Art And Anarchy In The UK
It may come as a surprise that comics offer much more than meets the eye. Of course we all have happy memories of favourite childhood reading (Beano, Dandy, Eagle, Mad, Viz – the list is endless). But how aware are we that there is something inherently anarchic about comics? A huge variety have been produced over the centuries by British creators. It is a strong tradition that continues today. Some of the biggest names in comics - Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum) - are featured in this visually stimulating book. But there are many, many more. And it is the diversity of content and form, as well as comics’ ongoing relevance, which is a main focus. The seditious aspects of the comics tradition - adult, underground and ‘alternative’ material – is highlighted, alongside the superheroes who still dominate the scene. There is anarchy everywhere that you look!REVIEWS
“... there should be something to amuse, amaze or offend just about everyone.”
“We've sold a lot of copies...”
“...an excellent survey of a century of British comic art...”
“...sumptuously illustrated book... a feast for the eye...”
Norman Wright & David Ashford
“...exactly the sort of thing [Jonathan Ross]'d have made a Channel 4 series out of ...”
Forbidden Planet International
“...a dizzying variety of different types of British comics...”
“Gravett's style is conversational and engaging, and the pages fly by.”
Comic World News
“There are many talented people featured in this big, thick tome.”
SF Crows Nest
“...the book I'm going back to again and again.”
Diana Green, University Of Florida
“...an educational and fun read.”
“...the book is a source of great anecdotes...”
Tor Arne Hegna
The First Post
“A Tardis of delights.”
“...this book throws windows open on to fresh new worlds...”
“...the most bizarre, hilarious, disturbing curiosities ever to appear in sequential-graphic form.”
“The result is an attractive and well-researched overview...”
“This book does it all... You won't be disappointed. ”
Erin Gray, librarian
“A true connoisseur of comics, Gravett's breadth of knowledge and discerning taste is a treasure in itself.”
“...its 176 pages bountiful full-colour illustrations that do not shirk the erotic and horror sides of adult manga.”
“One of the finest books on sale at the moment, and one of the best bargains in the shop...”
“Dip into this treasure trove and you will come up with something amazing every time.”
“...a loving homage to the old newspaper serials and gumshoe tales of a bygone era...”
The Buffalo News
“Best Comics Of The Decade: Works On The Subject Of Comics”
Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
“Absolutely essential. (5 stars)”
Ian Williams, Amazon.co.uk
“...a damn good job of attempting to provide some kind of definitive statement of the ninth art... (5 stars)”
Comic Heroes Magazine
“...Gravett covers manga's development in every area, from girls' stuff to hentai.”
The Rough Guide to Manga
“...the best primer on British comics I've ever read.”
“...a small sample of the "darker" side of the comics medium...”
“I recommend it unreservedly.”
“...a massively-stuffed anthology from a person with good taste, well-selected, at a terrific price.”
The Comics Reporter
“...the hit of the series so far...”
“...an essential purchase for any mangaphile's library. Highly recommended.”
“Anyone with a soft spot for English popular culture is likely to find this book utterly absorbing. ”
The Comics Journal
“Great British Comics is a Great British Book!”
“...communicating a bottomless enthusiasm for comic book culture in all its forms...”
“...a celebration of an often misunderstood aspect of modern comics...”
The Burley Observer
“...a visual feast of well-known and obscure comics.”
“Black Holes by Dave McKean... provides a shocking insight into an alleged scandal involving the suppression of HIV sufferers and vanishing funds for treatment by the Chinese government.”
“This is a wonderful primer for someone new to the genre or who is starting a graphic-novel collection.”
School Library Journal
“We can only be grateful to Paul Gravett for keeping us informed about some of the greatest modern comics works.”
“...lives up to its name...”
Andrew A. Smith
“...this definitely looks like the best Christmas present around...”
“*The* reference book for the best comics. (5 stars)”
Tim Bishop, Amazon.co.uk
“...it is a nice stocking stuffer and the kind of thing you never mind receiving from someone else.”
The Comics Reporter
“...an enchantment for comics fans.”
“Comics and fine art may sometimes inhabit vastly different worlds, but at least these days when they meet they have a little more to say to each other than "Ka-boom!".”
