Junko Mizuno Signs New Manga and Meets Super Fan in San Francisco

Written on by jeremy

Junko Mizuno x Last Gasp Little Fluffy Gigolo PELU

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

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!

Junko Mizuno and Alloy Ash

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!

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Posted in 2D, Art, books, Events, Signings | Comments Off

James Jarvis Draws the Music of Spacemen 3 on Instagram

Written on by jeremy

James Jarvis x Spacemen 3

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.”

James Jarvis x Spacemen 3

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.

James Jarvis x Spacemen 3

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

Posted in 2D, Art, illustration, Music/Video, Pop CULTure | 1 Comment

Toys by Design: a Chat with SKWAK

Written on by jeremy

SKWAK in Design Bureau Magazine

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….

  1. I would love to see one of my illustrations on… A PLANE
  2. My favorite thing about living in France is… FOOD AND WINE
  3. If I could live in another era, I would choose NOW because… EVERYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE
  4. If my Maniac World was a type of musical arrangement, it would sound like… A ROCK RAP CHILD STORY
  5. My ideal place/situation where I like to make art is… EVERYWHERE I FEEL INSPIRED
  6. When designing for lifestyle merchandise, the most important consideration should be… ORIGINALITY
  7. If I weren’t an illustrator, I would be… CREATIVE ANYWAY
  8. If my house was on fire, I’d run for the door and grab… MY WIFE AND MY KID, AND MY CAT
  9. People would be surprised to know that I… read full article
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If Woody Allen Directed Wolverine

Written on by jeremy

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!

Woody Allen as Wolverine

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The Peace Drone Scale Model: Because Happy People are Better than Dead People!

Written on by jeremy

Peace Drone by Axel Brechensbauer

All this talk about drones and no action, right? (Just kidding!) Well, last year Barcelona-based designer Axel Brechensbauer revealed this whimsical study for a proposed U.S. peace drone, and now, he’s created a 16-inch scale model.

Hovering over hostile settlements or cities playing loud clown music, smiling around and delivering clouds of Oxycontin. A beautiful American drug described as a pharmaceutical grade heroin. Happy people are better than dead people, and best of all, they will be addicted to you!

The government does a lot of crazy shit in the name of war. Likewise, Big Pharma does even more crazy shit in the name of health money. Brechensbauer’s plan to gas your enemies with Oxycontin exhaust emitted from a happy helicopter doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? Revisit the original plans here. Keep up with Axel’s progress here. Any of my fabricator friends able to help get this guy off the ground???

Peace Drone by Axel Brechensbauer

Posted in conceptual, Design, industrial | Comments Off

Interviews

  • Brutherford Industries
  • Emilio Garcia
  • Frank Kozik
  • Brian Flynn
  • Coarse Toys
  • Jason Freeny
  • FERG
  • Steff Bomb
  • Shag
  • Junko Mizuno
  • TADO
  • Godmachine
  • Mike Leavitt
  • Joseph Harmon
  • Nathan Jurevicius
  • Huck Gee
  • Double Parlour
  • Ron Hollatz
  • Skinner
  • Ryan Roberts Photography
  • Felt Mistress
  • Tristan Eaton
  • Greg Craola Simkins
  • The Toy Hunter
  • The Sucklord
  • Kathie Olivas & Brandt Peters

Studio Visits

  • Doubleparlour studio visit
  • Junko Mizuno Studio Visit
  • Frank Kozik Studio Visit
  • Mark Nagata Studio Visit
  • Huck Gee Studio Visit