Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Japanzine - Cover and 2 Interior Illustrations!

Cover for Japanzine, October 09

Download the issue for free,

My cover above is based on this old print by a Japanese artist named Utagawa Kuniyoshi. I saw his triptych with the skeleton (first in a book, then later in person at a museum) during my time in Japan, and loved it. I has since wanted to draw my own versions, mostly for the fun of it, and the Japanzine cover gave me that chance!

Illustrations for Japanzine, October 09
Article written by Ken Aichi

"Eating Fugu (Blowfish)"

Illustration for Japanzine, October 09

From the article, written by Ken Aichi:
9. Eating fugu
Designated by the Japanese government as a “living national treasure” for his work as a prominent kabuki actor, Bando Mitsugoro VIII wanted to show off how much fugu he could eat and not die. He demanded a few too okawari and, well, died. His demise came after four plates of fugu liver prepared by a chef who felt he couldn’t possibly refuse the requests of a “living national treasure”, even if that attitude turned him into a dead one...

"Choking on Mochi (a sweet rice paste and popular Japanese desert)"

From the article, written by Ken Aichi:
7. Choking on mochi
In 2007 alone, four old people died after not chewing their New Year’s mochi properly, with many more hospitalized. The toll of old mochi victims has become something of an annual event, as news reporters inevitably tell the nation how “This year 'x' old dudes left us because of failing to sufficiently masticate their rice paste.” If mochi gets stuck in an old person’s oesophagus, the best bet is to hold a vacuum cleaner to the rojin’s mouth and turn the power on. (A few years ago, an old relative of a Japanzine’s writer’s wife was killed by mochi; the deceased’s family still look back and laugh at the silliness of it – it’s become something of a comical source of pride for his descendants.)

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