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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

February 1990 Pt.4 Manga

Another newcomer for February was a comic-book adaptation that was taken from the Japanese animated film Lensman: Secret of the Lens. unfortunately I do not have any of these comic-books, only some promotional ads.

Lensman. Written by Paul O'Connor, and illustrated by Tim Eldred & Paul Young with cover art by Jason Waltrip, published 6 issues in a monthly format, form February 1990 to October 1990, by Eternity Comics. The novels were originally serialised in 1934 to1947 and then published from 1948 to1954

“Inheriting the mysterious Lens – a mystical device of incredible power – young Kim Kinnison and his friends are enlisted in the crusade against the evil Boskone Empire.” You would be forgiven in thinking that the origin story seems a little bit familuar, for those of you that read DC comic-books, the 'Green Lantern' and the 'Green Lantern Corps' have simualarities that run in parallel with Kim Kinnison's story as a Lensman in my opinion!
[Note: In an exclusive arrangement with Harmony Gold (Robotech II: Sentinels) Eternity comics was very proud to present this English adaptation.]

[Note: The 60 page 'Collector's edition' Lensman: Secret of the Lens, would include all new artwork by Eldred and a guide to the Galactic Patrol and evil Boskone Empire, with a full colour cover by Doug Rice (of Dynamo Joe & Manhunter fame!).]

[Note:With “Harmony Gold U.S.A”. Providing the licensing from the Japanese animated film & TV series that then was based on Edward E. Doc. Smith's first 6 science fiction novels of Lensman.]

[Note: The full length animated feature (Lensman: Secret of the Lens) was dubbed by Harmony Gold USA in 1988, this was then re-dubbed by Streamline Pictures for a theatrical release in1990 for a more mainstream cinematic audience.]

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

February 1990 Pt.3 Manga

Written and illustrated by Buichi Terasawa. Viz Comics with translation by Marv Wolfman published 12 issues in a monthly format, form February 1990 to January 1991. Originally published and serialised in Shueisha Inc.'s Weekly Youth Comic Magazine “Shōnen Jump” from 1978 to 1984 .

The story is set in a far flung future with a 70's art style that would fit in to any of the Worlds of '2000AD'. Cobra a very likeable tough-guy with his iconic big cigar, often seen ridding his hover motorbike, is as charismatic as James Coburn's portrayal of 'Derek Flint' (1966).

His adventurous run-ins with the Galactic Patrol and the Pirate Guild who are hunting him lead him to take drastic action and retire from that lifestyle. Cobra assumes a new identity having his memories blocked\wiped and altering his face though plastic surgery and taking the name Johnson.  When his subconscious is triggered giving him access to the memories of his former life, he is soon helped by his former partner 'Lady Armaroid', she is fitted with a very sexy blue android body and has her own spaceship.

As events unfold our adventurer is after a treasure map tattooed on the backs of identical triplets the daughters of Captain Nelson, these encounters are not always conducive to the sister's love-lives or their health!

A grand space romp in a Galaxy filled with aliens and danger, I only wish there was more!

[Note: The published 12 issues by Viz ,only covered the chapters of the origin story and that of the Royal Sisters.]

[Note: In the 80's Hajime Sorayama's artworks of erotic chrome Andriod women ('Sexy Robot ' collection published in 1983), and in 1984 a tinted version of the film Metropolis (1927) with a pop soundtrack depickting Maria's evil twin, the gynoid (a female android) and her transformation, may have helped with the popualrity of COBRA and its 'Lady Armariod'.]
[Note: as of April 2014 I only have issues #5, and #6 of COBRA.]

[Note: All publication dates are taken from published Comic-books and cross referencing their adverts of the time from my own collection, as well as doing the maths for the issues that I'm missing, as not all comic-book publishers printed the month of issue for each comic-book.]

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

February 1990 Pt2a. Newtype Magazine

The first example I will use to briefly show you the contents and style, as a photographic record of a Japanese Anime Magazine from the 1990's is...
'Newtype - the moving pictures magazine'. Published monthly by Kadokawa Shoten. Consisting of 180 pages (including front & back covers), #2 February 1990.

The front cover illustration is by Tetsuo Aoki, and depicts a character? from?