“The stunningly illustrated book is filled with the heroes and creators of manga from the last 60 years.”
Dazed & Confused
“...designed to overcome negative preconceptions...”
“...thanks for producing such a great book.”
That’s Entertainment Book Store
“Nobody puts the love, the lack of ego, and the knowledge into a book on comics like Paul Gravett.”
Alex de Campi
“Attractively accessible, lavishly illustrated and perfectly composed...”
“...this book reveals [Paul's] other side: a lover of comic books' ability to shock and surprise...”
“...belongs on the reading list of any student interested in Japanese popular culture.”
“...lands you in a reeling variety of weird worlds and graphic technique...”
“...name talents, true grit and real bang for your buck...”
“...many foremost comics talents continued turning out tales of miscreants and murderers.”
“...a second disc of interviews with his collaborators really brings the state of the modern comic book into focus.”
Jamie S. Rich
“...will give you a serious case of the WTFs.”
“Buy it, and buy it now.”
“It's a nostalgic journey... and an extremely enjoyable one.”
“...[a] colourful compendium.”
The Rough Guide To Graphic Novels
“If you want to know what to read and how to read it....Graphic Novels... is the place to start.”
“...30 'masterpieces'... are presented, analysed and decoded...”
State Of Art
“...a fat compendium of two-fisted, pistol-packing action...”
“Where other guides to comics may fall short, Paul Gravett's Graphic Novels triumphs.”
“...the major [graphic novels] (and some obscure ones)... are astutely summarized...”
New York Times
“...insightful looks at most of the notable graphic novels ever created...”
Comic Book Galaxy
“...a lively compendium of mostly hard-boiled fare...”
“...one of the few scholars with a really open curiosity about all the forms of the Ninth Art.”
“...a superb introduction to a medium that is finally... coming into its own.”
The Daily Mail
“...hard to beat for its breadth of coverage.”
“Graphic Novels is excellent and you should be proud of it.”
“Open your eyes to the richness of a much-maligned art form.”
“...while Unmasks Corruption is an unquestionably dark read, it isn't ultimately a nihilistic or bitter collection.”
“An excellent overview of the medium.”
“...the contents will be an inspiration to me over the coming years.”
John Allison, Scarygoround
“...a huge thank you for publishing 'Stories to change your life'.”
“...a gleeful, face-pulling, nosh-eating reminder of the days before graphic novels...”
“...the best of the [Mammoth] collections I've seen so far...”
The Kirby Museum
“...Krigstein's work outshines the mediocre stories he has to work with.”
“... it's a beautifully designed and well-conceived treasure trove of a book...”
“Congratulations on a splendid book.”
“This collection is felony-level fun.”
“...masterfully mischievous commentary...”
“...one of the best introductions to the comics medium and its graphic novel form.”
International Journal of Comic Art
“...seize upon this useful, incisive, intelligently arranged guide.”
“ A perfect present to convert that literary die-hard...”
“...so impressed with the brilliant way you've presented and organised all this material...”
“...the most useful, most illuminating appreciation of graphic novels in print.”
Dallas Morning News
“Some of the most interesting and important work in comics scholarship...”
“...an informative and entertaining history of Japanese comics...”
The 101 Best Graphic Novels
“Gravett and Stanbury have again come up with the goods...”
Down The Tubes
“...bar none the best current introduction and overview of the graphic novel form.”
Steve Bissette, artist Swamp Thing
“...gave me an afternoon of pure nostalgic indulgence.”
“This book is a treat. It's jam-packed full of images from comics down the decades.”
