Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Two New Books Now Available

Quick update, since I’m over-excited as always when these things happen—my next two books are available (early) to order through Amazon.

Yep, I'm being greedy/self-indulgent (tick applicable) and publishing two of 'em.

The Condimental Op collection, officially out in July, is already in the hands of some of my mates if not yet my own, and Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?—due out in September—is now available for pre-order.

Just click on either novel’s moniker to go to the associated Amazon page. Both even have heavy discounts for any aspiring early birds.

And I’ll love you to death as a bonus.

What have either got to do with Japan? Well, Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? has very little—aside from lead character Pretty Amazonia (pictured here, conjured up by artist Juan Saavedra), who's a hybrid of super-powered girls' anime characters from things like Sailor Moon and PreCure. She even spends time reading a manga volume of Candy Candy.

And she gets around in a ship named the Magnetic Rose (check out Katsuhiro Otomo's 1995 anime Memories).

And there's a cameo by another character that plays on the Fuchikoma 1-man tanks used by members of Section 9 in Ghost in the Shell.

Otherwise, this is a novel paying equal homage to 1930s/40s noir by the likes of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett as it does to sci-fi/pulp and the silver age 1960s Marvel comic books by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Jim Steranko, Roy Thomas, Barry (Windsor) Smith, John Buscema, and their ilk.

Set in Melbourne.

The Condimental Op is a collection of noir, surreal stories, comicbook asides, hardboiled moments, fantasy, dystopia, sci-fi, snapshots of Japanese culture, and the existentialism of contemporary experimental electronic music—bringing together recent short stories, older material, new comic book art, and a range of pop-culture articles written about music and Japan from 1999 to 2013. 

Included are articles on bon odori, saké and fugu, along with reviews of Japanese flicks by Satoshi Kon and 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano.

Plus there's a minor spotlight on the joys of working on English subtitles for a feature by Mamoru Oshii.

The cover art is actually by my 7-year-old daughter Cocoa, and I love what she did here.

BTW, hats off to my awesomely indulgent publishers, Perfect Edge Books, and to all and everybody who’s read (or bothers to read) either tome mentioned here.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Aussie-Made Madmen Dishing Out Japan

Just did an interview with the very cool people @ Madman Entertainment in my hometown Melbourne—with their opinions on all things Japanese including anime and Akira Kurosawa. It's up at Forces Of Geek

Here's a sample or two:

"Australia has had a long history with Japanese cinema, TV and anime even if we didn’t always realise it at the time.

"For many years TV has been a window on Japanese culture through shows like Monkey Magic, Shintaro, Star Blazers, G-Force and Astroboy; and also culturally adjacent shows like Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. I think this has made Australia more receptive to seeing media from Japan.

"Also, for cinema, the growth of the Japanese Film Festival over the years demonstrates the popularity of the cinema here."


"The most ubiquitous name is certainly that of [Akira] Kurosawa. His breakthrough film Rashomon [1950] was so well-regarded that the first Foreign Film Oscar was created just for it. He gave us samurai films and helped inspired countless spaghetti westerns.  

"The Hidden Fortress and Sanshiro Sugata even helped shape Star Wars."

Read the entire piece here.