AX Manga Anthology Gets North American Release


ax_sampler_cover.jpgIt looks like I’ll be calling my friends at Top Shelf in a few minutes. This morning the awesome alt-manga blog SAME HAT! broke the news that Top Shelf would be publishing a 400 page anthology, comprised of work from across the impressive history of alternative manga anthology AX. From SAME HAT!:

“I am very, very excited to share some fantastic news for Same Hat readers, and for all fans of indie manga and experimental cartooning. Top Shelf will be publishing a 400 page AX ANTHOLOGY, a selection of stories from the bimonthly underground manga anthology AX, all available in English for the first time!

We’ve posted extensively about AX before, but remember that it’s an anthology book published by Seirinkogeisha, that took up the reins of GARO after they closed their doors and ran with the weirdness. Tokyo Zombie originally was serialized in AX, along with works by Suehiro Maruo, Shinichi Abe, Nishioka Kyoudai, Naoto Yamakawa, Usamaru Furuya, Toshio Saeki, Akino Kondoh, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Toyo Kataoka, and many many many other amazing mangaka.”Ryan Sands, Same Hat!

Sands finishes out the announcement my mentioning that a 16-page sampler of material from the forthcoming anthology will be distributed next weekend at the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, California. Like I said, hopefully my friends at Top Shelf can drop a copy of that into the mail for me…

flowers_usumaru_furuya.jpgAlso of note, and semi-related, Adam Stephanidies at the blog Completely Futile brings note of a rare thing in this month’s Previews: A Really, Really Good Japanese Art Book.

“One of the items in the latest Diamond Previews (under Books: Japanese Books) is a 136-page art book by Usamaru Furuya entitled Flowers, which Previews describes as follows: “Flowers collects some of Furuya’s best artworks. In addition to never-before-seen oil paintings and illustrations of beautiful girls trapped in brutal, even terrifying worlds, Flowers contains short manga stories and a lengthy interview with the artist. Japanese text.” There aren’t many comics artists, Japanese or otherwise, whose art book I would spend nearly forty dollars on, sight unseen. In fact, the only one I can think of is Furuya.” Adam S, Completely Futile

When I was in Japan, I bought every single book I could find by Usumaru Furuya. So inspiring, hilarious, and skeevy was his two volume series Short Cuts (published by Viz back in the day) that I simply had to have more. Everything I bought by him is fucking awesome, but somehow I missed Flowers. I shall be rectifying that with this month’s Previews order.

Even at forty dollars.

– Christopher

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