“Best Comics Of The Decade: Archival Editions & Re-Releases”
Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter
UK: Tate Publishing - 1st edition, November 7th 2013
USA: Yale University Press - 1st edition, February 28th 2014
THE MINDSCAPE OF ALAN MOORE
78 Mins, Over 202 Mins of Exclusive Bonus Material
20-Page Booklet, Foreword by Michael Moorcock, Introduction by Dez Vylenz
16:9 Widescreen, Dolby 5.1 & Dolby Stereo
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Film: The Mindscape Of Alan Moore
Interviews with the director, composer, FX artist
Selected scene analysis with director’s commentary
An introduction to Alan Moore’s work by Paul Gravett
Melinda Gebbie (Lost Girls)
Dave Gibbons (Watchmen)
David Lloyd (V For Vendetta)
Kevin O’Neill (League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
José Villarubia (Promethea, Mirror Of Love)
UK: Aurum Press, 2008
US: St. Martin’s Press, 2008
AN INTRODUCTION TO… BEST CRIME COMICS
Every Shade Of Noir: If your only real exposure so far to crime comics has been the Sin City graphic novels by Frank Miller or maybe their faithful big-screen adaptations, you’d better fasten your seat belt, you’re in for a foot-to-the-floor ride through this compendium of the cream of crime comics. Along the way, you’ll see how several of Miller’s acknowledged masters and peers enthrall with their pacing, atmosphere and verbal and visual panache. You’ll also see how Miller’s battered, bandaged Marvin belongs in a long line-up of lean, mean machismo going back to the Thirties and before, when gangsters fought the cops for control of America’s cities. More…
THE MAKING OF… BEST CRIME COMICS
My new book, once again sharply designed by Peter Stanbury, is The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics, officially out July 18. You may have seen their previous fine comics anthologies, clocking in at around 500 pages, like Best New Manga 1 & 2 (the all-colour third volume is coming this autumn), or Best War Comics and Best Horror Comics.
When Constable approached me to do a Crime collection, they were still looking at doing this book, as well as War and Horror, in the same smaller manga format, which would have seriously shrunk the comics pages down way too small. Thanks to our insistence, they enlarged the format of this series, and in fact for Crime Comics, expanded it a little further still, letting the pages breathe and fill the page area far better.
Stories by Alan Moore top and tail the book perfectly and other contributors include Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Will Eisner, Jack Cole, Jack Kirby, Jacques Tardi, Muñoz & Sampayo, Neil Gaiman and more. Another distinction is in Peter’s exemplary graphic design, which lends the whole 480-page compendium class and atmosphere. Peter also put in amazing effort to restore and refurbish the comics pages, which appear mainly in crisp black and white with no murky greys, to suit the strong, black-and-white noir style. And the contents really are some of the very best, no padding, no also-rans, but two dozen of the cream of crime comics, first-class throughout.EDITIONS
UK: Robinson Publishing, 2008
USA: Running Press, 2008
Secret Agent X-9:
Two pages, pages 150 and 151, are out of order in the Secret Agent X-9 story. After reading page 142, please jump to ahead to pages 150 and 151. Then return to pages 143 to 149 and resume from page 152. Apologies for this production error.
Murder, Morphine & Me:
Murder, Morphine and Me first appeared in True Crime No. 2, May 1947, not No. 3, July-August 1948.
AN INTRODUCTION TO… CULT FICTION
A painting has been smashed and stuffed into a wastebin. It’s the ultimate in art criticism. Not just any painting, but an artist’s self-portrait from 1973, out of which floats a thought balloon saying: "There’s a lot of art around these days that’s not getting the kind of recognition it deserves." In fact, quite a lot of art directly or more obliquely inspired by comics, was getting some recognition at the time. A year after its creation, this work The Thoughts of Robin Page No. 1 was part of the Fluxus artist’s solo show, Off to the Front in the Great Art War, in 1974 in Düsseldorf’s Kunsthalle. Also exhibited were Page’s originals of a four-page comic strip which he had produced in 1970 about some of his past performance pieces, dating back to The Door in 1962, told in a mock-remorseful romp starring his bald, bare alter ego Whildon. A fine artist like Page might have been allowed to exhibit comics in art galleries back then, but the commercial comic artists toiling in the industry were generally not so welcome. Why should they be, when they had never set out to produce something to be recognised and exhibited in frames? They were drawing entirely for reproduction and publication. It should be enough that their recognition came from the millions of readers who read and enjoyed their printed stories and who afterwards might happily throw it into a wastebin. More…
THE MAKING OF CULT FICTION
As Robert Crumb once said, “It’s only lines on paper, folks!” But as he knew well, there’s much more to comics than that. The artwork for them may be drawn specifically to be printed and sold in multiples rather than being framed and hung in galleries, but in recent years the original art from comics, now fetching high prices, has been increasingly exhibited in major institutions in the UK and USA. Crumb himself has had several solo shows, including London’s Whitechapel Gallery, and is currently spotlighted at the Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts in San Francisco, where at the same time the city’s Asian Art Museum presents Osamu Tezuka, Japan’s ‘God of Manga’.
