Page 1

1


2


for esther 1


2


Contents 4

Preface

8

Competition 1: Ox-Herding Sequence

12

Paul Fordham

22

Victor Perfecto Camba & Patrick Sung

28

SĂŠbastien Conard

42

AimĂŠe de Jongh

48

Competition 2: First Contact

50

Nadj Yannick Wernink

70

Izumi Kijima

76

Brainne del Rosario

84

Anonymous

94

Denise Telalagic

108

Competition 3: Interpreting Kurama Tengu

112

Elena Vitagliano

124

Brittany Partin

136

Carl K. Li

142

Deanna Taylor Nardy


Preface: Manga in/as Essay Chris Goto-Jones, Leiden This beautiful little book has evolved gradually over the course of a number of years. Like many projects, there are many different versions of the origin of this one; beginnings are delicate things. One version (perhaps the most logical) involves being asked to develop and teach a course in 2006 about Japanese manga and anime as a way to introduce undergraduate students to issues in modern Japanese culture and society. This course, ‘Japanimation,’ sought to explore all kinds of questions about politics, philosophy, history, and society, using only anime and manga as resources. A number of things became clear during this course: one of them was that the students were far more literate in these visual media than I was; another was that we were continuously struggling to talk about the images as illustrations of ideas or concepts that were basically verbal in our heads – we were treating the manga as though they were coded versions of textual arguments. When I say ‘we,’ I mean two very concrete things: first, I really mean ‘I’; second, I mean those students who listened to me and dutifully internalised what I told them. It gradually became apparent, however, that there were some students in that class who thought I was getting this completely wrong, that I was missing the point. In the end, one of them asked whether they could turn in their final essay in the form of a manga. Of course, I smiled and chuckled amiably, but the look on his face told me that this wasn’t a joking matter. All the various reasons why this shouldn’t be allowed cycled through my head: what would the head of department say? Would a manga really satisfy the examination regulations, which required a final ‘essay’ for the course? Was writing in ‘manga’ simply the equivalent to writing in a foreign language – permissible under certain specific conditions? What would the quality assurance officers say about this if they audited the course, and what was the probability that they would pick this particular course to audit? And, perhaps most importantly, did I really believe that a piece of work written in the form of manga could really demonstrate a sufficiently sophisticated level of knowledge and understanding to stand in a university? I turned this last question over and over in my head very carefully, feeling a little like I was rolling out short-pastry and was worried that I’d overwork it. But in the end the answer was inevitable: if I could really dedicate an entire university course to the study of anime and manga as media through which to understand politics, philosophy, and history, how could I simultaneously maintain that these media were unsuitable as vehicles to discuss this material? I had even shown a slide in a lecture that read: ‘If a picture speaks a thousand words, it is simply a form of short-hand; pictures don’t speak words, they speak pictures.’ Saying ‘no’ would simply be incoherent.

4


I said ‘no.’ Of course I said ‘no.’ And the reason I said ‘no’ had nothing to do with whether or not it seemed contextually incoherent to do so. Instead, the reason was very simple: universities privilege text. Indeed, training students in advanced textual competence (as evidence of advanced education itself) it is one of the core responsibilities of the modern university. Society expects and needs this from universities. This is what we mean when we talk about literacy, both in general and in particular disciplines. If universities and intellectuals are to maintain a responsible role in society, they must exemplify literacy and use this to intervene critically and powerfully in the public sphere. No matter what students study, they must be able to talk about it and write about it. A university is not an art school; the learning outcomes are different, alien even. I had a responsibility to say ‘no.’ Somewhere in the back of my mind, though, I couldn’t help feeling that this was an ideologically conservative position. While it was certainly the case that university graduates and intellectuals had a duty and a responsibility to intervene in public discourse through superior literacy, surely it wasn’t the case that the literacies required to do this were always the same? Doesn’t society change all the time? Doesn’t expressive technology change all the time? Hasn’t history already seen the dimensions of literacy shift profoundly and repeatedly, moving from the spoken word (in oral cultures) through the written word (after the invention of writing and then the printing press) back through the spoken word (with the invention of radio broadcasting) through performance (with film and television) and now to… what (after the digital revolution)? Twentieth century philosophers like Walter Benjamin and Jean-Paul Sartre called attention to the potential political crisis occasioned by this technological transformation of the public sphere, focusing on the way in which it risks dehumanizing the public by rendering it into a passive consumer of ideologies rather than a partner in a genuinely discursive site. Didn’t Sartre call on intellectuals to develop advanced literacies in radio and television precisely so that they could intervene more effectively in societies where the public discourse was dominated by these media? Even in the 1970s, text just wasn’t enough anymore, if ever it was. Can we really maintain that text remains so hegemonic after the digital revolution? Is the global pervasiveness of manga really irrelevant to literacy? Is the university just out of step with society? Even if text still dominates what it means to succeed in the university, what is its real role in the public discourse? Are the conventions of the university failing us? So, despite feeling that the incident with my student had been resolved appropriately, the episode stuck with me. It returned to me over and over again as I was working on some questions of comparative philosophy that summer. I couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong with the situation. Gradually, it seemed to me that the kind of dissonance I felt between the need

