The Japanese Ratty Line, continued

The Japanese Ratty Line, continued

Marc Arsenault

This post is directly prompted by 2 posts by Chris Capuozzo on Intergalicto about King Terry Johnson and Takeshi Tadatsu.

Much like the situation that exists, whereby, when you were a kid and you saw another freak in the mall and they were with their parents too, you knew you were kindred spirits, and now, no number of piercings, tattoos and dark clothing means anything; so it is sadly true that, a ratty line, anarchic spirit of intent and appropriative content mangled to suit your tastes has little to do with your own similar work, beyond appearance. Yes.. it’s confusing. In those distant times when there was a certainty that the freaks were all flying the same freak flag; made at home, with what was at hand; there were many of us, that for reasons of culture and language that, sadly, do not live on in the discourse of the freaks of today… their progeny. Whether they know it and all that.

Booga and Gabe – Funny Picture 88 From Illustration no. 55 Dec. 1988

For very many, Raw #7 or Casual Casual were the entry points to King Terry and many others. Beyond that there wasn’t very far you could go (for at least a few more years) unless you had access to the Japanese book store Kinokuniya. Some things did occasionally show up even at the local Barnes and Noble. Like the 55th issue of the Japanese Illustration magazine in 1988, which for me was even more influential that Raw 7 (which I actually got later). It was a survey of the rattier (but, I gather, fairly commercial) cartoon illustrators of that time, like King Terry and Suzy Amakane.

Znoopy by Yosuke Kawamura 1988 From Illustration no. 55 Dec. 1988

I eventually got brave enough to actually go to Kinokuniya and dig around. Something called Weekly Comication soon became a favorite. I will not even begin to describe the varied content available therein… Each one I grabbed seemed to have the opening few (mostly color) pages dominated by this same anarchic crowd now familiar from Raw and that special issue of Illustration.

Comication Title Page May 11-19, 1989 – Credited to Delta Power

NOW… Unable to really tell the freaks from the squares, I get my weird beard Japanese art kicks from Cutest Character Magazine

From Cutest Character Magazine 79, Aug./Sep. 2008 Copyright San-X Co.

UPDATE: The saga continues on Intergalactico: Yosuke Kawamura “Exotica” book 1981

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