And yet more awesome comics are on the way from Koyama Press, with a particularly fresh line-up of indie comics up and comers. Patrick Kyle (Dstance Mover) is known for his oddball fantasies while Aidan Koch (the Whale) has already gotten attention for her evocative experimental comics. Cathy G. Johnson (Jeremiah) is a fast rising star with a book coming out from First Second next year and an Ignatz under her belt; while Ben Sears name came up constantly when I asked about emerging male cartoonists.
In addition, Koyama Press will put out its first translated comics: What is Obscenity? The Story of a Good For Nothing Artist and her Pussy, the story of Japanese artist Rokudenashiko (“good-for-nothing girl” or “bad girl”) whose work achives being truly transgressive; the Massive duo of Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins bring this one to English. Please note, this comic is not about cats—in fact, remember the vagina kayak we’ve mentioned here before? Yeah, I know you do.
And here’s the complete lineup:
WHAT IS OBSCENITY? THE STORY OF A GOOD FOR NOTHING ARTIST AND HER PUSSY
$20.00, 6 x 8.25, 168 pages, b&w with colour, trade paper
Rokudenashiko’s mission is to demystify female genitalia, a mission that has led to a vulva-shaped kayak and her arrest.
A graphic memoir of a good-for-nothing Japanese artist who has been jailed twice for so-called acts of obscenity and the distribution of pornographic materials yet continues to champion the art of pussy. In a society where one can be censored, pixelated and punished, Rokudenashiko asks what makes pussy so problematic?
Edited by Anne Ishii and Graham Kolbeins and translated by Ishii, a writer, translator and proprietor of the gay manga paraphernalia brand MASSIVE, and with a cover by Chip Kidd, arguably the most well-known and influential designer of the past two decades. This is an incredible package for an incredible story.
DON’T COME IN HERE
$15.00 5.5 x 7, 256 pages, b&w, trade paper
A nameless protagonist takes up residence in a Kafkaesque apartment where the rules of space and time do not apply.
Looking for an inexpensive live/work space, an anonymous character settles on a supernatural apartment that has a seemingly unlimited number of identical rooms and manifests distracting illusions and other psychological hurdles. The story unfolds in vignettes that voyeuristically document the character’s domestic activities in an increasingly disorienting environment.
$12.00 6.5 x 9, 64 pages, b&w, trade paper
Ideologies and cars collide when a minor accident brings a pair of punks and a college student tumultuously together.
Sophie has tried to stay out of trouble, but tonight trouble has found her. On a lonely stretch of highway under a star-studded sky, she meets anarchist punks in a crack-up of metal and emotion that proves sometimes the freedom of youth causes damage along the way.
AFTER NOTHING COMES
$20.00 6 x 9, 144 pages, b&w with spot colour, trade paper
A collection of early zines that present comics at their most painterly and poetic.
Aidan Koch makes comics about moods and moments, marks and symbols. They are drawn in a diaphanous, haptic style that suggests dreams and memories. In washes of ink, pencil smudges, white paint, and traces of drawings removed, Koch creates resonate tone poems on paper.
KOYAMA PRESS COMICS FOR KIDS!
$12.00 6.5 x 9, 64 pages, colour, trade paper
The boundless adventures of an unruly boy, his rational robot and their great gadgets filled with fantastic science stuff!
Plus Man is a roguish knave without equal, an antihero in his own mind. His coolheaded robot, however, knows better. This odd couple has just been given a break: a tip on a score of valuable alloy. The catch? The alloy is in a haunted castle. One really haunted castle.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.