5


for a contextually coherent position (‘we can use manga to discuss manga’) and the need for an institutionally acceptable position (‘we use text to talk about everything’) was beginning to resemble the kind of disjunction we see in the effort to compare different philosophical systems. The problem was not that these were different models of knowledge per se; the problem was that they were related to each other hierarchically: European philosophy is not compared equally with philosophy from other parts of the world, and text is not compared equally with manga. The difference was not only conventional but also normative. This was a question of the ethics and politics of knowledge. Looking back, I began to wonder whether making the right decision (saying ‘no’) had been the wrong thing to do. Responsibilities seemed to conflict. Turning afresh back to my research on comparative philosophy, I began to wonder whether it would be possible to reframe the boundaries across which we might talk about ‘comparison.’ On the one hand, yes, comparative philosophy was about looking beyond the European tradition by searching outside of Europe for interesting texts. But on the other hand, comparative philosophy could also be about looking beyond the European tradition by searching in non-textual media. And, in some cases, both of these mechanisms of distancing would coincide. The very first ‘Manga in/as Essay’ competition was themed on such a case: the classic ‘ox-herding’ sequence of images that express the journey towards Zen enlightenment. In 2007, we were lucky enough to receive a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to start an international research network to investigate some of these questions. The result was ‘asiascape. org’ which focussed on the expressive potentials of anime, manga, and technoculture (such as videogames) in East Asia. Building on this, a few years later we received a major ‘VICI’ grant from the NWO for a project entitled ‘Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan.’ These grants, together with support from the University of Leiden’s Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) made it possible for us to launch three ‘Manga in/as Essay’ competitions on an international scale. These competitions were integral parts of the research programmes, specifically seeking to address the question of literacy in manga as a mode of expression suitable for an essay. You can see the results in this little book. Thankfully, this research trajectory has really taken off over the last few years. The spirit of inquiry that characterises these projects has been captured by the term ‘Political Arts’ in a spinoff project called the Political & Philosophical Arts Initiative (politicalarts.org), which focuses on the spaces of intersection between the arts and the political and philosophical realms more generally. This initiative supported an undergraduate major at Leiden University College in The Hague and is now launching a major new, international book series with Bloomsbury Academic Publishing in London. At the same time, Asiascape itself has provided the seed for the launch of a new academic journal with the prestigious Dutch publishing house, Brill, which is now in university libraries all around the world. 6


So, what you hold in your hands is the bloom of an extended experiment. It contains the work of talented, smart, creative people of myriad backgrounds from around the world who wanted to test themselves against the claim that manga is (not) an appropriate medium for essays. In addition, I’d like to look at this little book in the context of increasing and intense pressure on universities to demonstrate ‘research-led teaching.’ This phrase is usually interpreted to mean that professors must bring the fruits of their research into the classroom, to ensure that students learn at the cutting edge. However, this book is rather a consequence of the opposite, of ‘teaching-led research,’ in which the questions posed by a student in class triggered a whole new research trajectory in an attempt to help the university keep pace with society itself. Students are not only the future; they’re here in the present too. I began this brief preface by noting how delicate and important beginnings usually are, and I hope that the student to whom I refused permission to submit his final paper in the form of manga will take some solace in knowing that I took his request this seriously. If he still wants to submit it, I’ll mark it for extra credit…

