I have a long essay about the stellar artist Daisuke NISHIJIMA, written in a haze of flu, in the latest issue of The Comics Journal. It’s online now for subscribers, but for everyone here are a few additional links about this artist:
A couple of Japanese-only sites, with art:
- His official site and blog (Japanese only, but the source of this witch picture, among others).
- His alter ego “Mangacchi” has a blog on the slow life: Mangacchi 2.0
- Actually, it looks like “Mangacchi” has been set to private. Oops. I fixed the link for the official site, though.
A couple of interviews:
- Commonsphere Interview, translated into English.
- A 2005 interview by translator Matt Treyvaud, in English.
The French, as usual, are way ahead of us. Nishijima’s French publisher’s page explains that Nishijima is a “grand amateur de musique, et il écrit régulièrement pour des mensuels consacrés à la musique comme Studio Voice ou Music Magazine et il prend le nom de Mahôtsukai, pour ses activités de DJ.”
From music to movies, Nishijima has an inveterate love of pop culture. His first work, O-son Senso (“The Universal”), riffs on Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime TV series. He also tips the pen to:
- Blur’s video for the song “The Universal”
- Some Hollywood movies: John Carpenter’s The Thing, Rambo, Rocky, like they need links. Like Coca-Cola needs to buy ads.
- The Prisoner (which once had Jack Kirby as its interpreter)
That’s just in his debut volume. Later ones have more riffs; Dien Bien Phu draws extensively from Vietnam War literature and film, particularly the author Tim O’Brien. Nishijima begins the comic with a quote from O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” (link to .pdf), but as always, Nishijima transforms his sources into his own idiom.