”

Read the rest of Michelle’s review here.

John Thomas reviews PELU in his Mecha Mecha Media column for Yuuyake Shimbun:
“As the title suggests, this is not a kid’s book, but is the mind trip one would expect from Mizuno. Pelu is a fluffy alien who travels to Earth (don’t ask me how, you wouldn’t believe me) in order to find a bride. The adventures Pelu begins in this big volume are sometimes cute, sometimes shocking, and always original. Pelu is like finally getting the story behind one of Mizuno’s surprising illustrations. Pelu will not be for everyone, but I enjoyed this title even more than Pure Trance. I didn’t love everything that happens in Pelu, and I think it is hard to connect with the characters, which is probably by design, but Pelu certainly kept be guessing, which I did like.”