The Competitions Asiascape sponsored three international manga competitions over the course of 4 years (2010-2014). In each case, the purpose was to explore the expressive potentials of manga as a medium for the essay. Each competition had a different theme, and in each case participants were welcome to interpret it as freely as they wanted. Indeed, they were encouraged to develop their essay in their own voice and style. The first ever Asiascape manga competition (2010) was themed on the classic ‘Ox-herding’ graphic sequence from East Asia, which has traditionally been used to explain the pathway towards Enlightenment. A version of the traditional sequence is included in this book, together with the winning entries. Hence, this competition explores a philosophical theme that has been dealt with in the form of sequential art for centuries. The second competition (2012) was themed on the notion of ‘First Contact,’ which was diversely and creatively interpreted by the many competitors. An explanation of the intent behind ‘First Contact’ is included in this book, together with the entries. This competition explores the political, ethical, and psychological impact of First Contact. The third and final competition (2014) took as its subject the complicated and mythical Noh play, Kurama Tengu. This competition provokes an association between manga and performance – between sequential art and theatre – as modes of philosophical essay and magical thinking. The original play is included in this book together with the winning entries.

7


Competition 1, 2010

Variations and Interpretations of the

Classic Ox-Herding Sequence In the twelfth century the Chinese master Kakuan drew the pictures of the ten bulls, basing them on earlier Taoist bulls, and wrote the comments in prose and verse translated here. His version was pure Zen, going deeper than earlier versions, which had ended with the nothingness of the eighth picture. It has been a constant source of inspiration to students ever since, and many illustrations of Kakuan’s bulls have been made through the centuries. The bull is the eternal principle of life, truth in action. The ten bulls represent sequent steps in the realization of one’s true nature. The illustrations shown on the following pages are modern versions by painter and sculpter Tatsuhiko Yokô (1928). The translation of the prose and verse are taken from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings by Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps (Charles Tuttle and Co. 2008)

1. The Search for the Bull In the pasture of this world, I endlessly push aside the tall grasses in search of the bull. Following unnamed rivers, lost upon the interpenetrating paths of distant mountains, My strength failing and my vitality exhausted, I cannot find the bull. I only hear the locusts chirring through the forest at night. Comment: The bull never has been lost. What need is there to search? Only because of separation from my true nature, I fail to find him. In the confusion of the senses I lose even his tracks. Far from home, I see many crossroads, but which way is the right one I know not. Greed and fear, good and bad, entangle me.

8


2. Discovering the Footprints Along the riverbank under the trees, I discover footprints! Even under the fragrant grass I see his prints. Deep in remote mountains they are found. These traces no more can be hidden than one’s nose, looking heavenward. Comment: Understanding the teaching, I see the footprints of the bull. Then I learn that, just as many utensils are made from one metal, so too are myriad entities made of the fabric of self. Unless I discriminate, how will I perceive the true from the untrue? Not yet having entered the gate, nevertheless I have discerned the path.

3. Perceiving the Bull I hear the song of the nightingale. The sun is warm, the wind is mild, willows are green along the shore, Here no bull can hide! What artist can draw that massive head, those majestic horns? Comment: When one hears the voice, one can sense its source. As soon as the six senses merge, the gate is entered. Wherever one enters one sees the head of the bull! This unity is like salt in water, like color in dyestuff. The slightest thing is not apart from self.

4. Catching the Bull I seize him with a terrific struggle. His great will and power are inexhaustible. He charges to the high plateau far above the cloud-mists, Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands. Comment: He dwelt in the forest a long time, but I caught him today! Infatuation for scenery interferes with his direction. Longing for sweeter grass, he wanders away. His mind still is stubborn and unbridled. If I wish him to submit, I must raise my whip..

