Buenaventura Press sent out a huge, 58-page preview of KRAMERS ERGOT #6 the other day, and the new edition of this groundbreaking anthology looks just as mind boggling as the previous editions. We had cause to call up Alvin Buenaventura on another matter, and asked him about some pages which, frankly, reminded us of Henry Darger.

It turns out, they are the work of Suihô Tagawa, (1889-1989 — that’s right, dude lived to be 100), whose strip Norakuro, about a dog who joined the army, was one of the most popular comics in Japan in the ’30s. Tagawa is considered one of the pioneering figures of Japanese comics — in fact he was a huge influence on Tezuka himself. KRAMERS #6 is going to feature a good-sized excerpt of Tagawa’s work, but we couldn’t resist spotlighting this preview. Click for larger images.

Tagawa1-1 Tagawa2-1


  1. While it’s nice that Kramers translated a little, there is a ton of Norakuro that they’d need to handle. The color comics are just what Tagawa published at the end of every year through Kodansha. What is really tempting to look into is the stuff that Tagawa published through Shonen Kurabu, an anthology mag from the 30s, and the Norakuro version in that is quite different by the time the 40s come around.