August 12, 2013
A decade after the debut of her trippy manga, Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU, Junko Mizuno did a signing outside Kinokuniya Books in San Francisco for the release of PELU Vol. 2. PELU, for the uninitiated, is neither a cat nor a dog, but rather an adorable alien in search of an earth-based bride. You see, PELU was once half of an interesting spin on the reproductive cycle, and he lived on a happy planet populated by naked ladies. That is, until a star-spangled space hippo ate his host, leaving PELU without a partner or platform for making babies.
Junko Mizuno in conversation with Deb Aoki at the book signing
So, PELU lands in chaotic Japan where he encounters sassy girls, bad boys, beach maidens and body-switchers…but not his one true love. PELU Vol. 1 concluded with what looks to be a murder-suicide, although perhaps Danko has returned as a ghost? I’ve only just begun reading Vol. 2, and I’ve already learned about Soapland and watched Big Pharma get a taste of their own medicine. Exciting stuff! Also exciting? A convergence!
One of the most popular posts on my blog is a 2011 feature on the 100 Best Tattoos Inspired by Toy Art. In the story, we meet Detroit-based model-welder, Alloy Ash, who has a full sleeve of tattoos based on Junko Mizuno’s characters. Well, over the weekend, Alloy and Junko met each other in real life for the first time!
read full article
August 9, 2013
Words are really not necessary to describe the awesomeness of this convergence, but I’ll try: James Jarvis has very casually drawn up some very wonderful illustrations inspired by very epic Spacemen 3 [here’s a fan site] albums. Jarvis posted the sketches to his Instagram account yesterday, and I encountered them while I was listening to Spacemen 3 at work. Each time a real live art gallery or brick-and-mortar shop closes due to Internet competition, I get bummed. But then stuff like this happens, and I think: “more Internet, please.”
One year ago this month, James Jarvis shuttered his long-running toy company, Amos Toys. I wrote about it back then, and many of his fans and collectors (including me) were saddened by the news. But now looking back with a year of perspective, I see Mr. Jarvis dipping his quill into all manner of cross-cultural artistic endeavors. His Instagram account alone is flush with inspiration and contagious humor. These are good things.
Do you know the music of the Spacemen 3? Here’s a worthy clip:
And a little get-to-know-the-band chat: read full article
August 6, 2013
Issue 20 of Design Bureau is out with a short piece I wrote about French fine artist, graphic designer, commercial illustrator and resident maniac, SKWAK. I’ve been following SKWAK’s work since I began chronicling toy art culture, and it’s rad to see him evolving and letting loose with his maniacs in the real world through SNEAKYMOB.
Here’s a little Finish This Sentence game that didn’t make it into print, but proves that underneath the Maniac, there’s a man who’s crazy about his wife, his kid and his cat. Awwww….
- I would love to see one of my illustrations on… A PLANE
- My favorite thing about living in France is… FOOD AND WINE
- If I could live in another era, I would choose NOW because… EVERYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE
- If my Maniac World was a type of musical arrangement, it would sound like… A ROCK RAP CHILD STORY
- My ideal place/situation where I like to make art is… EVERYWHERE I FEEL INSPIRED
- When designing for lifestyle merchandise, the most important consideration should be… ORIGINALITY
- If I weren’t an illustrator, I would be… CREATIVE ANYWAY
- If my house was on fire, I’d run for the door and grab… MY WIFE AND MY KID, AND MY CAT
- People would be surprised to know that I… read full article
August 2, 2013
This is the funniest, most spot-on superhero comic character vs. self-loathing comedy writer pairing parody I’ve ever seen. (What a genre! More please!) For instance:
“I spent all these years worried about death. Now that I’m indestructable, all I can worry about is sex. I mean, try heavy petting with katanas coming out of your hands.”
Thank you Laughing Squid. Thank you Woody Allen as Wolverine. I needed that. Didn’t you? Have a hilarious weekend!