SCRAPBOOK: A Few Pages More

In this post I’m adding even more sample pages from my scrapbook, the previous postings of which can be found here and there. There is only one copy of  the scrapbook so I like to think of it as another constructed artist book of mine. It contains images of other people’s work that I admire along with some assorted memorabilia of my own. These are images that I have collected and arranged and like to have around.

Japanese anime magazine with emphasis on profiling new work.

Japanese anime magazine with emphasis on profiling new work. One of the first Japanese words I learned from hearing it so often on TV was atarashi, new.

Lex Luthor discovers his artistic side.

Lex Luthor discovers his artistic side and has fun with paint.

Mixed Bag, from Nara to Van Gogh.

Mixed Bag, from Nara and Mizuki to Van Gogh. I like the idea of using notebooks as well as some of the forgotten images you can find in them.

Baseball cover for Peanuts collection.

Baseball cover for Peanuts collection with Schulz’s wonderful ink-line representation of grass.

Sports page.

Sports page-Formula One and Football.

Some Kamishibai cards

Some Kamishibai cards.

San Francisco, sand and sea.

San Francisco, sand and sea-the postcard is Californian but the beach is Australian.

Manga Bat Wing and monster on painted sea page.

Manga Bat Wing and monster on painted sea page.The comics panel is from a Japanese version of Batman.

Mickey, Norakuro and Eisenstein.

Eisenstein with cats and dog and mouse-Krazy, Mickey and Norakuro.

Closure.

Closure.

Posts of my graphic based material include:   THE GRAFIK GUITAR    BOOKBINDING THE GRAFIK GUITAR   CARTOON   MORE CARTOONS   RESEARCH CARTOONS   UNIVERSITY CARTOONS    POSTCARD   POSTCARD-Second Series   POSTCARD-Third Series   POSTCARD-Fourth Series   PRINT Fish Tai   PRINT Fish Two   SCRAPBOOK   SCRAPBOOK-More Pages   SCRAPBOOK-A Few Pages More  and the posts on production of my artist book/comic BLOTTING PAPER:  Issue #1: No.1   No.2   No.3   No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13   Issue #2: No.14   No.15   No.16   No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29   Issue #3: No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36   Issue #4: No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41   No.42   No.43   No.44   Issue #5: No.45   No.46   No.47   No.48

FLYING THE ANIME FLAG ON TREASURE ISLAND

In late October I spent a week in Fiji for the Japanese Embassy and the Japan Foundation to present a lecture and workshop at the School of Arts, Language and Media of the University of the South Pacific and introduce films at an Anime festival. It was all part of Japan Culture Week 2011 in Suva, the capital city on the largest of the 300 islands and it seemed a bit like an act of cultural colonisation, raising the Anime flag and flying its colours on Treasure Island, creating a little Anime paradise in the Pacific Ocean.

Lecturing on the global spread of Japanese pop culture in the 1980s. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Lecturing on the global spread of Japanese pop culture in the 1980s. (Photo by Louise Graber)

My lecture Up In The Air: Anime’s Journey To The Stars described the global success of Japanese animation and its rise to prominance in the film world and in popular culture. It covered the work of Osamu Tezuka and the success of his work abroad. It also referred to Rintaro’s involvement with him as an animation director on Astro Boy prior to his subsequent productions that included his Tezuka homage film Metropolis, his adaption of Leiji Matsumoto’s manga Galaxy Express 999, and of Sanpei Shirato’s manga The Dagger of Kamui. Describing Shirato’s beginnings as a kamishibai artist before moving to manga and the alternative publication GARO the lecture was situated in the context of anecdotes from my time as a lecturer at an Arts college and a School of Design in Sydney where I observed the growing interest of students in Japanese popular culture. They became fascinated with manga, Anime, cosplay, J-Pop, scanlations, computer games, cameras, turntables, TV game shows, food and fashion, not to mention the learning of the Japanese language and the odd visit to Tokyo. The lecture concluded with an analysis of the productions and rise to prominence of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli who, like Tezuka, found an international audience and critical acclaim.

