The Calendar Home Stretch & More Matsumoto


(Dec 09, 2009)


In regards to my last post, my “Tardy Party” to finish my calendar illustrations is winding down.  If you haven’t seen the finished illustrations I’ve posted in that entry,  you can click here or just scroll down the page.  I’m still working on my last piece, which I’ll hopefully finish before I go to work tonight (otherwise I should have it done early tomorrow).


Some of you may remember a post I did a while back about the book cover work of Taiyo Matsumoto.  Well last week an English translation of his book GoGo Monster was released, and I felt it was worth mentioning (WARNING: Nrrd Ramblings Ahead!).  First off, here’s the cover image:

gogo-preview

When I first saw it, I was impressed and excited for new Matsumoto work. However, that didn’t prepare me for seeing the actual book itself…

gogo-cover

gogo-back

Hardcover with a slipcase! Not something you see very often with a single volume book, and something I’ve never seen done for any comic unless it was a crazy expensive collection.  As you can see, the illustration wraps around the cover (as well as the slipcase), but that’s not the coolest thing.

gogo-page-edge

The illustration is even printed on the edge of the pages (on top of that lovely red dye) !!  I’m really bowled over by the attention to detail and production of this book. From my understanding, Matsumoto’s work has never been that popular in the States until the release of the anime based on his book Tekkonkinkreet.  GoGo Monster is the first work of his to come out in English since then, so the quality of this release seems to suggest some dedication to building an audience for his work.  If that’s the case, I hope they’re successful and that will hopefully lead to more of his work being translated.

gogo1(NOTE: Pages read from right-to-left.  Also, apologies for the cruddy scans.)

I hesitate to give a full review of the story since I’ve only had a chance for a quick read-through.  My first impression is that it’s the most straightforward Matsumoto story that I’ve read so far.  He eschews his wilder artistic tendencies until the later parts of the book.  The story is about a grade school boy named Yuki, who sees creatures around his school that are invisible to everyone else.  However, Matsumoto’s doesn’t dive right into showing us a rich fantasy world as the books cover may suggest.  Rather, he lets these creatures peek into the regular world from the edges of scenery of through tiny details.

gogo2

I don’t think I’m spoiling much by discussing this aspect of the story (at least I hope I’m not…), but I bring it up because I think it creates an interesting tension in the story.  It makes you wonder about the true nature of these creatures that Yuki sees.

There are other impressions I had while reading this that I could get into, but most of my thoughts on the story are pretty half-formed.  Maybe I’ll return to those thoughts once I’ve had a chance to give it another read.  However, if anyone out there has already picked this up, feel free to post some thoughts in the comments.  I definitely recommend giving this title a look… From book design to content, it’s well worth the price.

3 Responses to “The Calendar Home Stretch & More Matsumoto”

  1. ha ha ha. we’re such nerds. two manga reviews in a week.

    tyler should write about neon genesis evangelion to take it to the nrrd maxxx.

  2. I would love to read a review of Evangelion by somebody who hadn’t first seen the series when they 12-18 years old. Do it, Tyler!

  3. Hey guys, can I purchase a couple calendars?

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