So comics are no longer being considered solely as commercial products, found objects or anonymous source material. In their newly ‘respectable’ forms as works of art, drawing and ‘authorial illustration’, and as works of literature as graphic novels, comics are being re-evaluated, both in their own right and as formative and provocative influences on all kinds of visual artists. Reflecting this cultural shift, The Hayward Gallery has brought together comic artists, including Crumb, and fine artists inspired by comics in a new touring exhibition, Cult Fiction, to show their work alongside each other and on an equal footing. And starting this month, Art Review is commissioning a series of special comic/art pages, inviting artists featured in Cult Fiction to produce a two-page intervention into the magazine: art magazine, as comic, as art!
As long ago as 1967, Salvador Dali, who at the age of 12 had drawn comics for his sister and later as a storyboard for an unmade film, had predicted comics’ ascendancy. On a visit to one of the first Parisian antiquarian bookshops to specialise in ‘bande dessinée’ rarities, balancing a carafe of iced water on his head to cool his boiling brain, Dali proclaimed, “Comics will be the culture of the year 3794. So you have 1827 years in advance, which leaves me the time I need to create a collage with these eighty comics I am taking with me. This will be the birth of Comic Art, and on this occasion we will hold a gigantic opening with my divine presence on March 4th 3794 at 19.00 hours precisely.” Perhaps Dali’s ethereal form will manifest itself a little earlier at the opening of Cult Fiction’s tour in Walsall this month.
From Picasso to pop and beyond, art and comics have long been closely intertwined, feeding off and reinvigorarting each other, and seem to be becoming closer, converging in their concerns. Cult Fiction responds to the expanded possibilities in comics, from substantial dramas to daring experimentation, which have coincided with a decline in the dominance of painting and its emphasis on the large, one-off work. Simultaneously, the show exmaines a renewed interest among artists in what comics offer: their use of icons, symbols and multiple drawings, smaller and more immediate, with or without words, and conceived for reproduction and dissemination, not the scale and exclusivity of the gallery wall. Meanwhile, the dominance of story in comics is also being questioned, liberating comics strict linear narratives to be ‘read’ as puzzles, maps, diagrams, poems, or, as Philip Guston described his word-and-image Poem-Pictures, ‘intimate and strange situations’.
Prepare for more such ‘situations’ as in future editions of Art Review. This issue Paul McDevitt launches the series with an act of astronomical terrorism, the two culprits’ faces, if not their bottoms, masked beneath their speech balloons. Over the coming months, explore other personal worlds and approaches: Travis Millard’s toon-style fever-dreams; Killoffer’s self-obsessed visions; Marcel Dzama’s queasy storybook bestiary; Carol Swain’s soft-drawn yet hard-edged social observations; Laylah Ali’s fraught, fragile, ball-headed biomorphs; and yet others to come. What will fine artists make out of comics? What will comic artists make out of art? Turn to page 138 to find out.
This article by Paul Gravett first appeared in the May 2007 issue of Art Review, which introduced the first of a series of six (so far) original comic strips created for Art Review by artists featured in Cult Fiction.EDITIONS
UK: Hayward Publishing, 2007
AN INTRODUCTION TO… GREAT BRITISH COMICS
Contrary to some pundits’ claims that British comics are “pretty much dead in the water” or “down the tubes”, with my new book Great British Comics I want to show how British comics today have continued and, if you look, are thriving, not just on the newsstands but also via other channels, for example in graphic novels, the indie and small press, in strips in newspapers and magazines, new ‘Original English Language’ manga, or via American companies and of course online. Great British Comics is not a misty-eyed nostalgia trip; it looks back with a clarity of vision to the past and comes bang up to date to show the continuities and changes in themes and styles across a century or more. More…
THE MAKING OF… GREAT BRITISH COMICS
Peter Stanbury and I have been brewing a book on British comics for several years now, but it has been difficult to line up a publisher here, as so many of them are reluctant to invest in creating such a highly illustrated book without the support of an American co-edition. Luckily, Aurum were not deterred when some US companies decided not to do the book, complaining, rather absurdly, that it was “too British”! I’m convinced that there is a real interest here in Britain, as well as around the Commonwealth, to support a book on our own comics culture regardless of the US market. As it turns out, at the same time Aurum are also releasing an annual-style book on British sports comics called Sporting Supermen and two slipcased facsimiles of the first Dandy and Broons annuals from D.C. Thomson. There does seem to be an overdue resurgence of enthusiasm and appreciation for our heritage.
