My friends Federico and Yuki loaned me Gogo Monster, a comic book by Taiyo Matsumoto. I’d read Matsumoto’s Black and White comics. He has a great art style that’s both slightly goofy and nearly photo-realistic.
Gogo Monster is sort of elementary school kids growing up story, involving a lot of imagination. There’s actually not that much that goes on… some imagined monsters but none really appear. The sequence below (reads right to left) is about a imaginary Super Star (a monster? an imaginary being) who never actually appears… but who becomes less present at the kids grow:
As with quite a bit of Japanese comics – manga – the story is fairly long, so the pace is often very gradual. (I should mention that I actually haven’t read all much manga, so I am basing that generalization on a somewhat small sample.) One example of that relaxed pace is this stationary camera sequence:
There are a lot of themes – but overall the book might be most about feelings of kids growing – the awkwardness of growing up and fitting in.
Some of my favorite images are Matsumoto’s versions of kids’ art:
The story is excellent, but what really gets me are visuals – hauntingly memorable. Check out the city reflected in the raindrop in this sequence… beautiful details:
(note to self: next time write the review blog post sooner after reading! Was into this in early August, scanned images then, then didn’t get around to writing for a while… and feel like my post is pretty durn vague at this point in mid-September.)