Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?

Other news — namely re: writing.

I just signed the contract with Perfect Edge Books for my anthology The Condimental Op, and it’s now in production.

This baby should be published in 4-5 months.

We're cobbling together noir, surrealism, comicbook asides and dystopian, hardboiled moments colliding with snapshots of contemporary culture. Think 1989 right through to 2013.

You will even find some of the articles about Japan that have appeared on this blog, in Geek and Impact magazines, or at Forces Of Geek.

Incidentally, on the subject of novels, I just got a great review for my last one One Hundred Years of Vicissitude, with big thanks to Dan Wright @ Pandragon Reviews.

And I’ve received some more fantastic artwork for Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? (my upcoming dual homage to 1930s-40s noir and 1960s comicbooks chiefly produced by Marvel) from Canadian artist Fred Rambaud (see above, with Southern Cross on the motorbike) while Mexican artist Rodolpho Reyes is putting together still more.

If you’re curious, you can stay abreast of things here.

You can also read about some of the early '60s comicbook influences at my other blog.

Friday, February 8, 2013

One morning about two months ago, at around 10:00 am, we had a surprise: a bunch of guys in happi jackets and white pants that looked like they were nicked from cricketers paraded past our apartment here in Okusawa, chanting and huffing and puffing like a troupe of big, bad wolves.

Over their shoulders they lugged a long, twisted up thing that resembled a skinny, beige dragon with a cute mush, and my wife Yoko calmly advised that it was the beginning of today's festival for Okusawa Shrine.

And this was a snake, not a dragon. They weren't gearing up for the Year of the Snake. No. I'm blessed to live a few hundred metres from a religious house dedicated to snakes.

About five minutes' walk away, nestled amidst an array of beautiful old trees that look like the enormous cypress from My Neighbor Totoro, Okusawa Jinjya is a traditional Shinto oasis - er, shrine - that’s obviously not only venerated by the local population, but beloved as well, if the queue right around the corner and down the road last January 1 was any indication; then again, that's typical at shrines during the wintry New Year period.

At other times at Okusawa Shrine you’re just as likely to encounter elderly women in kimono playing koto instruments to nobody in particular, or children in spectacular traditional costumes celebrating their birthdays. 

Read more of this article if you're at all interested @ FORCES OF GEEK.