Several new ideas went into creating this new book. One was trying to revive and make sense of comics from the past. To many readers, including British people, these old comics can seem pretty alien, almost as baffling as manga. We want to put them into their social and cultural contexts, so we’ve sourced some related photos, documents, toys, etc to show alongside them. Photo research turned up some amazing period pieces. The husband of a friend of my Mum’s had a photo of himself as a boy from the Daily Mirror queuing for “rationed” comics in 1943. We found a huge seaside promotional shot from 1955 of dozens of young Eagle and Girl readers waving their favourite weeklies on the beach. Time-capsule shots like these show comics as part of the everyday way of life.
Another innovation is showing original artwork. This has been tried a bit before in books on British comics, but I don’t know of any other book with such a range of original artwork, reproduced as crisply as possible so you can see loads of detail. Often a lot is lost in the repro process, especially on full colour painted art, and even more can go if you shoot from the printed page. Collectors, artists and publishers were amazingly generous in lending their gems, from Frank Hampson, Frank Bellamy, Ron Embleton, Dudley Watkins, John Millar Watt, to Leo Baxendale, Ken Reid, Davey Law, Sydney Jordan, Mike McMahon, Joe Colquhoun and more.
It’s also been a revelation discovering from experts like Alan Clark, Steve Holland, David Roach, Craig Conlan and others just who some of these artists are. A few artists were allowed to sign their work, others, say in Eagle or of course 2000AD, were properly credited. But for decades, artists (and writers too) often worked in total anonymity. The sad result is that a lot of truly amazing British talents are unnamed, unknown, unappreciated and risk being forgotten entirely. Some of them have no idea of the impact their work made on young readers and the following that is still out there for it. For example, I know readers would love to meet Shirley Bellwood, who drew the weekly covers and cover paintings for annuals for Misty, which terrorised girls, and some boys, in the 1980s. I’m so happy that nearly all of the artists with work in this book are identified, some properly for the first time ever in a mass-market book.
The other concept driving this was not to gaze wistfully into yesterday but to bring the story right up to date and counter the doom-and-gloom merchants who insist that British comics today are “pretty much dead in the water” or “down the tubes”. We may never get back to the earlier decades when a huge variety and volume of comics crowded the newsstands. But by looking a bit further afield, to the small press, newspapers and magazines, onthe internet or in the US market, you soon find all kinds of vibrant creativity out there. As far as I’m concerned, a lot of comics by British creators published in the US are culturally British rather than American anyway, so I’ve included great stuff like Paul Grist’s Jack Staff, Andi Watson’s Little Star, Grant Morrison and Philip Bond’s Vimanarama and others that are rooted in life and people here, but just happen to be put out by American companies.
Rather than attempting any sort of single, sweeping, encylopaedic, all-in-one condensation of comics history, which others have tried more or less successfully, Peter and I are seeing our books on comics as part of larger part-work, that will hopefully grow into a series of five, ten, or maybe more different titles, each on a different aspect but building up into a multi-volume set of comics history and appreciation.
Like many people in Britain, my earliest comics-reading experiences were of British comics - I grew up on Beano and Dandy before being dazzled by TV21 and Look & Learn - but so many British comic fans become British fans of American comics. 2000AD, first and foremost, and later Warrior, Escape, Deadline and others did dramatically change all that. For the first time, a new readership was admiring our own homegrown talent. I remember the buzz queuing up in Forbidden Planet to meet Bolland, McMahon, O’Neill to sign those first annuals. This was a new fandom and these were our own superstar creators. Even so, most comic shops in Britain today are essentially American comic shops. I hope this book, and the Comics Britannia BBC series, might encourage a few shops to try appealing to the public by stocking more British material, because there’s a grwoing wealth of first-rate reprints and brand new stuff to offer.ERRATA
With thanks to contributions from David Slinn, David Ashford, Steve Holland and Marc-André Dumonteil.