As I can not myself translate the Japanese details of the contents of this magazine, are solely from the few English words and the recognizable animation stills, and illustrations (that suited me just fine back in the 1990's). Luckily for me the 'Contents Page' always had plenty of English words.

[Note: On Page 21, has an article on 'The Hakken-Den', and on page 95, 'SFX-Movie' has an article on the Film 'Zipang'.]

What I looked forward to was seeing all the different styles of Manga and Japanese animation depicted with in the pages.

Newtype had three serialised Manga (most other magazine only had one or two); Five Star Stories (on pages 47 - 61 (14 pages)); Yotoden (on pages 101 - 115 (14 pages)); and Marionette Generation
(on pages 127 - 134 (7 pages).

[Note: More details about these serialised Manga at the epilogue for this year of 1990.]

The 'Anime Headline' pages, and those of the 'Video Soft', as well as the 'THE OFFICIAL ART of ' were a good spot-light on what was up & coming and available in Japan at the time. The 'Newtype ART GALLERY' have you a glimpse as to what the Japanese Fans liked and what was popular (Newtype's editor's choice, me thinks!). 

'Video Soft'
 'Newtype ART GALLERY'

Plenty of adverts could be found for VHS Tapes, and Laser Disks, as well as Colleges and Academies to teach you how to draw comic-books and do animation, but not all the pages where glossy colour, many of these thin pages were just 'Black & White' making up the bulk of the magazine (sometimes with pages inserted of a different size). 

 [Note: The March issue above of Newtype is to show scale.]
Best of all was the Freebies every month that came with the magazine, One giant fold-out Poster, VHS Video cassette covers, Audio cassette covers, a Calendar, a yearly Diary, Postcards, Mini Poster collections, and mini collections of manga to name a few!!

Well that's it for this pictorial review of the Newtype magazine!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

February 1990 Pt2. Japanese Anime Magazines

The fruits of establishing a rapport with a little Japanese book shop called 'Books Nippon' (Nippon Shuppan Hanbai) based in London.

Not reading a word of Japanese did nothing to hinder my enthusiasm for Anime and Manga, and with no monthly English magazines being produced at the time, you needed to go to the source, and there were a few Japanese magazine focusing on Anime. 
'Anime V' (New Video Magazine.),
'Newtype' (the moving pictures magazine.).

In picking up an issue of each of the most popular 4 magazines, I then decided to selected 3 of the magazines for mail-order subscription to test the water so to speak, and see what all the fuss was about!

[Note: at a off the self cost of £7.99 then and at today's value (inflation) would be £15.38 each.]

[Note: Little did I know at the time, that 'Animage' ran the infrequent serialization of the comic-book 'Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind' - Written and illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki, one of my all time favourites! - What a fool]

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

February 1990 Pt1.

Now moving into February bringing 'EastCon 90' that little bit closer, and with it putting faces to names.

In my quest to find more information I did write to the Embassy of Japan in London (I thought that this was quit brave of me at the time, as I was only a young Gaijin), and the reply was very quick, I found the three company addresses they did find for me was a start, but for the error of my gender in the letter, it was most satisfactory.

[Note: Getting a reply in six days from an Embassy was good going, of course now a days Internet search-engines get you more detailed information in six seconds! you lucky sods!!]

Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co.
Was one of the biggest entertainment publishers in the late 80's, with magazines such like 'Animage' & 'PC Engine Fan' which were known to me.

[Note: It has come to my attention that they were the parent company of an animation studio 'Studio Ghibli' quite well known in the West now.]

Is consider to be the largest publisher in Japan. In its repertoire of magazines, books, and Manga, many of the novels and manga published by Kodansha have gone on to be adapted to Animé.

Now considered to be the third largest toy maker in the World, with toys, model kits, and Video games, as well as a producer (capital funding) and sponsor of Anime.

[Note: I remember it being said “that every household in Japan has at least one 'Gundam' model kit”, way to go Bandai.]

[Note: The power of such a large toy manufacture when sponsoring the production of an Anime series, point in case “Aura Battler Dunbine”.  Mecha (Giant robots) were added in to a fantasy setting, so toys and model kits could be sold as merchandise.]

I have yet to find any old letters to these companies, or their replies, but you never know what you might find in the bottom of a box.