The first, and most important thing you need to know about POLYSICS new album, 15th P, is that it features a cover of the classic DEVO B-side, “Mecha-Mania Boy” with vocals by DEVO’s own Mark Mothersbaugh. Based on this alone, it is worth your time and money to at least get over to Amazon or iTunes and buy the album, or at least that track.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
When one mentions “manga,” to the average passer-by, one is usually met with the question, “what is that?” Mention manga to the average American manga reader, you’ll likely hear mention of such series as Soul Eater or Negima!, or of such high-profile mangaka as Nagai Go or CLAMP. But many of them will likely not know about the sort of underground works that seldom actually make it outside Japan.
This is where AX: Alternative Manga (ISBN 978-1-60309-042-1; $29.95) enters the picture. A 399-page behemoth from Top Shelf Productions, AX is an English-language compilation of alternative manga works taken straight from Japan’s cutting-edge anthology periodical of the same name. Many, if not nearly all, American manga readers will likely not have heard of any of the artists or writers featured in this collection. They would be doing themselves a disservice, however, to not try this collection out; manga is more than just magical girls, large-scale fantasy romps or wacky romantic comedies. Manga can be just as experimental and surreal as American underground comics, and AX has such a selection in spades.
It’s still POLYSICS week at Kittysneezes! To celebrate my trip to NYC to see POLYSICS on their last tour with Kayo, here’s a review of one of their concerts, back from 2003 — posted as written 7 years ago. Mang, that’s a while. Also — footage from this show is available on the PippikippippiP in USA DVD — and I’m in some of the crowd shots!
POLYSICS are the greatest band in the world. If you want evidence of this claim, you could pick up one of their records, or better still, go to one of their shows. I have done both. This is about the show.
Yoshihiro Tatsumi is one of those cartoonists who is more influential than they are really known — at least in America. He was one of the first creators of (and the coiner of the term) gekiga, or alternative manga, using grittier, more real-world-based stories as opposed to the major commercial type stuff. In the US, though only one rare volume appeared in English in 1987, and it turned out that was a shoddily copied bootleg. Continue reading
Osamu Tezuka truly is the god of manga. The attention to detail is simply staggering, and he produced his hundreds of the thousands of pages of manga over the decades the long, hard way. Sometimes, when reading his work, one simply must stop and marvel at the art, even during the most engrossing of tales.