Harmful! Untidy! Avoid!
The observer seeks "Japanese Art", does not speak
Japanese, is led to a musty, sparsely-peopled place
inhabited by "living national treasures" and other
precious monuments to the national character. For
that which is sanctioned is subsidized, is seen.
This is not that. This is what happened around the
three-quarter century mark - that place on the
historical clock when maudites emerge. Why?
I'll tell you next century.
The inks and paper cost almost nothing, which is
nearly a crime in some circles. And you could hide
them in your desk. Much of Japanese art is about
endurance. The rumpled scrawlings of these masters
are the denial of endurance (or its homage:
ambivalence is here a vocabulary function).
But it's all more than you want to read about. Go look,
and know that this book is a 4-part miracle.
The selection is unimpeachable. Kevin Quigley has
eschewed stories that rely on subtle contextual
knowledge for their pyrotechnic operation. It must
have been a grueling selection process that resulted
in a volume that so typifies the form, and can yet
be reached by readers at any level of experience.
Anyone who has read the originals knows that the
translation by Kevin, Hiroko Ikuta Quigley and
Umezawa Yoko is brilliantly targeted and illuminative.
Ken Swezey and Laura Lindgren of Blast Books
are to be credited with producing a volume that confers
upon these works the luxurious quality that the artists
might have wanted but could never have hoped for when
they were impelled to choose this road to spill their
ideas upon. And all this for fifteen bucks (that's the
fourth part of the miracle).
Please note that some of these pages are fairly large (max. 118K) and may take as long as 40~50 seconds to download on some connections. We wanted to do justice to the presentation and superb print quality of CUJ, and chose to reduce file size only to the point where we risked deteriorating the image. But remember, once you load a page you can enjoy it instantaneously again and again, unlike some gimpo jiggling corporate logo in Shockwave that you wait four minutes for.
A note about your guide.
Information on purchasing Comics Underground Japan.
Introduction and Acknowledgments (Excerpt)
It's All Right If You Don't Understand
Steel Pipe Melancholia
Future Sperm Brazil
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20...
A Love Like Lemons
Selfish Carol's Summer Vacation
(Entire Story) Page
Mercy Flesh (Jiniku)
Don Quixote #1 & #2
Planet of the Jap
9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15...
Bigger and Better
Cat Noodle Soup
Nekojiru and Yamano Hajime
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