The tools and materials for the printmaking workshop. (Photo by Louise Graber)

In addition to the theory lecture I also presented a practical workshop demonstrating the printmaking technique I have developed as part of my artistic practice. Based on the Japanese creative print movement of Sosaku Hanga and the work of Koshiro Onchi and Shiko Munakata  in particular I showed examples of my work that have been made following this approach and methodology and applied to prints, postcards, T-shirts and comics.

Teaching techniques to students of University of the South Pacific. (Photo by Louise Graber)

After the demonstration the students then made their own prints. By chance, the cultural activities took place in the same week as the Rugby World Cup finals and the only paint colours to hand were those of the Wallabies, yellow and green. My own rugby woodblock print (on the table and being passed around the class, in the photos above) provided some amusement and interest.

The ‘sosaku hanga’ creative printmaking workshop. (Photo by Louise Graber)

On the roof of the Village Cinema complex Batman and Spiderman look down intrigued at the sight of people going in to see the Ninja super hero Kamui. It was here that the Anime Film Festival was held each evening. The films Galaxy Express 999, The Dagger of Kamui, Laputa: Castle in the Sky and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time were screened to impressed audiences. Anime is now a fixed part of the Japanese cultural coat of arms, emblamatic of the country’s long history of graphic arts that feeds into and nurtures both Anime and manga. A week long festival of Anime films and supporting contextual cultural events signaled an alternative offering to Hollywood and the further spread of Japanese popular culture in the South Pacific.

Village Cinema Centre, Suva. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Some other visual moments from my Fiji trip follow:

In the hotel pool in Nadi, my friend the octopus. (Photo by Louise Graber)

In the hotel pool in Nadi, my friend the octopus. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Doctor Comics in  shark jaws at the University of the South Pacific. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Doctor Comics in shark jaws at the University of the South Pacific. (Photo by Louise Graber)

In the Fiji Museum in Suva, the Eel God sacred club. (Photo by Louise Graber)

In the Fiji Museum in Suva, the Eel God sacred club. (Photo by Louise Graber)

In addition to my affinity with the octopus and various fish I am partial to the eel. During my Fiji visit I was pleased to find that the eel has acquired the status of a deity and a creative one at that in Melanesian mythology. Below is an artwork I created based on the freshwater eels that used to be found and fished in the Parramatta River near Blacktown in Sydney.

My own eel art work(print, painting and collage-© 2009 Michael Hill).

My own eel art work(print, painting and collage-© 2009 Michael Hill).

Another treasure inside the Fiji Museum was this old metal Hopkinson & Cope printing press, imported from England in earlier days. At my printmaking workshop in Suva I demonstrated a Japanese method that employs one’s body weight as a press rather than a device such as this European device.

Old metal, pre-digital printing press. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Old metal, pre-digital printing press. (Photo by Louise Graber)

On this Treasure Island, apart from the art and the marine life, there were collections of coconuts, palm trees and flowers including red hibiscus and white frangipani, all over the place.

Big frangipani presence on the island. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Big frangipani presence on the island. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Many thanks to Sayuri Tokuman and Susan Yamaguchi of the Japanese Studies & Intellectual Exchange Department and Tokiko Kiyota, Director of the Japan Foundation in Sydney, and to Nobuko Iwatani, Mako Nakauchi and Mele of the Embassy of Japan in Fiji, and His Excellency Yutaka Yoshizawa, Ambassador of Japan, for their ideas, assistance and support with this project.

CATS IN COMICS: Doraemon

In this series I shall be featuring mini-profiles of cat characters I have enjoyed in comics. Each post will feature an image and short description of the character.

Cover of Doraemon manga issue 1.