Caption for photograph on Page 2, the date of The Beezer issue is 12 May 1956.
Boys’ World cover is drawn by Edwin Phillips.
Egmont’s Toxic has been running since 2002, not 2004.
The story that Graham Dury dropped The Fat Slags from Viz was apparently just a myth perpetrated by a maverick press officer.
Adam Ant illustrated is drawn by Maureen and Gordon Gray.
Tim’s real name is William Timym, not Timyn.
Sandy Dean’s Schooldays is drawn by Bruce MacDonald.
Cap Condor: Art by Neville Wilson
Robot Archie: Art by Ted Kearon
This particular Pansy Potter strip is not by Hugh McNeil. To be identified.
This particular ‘Four Marys’ is not by Bill Holroyd. To be identified.
Jill Crusoe: Art by Reginald B. Davis.
The Sue Day Annual cover: Art may not be by Bill Lacey. To be confirmed or identified. Cover of June and School Friend Library 455 is drawn by Peter Kay.
Slaves of War Orphan Farm is drawn by Desmond Walduck.
Dick Turpin (TPL 223) is not by Derek Eyles but by Stephen Chapman.
His Sporting Lordship: Art by Mike Western.
Shipwrecked Circus is drawn by Paddy Brennan.
Roy of the Rovers Annual 1982, cover and left spread drawing of the team appear to be drawn by David Sque. Tiger April 16 1977 page is drawn by Yvonne Hutton.
Charlie Peace is drawn by Jack Pamby.
The French name of ‘Gaty’ is Gatignol.
AN INTRODUCTION TO… GRAPHIC NOVELS
What are graphic novels? You might think they are easy to define, but the term has become distorted with prejudices and preconceptions, riddled with confusion among the media and public, and a topic of dispute among ‘graphic novelists’ themselves, some of whom reject the label outright. The word graphic does not have to mean disturbing, extreme, and in your face, shown in hard outlines, grotesque caricatures, or lurid coloring. There is room for very different styles of art. In fact, graphic does not narrow down to drawing and illustration, as in graphics, since some artists create their comics using photos, 3D models, or found objects. The term novel can make people expect the sort of format, serious intent, and weighty heft of traditional literature, as if a graphic novel must be the visual equivalent of “an extended, fictional work.” True, some individual graphic novels can run to hundreds of pages, while others stretch to thousands across multiple volumes - but many are much shorter, or consist of collections of short stories, and they come in all shapes, square, oblong, from miniscule to gigantic. Even more importantly, a great many are definitely not fictional at all but belong in the categories of non-fictional - history, biography, reportage, documentary, or educational. More…
With thanks to Steve Bissette, Lotta Sonninen and others who have kindly spotted mistakes and sent in corrections.
The date of this strip was actually July 11, 2004.
Commando has not quite reached 4,000 issues yet; it’s on its way though and has topped 3,500 already.
Captain Marvel is of course the “Big RED Cheese”.
L’Écho des Savanes was not founded in 1974 by a disaffected Moebius & Druillet, but in 1972 by Claire Bretécher, Marcel Gotlib and Nikita Mandryka.
Frank’s pet is called Pupshaw, not Pushpaw. This mistake arose from page 344 in The Frank Book which incorrectly bills the name of ‘Frank’s testy little bowser-box’ as Pushpaw in the title, but amends this to Pupshaw in the text beneath.
