Dirk at Journalista! has declared it “Garo Week” after lucking into a copy of the late, lamented, legendary manga anthology for the avant set. I figured I’d join him. He’s posting whole stories, but I’m too lazy for that. Besides, I never like more than half an issue– some artists I revere, others I loathe.
Its covers, though, I love unreservedly. Shonen Magazine had a better run when Tadanori YOKOO ran point, but Garo ran great covers for over 25 years. The last few years sucked, and some of the early ones were hit-and-miss, but the best could make a great coffee-table book. Considering half the artists inside couldn’t really draw, that’s saying something.
I have just a small collection of Garo, picked up mostly at the Osaka Mandarake when I was on an IGUCHI Shingo kick. I paid less than they cost back in the day. Some I got just for the covers, like this one. And more from May ’68 to the mid-90s.
These first two are by Shinbo’s Studio, who did many of the early 90s covers, some of my favorites.
“Sleepwalking Bear.” SLEEPWALKING BEAR!
May ’68 for all the wistful Leftists. MIZUKI Shigeru does the cover, and only faith holds this crumbling artifact together.
May ’68 to March ’86: “King” Terry Johnson did most (all?) of the 80s covers in his grotty “bad-good” style. Still only 430 yen!
May ’76 by NAGASHIMA Shinji, a comics artist not known well enough abroad (he did rental classic Mangaka Zankoku Monogatari, among others). Not my favorite, but these older issues are harder to come by. Sleepwalking bear!
January ’91 by the aforementioned Iguchi Shingo, a truly odd artist profiled in Frederik Schodt’s Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga.
And May ’94, another favorite, with photo by IWAKIRI Hiroshi, cartoon by YOSHIDA Mitsuhiko, and design by HARAGUCHI Ken’ichiro. And more covers lurk on the web…