The first cat in this series is Doraemon, the creation of Fujio Fujiki, the alias of two creators (mangaka) Motoo Akibo and Hiroshi Fujimoto, working in collaboration. Doraemon is a blue, earless, male, magical, back from the future, robot cat that lost his ears to a hungry rat. And like most cats he is very good to his owner, the little boy Nobita. This cat has been designed in a seriously super-deformed style with a large round head that takes up practically half its body length. First published in Japan in 1970 it has been so successful it was developed into an animation series and franchise with a massive amount of merchandise including postage stamps. Doraemon has the distinction of being the first Anime Ambassador of Japan. Most recently a museum has opened in Kawasaki. This cat is more than 40 years old although, as it is a cat that is back from the future, it has not yet been born, his birthday being just over a century away on 3rd September 2112. His popularity goes on and on, and taking a lead from the guitar I saw in a music shop in Ochanomizu, Tokyo, near Meiji University, I say “Rock on Doraemon!”

Doraemon guitar in Tokyo music shop. (Photo by Michael Hill a.k.a. Doctor Comics)

See who is front and centre on this Anime character post card!

See who is front and centre on this Anime character post card!

UPDATE 3 SEP 2112: On September 3rd 2012 Doraemon received an official residency certificate from Kawasaki city-100 years before his birth on September 3rd 2112.

Doraemon’s official residency certificate.

Doraemon on rails!

UPDATE 21 NOV 2016: On a trip to Tokyo last month I found these two sets of Doraemon stamps on sale at a Japan Post shop:

2 sets of Doraemon stamps on sale in Japan.

2 sets of Doraemon stamps on sale in Japan.

and an old copy of the Doraemon magazine at a bookshop in Jimbocho:

Copy of Doraemon Official Magazine 2004.7.20

Copy of Doraemon Official Magazine 2004.7.20

and a toy figure in a food shop in Kappabashi:

Doraemon toy in food store in Kappabashi-(Photo-© 2016 Louise Graber).

Doraemon toy in food store in Kappabashi-(Photo-© 2016 Louise Graber).

UPDATE 19 APR 2017: On a trip to New York last month I found this Doraemon doll made up as Captain America in a shop window in Chinatown, along with a group of smaller Doraemons and a large Japanese neko.

Doraeman as Cap, Chinatown, New York. (Photo-© 2017 Michael Hill)

Read all the CATS IN COMICS posts:  Busch   Cohl    Doraemon    Krazy Kat    The Rabbi’s Cat

 

Archive of Australian Alternative Comics: GETTING SMASH(ed)!

Saturday July 16 2011 was a day of anime amusement at SMASH! (the Sydney Manga and Anime Show). Over the past few years the local interest in manga and anime has grown and grown. Initially ignored by existing comics conventions fans created their own event. Some even began learning to read Japanese so that they could translate the manga. The conventions provided opportunities for fans to meet and enjoy these two media. Some local female creators began making their own versions of shōjo manga as a form of alternative comics and with local content. Interest continued to grow, as did the events. In Sydney there was Animania, in Melbourne, Manifest. And then there was SMASH!

The SMASH! 2011 program.

Located for the first time in its short 5 year history at the Sydney Convention Centre because it outgrew its previous venues from the Rounhouse at the University of New South Wales to the Sydney Town Hall…

The view from inside the Convention Centre. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Welcome from Box Man. (Photo by Louise Graber)

An occasion to dress up, there were costumes that required weeks of sewing, beading, feathering and functioning, paraded throughout the venue and on the cosplay stage…

A tutu moment… (Photo by Michael Hill)

One happy fan. (Photo by Louise Graber)

Many children there in addition to university, high school and primary school students, some with parents…

Three young cosplay fans. (Photo by Michael Hill)

There were Hobby Rooms for the construction and display of dolls and robots…

Some Dolfie dolls. (Photo by Michael Hill)

and tired doll collectors patiently waiting for a seat in the Maid Cafe.