Steve Bissette has meticulously clarified the origins of Phoebe Zeit-Geist and thanks to Dennis Perrin’s incredibly detailed biography Mr. Mike: The Life & Work Of Michael O’Donoghue (1998, Avon Books) established that it was not inspired by Barbarella. Bissette writes further:
“O’Donoghue’s first published work in Evergreen Review appeared in the August/Sept, 1964 issue, a satirical article entitled “The Automation of Caprice” (Perrin, pg. 109). Perrin traces Phoebe Z-G’s origins to O’Donoghue’s great affection for Terry Southern’s novel Candy (1957, first US mass market publication 1964); it informed a character featured in O’Donoghue’s “Automation” essay, named Ramona Wedgewood, who evolved into what became Phoebe Z-G… So it appears that Phoebe Z-G evolved and its first chapters were completed before its creators, O’Donoghue and Springer, had seen or were aware of Barbarella; but it debuted one issue after Barbarella’s first translated chapter was published in the US. My statements about the 1950s and early ‘60s material it satirized was correct in terms of the pop cultural context, but Terry Southern’s novel Candy was the clear inspirational wellspring for Phoebe Z-G according to O’Donoghue himself."
AN INTRODUCTION TO… MANGA
Manga are getting everywhere. Japanese comics are invading your local bookshops, comics and music stores, even libraries, as never before. This is not some passing craze or flavour of the month. Manga look set to follow their phenomenal success across Europe as well as in the States, where over the past four years they have become by far the fastest growing category of book sold in America. Hardly a month goes by without another publisher joining market leaders Viz and TokyoPop in the field. Leading anime outfit ADV were a natural to diversify into manga, but more surprising are two of the latest entrants: DC Comics, home to Superman and Batman, and the major global player Penguin Books. Still, despite the flood of new titles, as many as 30 in one week, so far what we are seeing in English is only the tiniest toenail clipping of the big, scary Godzilla that is manga. Comics are so massive in Japan that they make up nearly 40 per cent of the sales of all publications. More…
UK: Laurence King- 1st edition, 2004
USA: Collins Design - 1st edition, 2004
Brazil: Conrad Editora - 1st edition 2006
Finland: Otava - 1st edition, 2005, 2nd edition 2006
France: Editions du Rocher - 1st edition 2005, 2nd edition 2006
Germany: Egmont - 1st edition 2006
Italy: Logos - 1st edition 2006
Spain: OnlyBook - 1st edition 2006
Taiwan: Monkey Cultural - 1st edition 2006
With thanks to Béatrice Marechal, Mitsuhiro Asakawa, Yvan West Laurence, Tinet Elmgren and others who sent in their valuable feedback.
Bottom caption: Far right: In this scene, Tako no hacchan (‘Little-Eight the Octopus’) in naval uniform gets his chums to dress in sailor suits so they won’t walk around naked.
Last sentence at end of first paragraph: Its title, Garo, has been confused with a similar word for ‘art gallery’, but was actually named after a martyred warrior created by Shirato.
Last sentence: Here he helps Oshika carry out a daring horseback rescue of her husband, but there is no escaping their lethal pursuers. (Oshika/Sugaru is the mother.)
Caption for Go Nagai’s Grendizer: Above: The guy in the white sweater is Koji Kabuto, who as a teen piloted Go Nagai’s Mazinger Z in 1972. Later, in 1975, he joined Grendizer pilot Duke Fleed.
The two characters shown on the top left are Ultraman’s allies Andro Wolf in red and Andro Meros in green from the planet Andro. In the manga pages shown below, they join the Ultra Brothers to defend the planet Ultra from evil.
(Lower caption) Far right: Tatsuhiko Yamagami’s demented boy policeman Gaki Deka, naked save for his cap and tie, flashes his phallic daikon root vegetable. (Udon is a type of noodle, but the daikon root is a common phallic symbol.)
(Second paragraph, last sentence:) Hollywood itself has now started licensing manga and financing live-action adaptations of Akira, Lupin III and Lone Wolf and Cub. (Monkey Punch is the artist.)
The manga series Tokyo Story is called Tokyo Love Story.
(Last sentence) The artist’s name is Hitosi Iwaaki, not Awaaki.
Caption: The artist’s name is Shiriagari, not Siriagari.
(Left column, 3rd line from bottom, and right column, 1st line) Korean comics are called manhwa, not manwha.
The German edition of the book by Jaqueline Berndt is called “Phänomen Manga”.
The book by Wendy Siuyi Wong is called “Hong Kong Comics: A History of Manhua” (“Manhua” is the most commonly used term for Hong Kong comics).