Lolitas with Dolfie. (Photo by Michael Hill)

There were Art and Doodle Rooms for art and doodling… …and an epic two hours plus Cosplay Competition…

A really big and really, really long Cosplay Competition. (Photo by Michael Hill)

…not to mention a Gundam workshop, Karaoke, videogames, a screening of the excellent anime Summer Wars, sewing, pattern and armour making workshops, and a huge trading floor full of vendors, artists and clubs. And it all glowed in the presence of the patronage of the Japan Foundation. Japanese popular culture  thrived on a wonderful day! My report on last year’s event can be found on Forbidden Planet International. This is the third in a series of posts called Archives of Australian Comics History that document moments in the recent history of Australian comics, particularly alternative comics and the Australian Small Press. I started researching this subject in the late 1990s and it eventually led to my PhD thesis: Ph.D. Macquarie University, Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy,  A Study Of Contemporary Australian Alternative Comics 1992-2000 With Particular Reference To The Work Of Naylor, Smith, Danko And Ord, 2003. On completion of the research I donated the materials and comics I had collected to the National Library of Australia: Michael Hill Collection of Australian Comics. Posts in Archives of Australian Comics History:   Comic-Fest   Comics  in Record Shops   Comics Workshops   Down Under Ground   Getting SMASH(ed)!   Imaginary Worlds Symposium    International Exhibition of Drawings   OZCON   Mind Rot   Savage Pencils   Sick Puppy Comix   TiNA Arena   MCA Zine Fair   2002 Sequential Art Studies Conference   2nd Sequential Art Studies Conference

FOOTNOTE: I SAW A BIG SAW AT BIG SIGHT!  As an addendum to this convention report I must mention another I visited in Tokyo. I travelled by monorail to Odaiba Island, an artificial island built in Tokyo Bay to attend the Tokyo Anime Fair at a venue called Tokyo Big Sight (pronounced Biggu Saito in Japanese). Big Sight? I thought that must be a misspelling along Japlish lines for the name of a large exhibition space. Shouldn’t it be called Big Site? However, as it turned out, there were definitely some big sights to behold. No sign of Godzilla but I thought of Thor as the monorail travelled over the Rainbow Bridge past some rather high tech looking buildings such as this one in the photo below of Fuji TV headquarters.

The headquarters of Fuji TV(building designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange) and the Joyopolis Arcade. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The headquarters of Fuji TV(building designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Tange) and the Joyopolis Arcade. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The headquarters of Fuji TV-detail. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The headquarters of Fuji TV-detail. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Then on arrival at the Big Sight location things started to look a bit unusual. There was an open space beneath a series of inverted pyramids sitting on glass covered, cantilevered legs. This giant entrance had the effect of reducing the scale of the people passing beneath it and thus enhancing the ‘big’ aspect implied in the name of the site.

Tokyo Big Sight-entrance. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Tokyo Big Sight-entrance. (Photo by Michael Hill)

The walk from the monorail station to the entrance of the Big Sight exhibition centre has something of an epic feel to it. It’s there but it’s a long way over there and as one  approaches, and that takes some time, the pyramids appear to grow in size and tower above one, providing something of a shrinking feeling as one nears. It was during this long walk that I happened to look over a railing, because I had drifted to one side of the open walkway, that I caught a glimpse of another large object embedded in the grass on the level below. A sculpture…an art installation…a large saw…unmistakably something by the Pop artist Claes Oldenburg. It was a big sight to see at this big site.

Saw, Sawing by Claes Oldenburg. (Photo by Michael Hill)

Saw, Sawing by Claes Oldenburg. (Photo by Michael Hill)

This BIG SIGHT post was first published on the Doctor Comictopus blog that has now been merged with this Doctor Comics blog.

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.

Doctor Comictopus alias for Michael Hill Ph.D. (a.k.a. Doctor Comics) designed by Michelle Park.