OX-HERDING

9


5. Taming the Bull! The whip and rope are necessary, Else he might stray off down some dusty road. Being well trained, he becomes naturally gentle. Then, unfettered, he obeys his master. Comment: When one thought arises, another thought follows. When the first thought springs from enlightenment, all subsequent thoughts are true. Through delusion, one makes everything untrue. Delusion is not caused by objectivity; it is the result of subjectivity. Hold the nose-ring tight and do not allow even a doubt.

6. Riding the Bull Home Mounting the bull, slowly I return homeward. The voice of my flute intones through the evening. Measuring with hand-beats the pulsating harmony, I direct the endless rhythm. Whoever hears this melody will join me. Comment: This struggle is over; gain and loss are assimilated. I sing the song of the village woodsman, and play the tunes of the children. Astride the bull, I observe the clouds above. Onward I go, no matter who may wish to call me back.

7. The Bull Transcended Astride the bull, I reach home. I am serene. The bull too can rest. The dawn has come. In blissful repose, Within my thatched dwelling I have abandoned the whip and rope. Comment: All is one law, not two. We only make the bull a temporary subject. It is as the relation of rabbit and trap, of fish and net. It is as gold and dross, or the moon emerging from a cloud. One path of clear light travels on throughout endless time.

10


8. Both Bull and Self Transcended Whip, rope, person, and bull -- all merge in No-Thing. This heaven is so vast no message can stain it. How may a snowflake exist in a raging fire? Here are the footprints of the patriarchs. Comment: Mediocrity is gone. Mind is clear of limitation. I seek no state of enlightenment. Neither do I remain where no enlightenment exists. Since I linger in neither condition, eyes cannot see me. If hundreds of birds strew my path with flowers, such praise would be meaningless.

9. Reaching the Source Too many steps have been taken returning to the root and the source Better to have been blind and deaf from the beginning Dwelling in one’s true abode, unconcerned with that without -The river flows tranquilly on and the flowers are red. Comment: From the beginning, truth is clear. Poised in silence, I observe the forms of integration and disintegration. One who is not attached to “form” need not be “reformed.” The water is emerald, the mountain is indigo, and I see that which is creating and that which is destroying.

10. In the World Barefooted and naked of breast, I mingle with the people of the world. My clothes are ragged and dust-laden, and I am ever blissful. I use no magic to extend my life, Now, before me, the dead trees become alive. Comment: Inside my gate, a thousand sages do not know me. The beauty of my garden is invisible. Why should one search for the footprints of the patriarchs? I go to the market place with my wine bottle and return home with my staff. I visit the wine shop and the market, and everyone I look upon becomes enlightened.

OX-HERDING

11


Paul Fordham

Space, Ox, Manga and the Environment Paul Fordham is an amateur (manga) artist from Carmarthenshire in the United Kingdom.

12


PA U L FO R D H A M

13


14


PA U L FO R D H A M

15


16


PA U L FO R D H A M

17


18


PA U L FO R D H A M

19


Sebastien Conard

Répétition et différance Sébastien Conard (1982) is a graphic novelist from Ghent, Belgium The subject of this first manga project of Asiascape.org was a very inspiring one. Being a graphic novelist, querying into the theme of the ox-herding pictures not only disclosed to me this classic Buddhist tale, it also led me back to a very meditative journey I’ve spent in Myanmar and Laos some years ago. Back then, travelling on my own, I reached a pleasant pace and an enduring feeling of content barely known before. Truly, not much more than your usual Westerner abroad, taking time off, relaxing from the daily high-speed society at home. I don’t tend to be a Buddhist, properly speaking. As Nietzsche, I believe Europeans rather need their own version of Buddhism in order to escape from debilitating nihilism. Still, I kept some of those modest insights alive since then and they helped, especially when times were harder. Inhale, exhale, slow down, feel, focus then open up, accept, don’t try, aspire without ambition. As I said: tiny things based on some superficial inquiries and personal experiences.

22 20


UITKLAPVEL PA U L FO R D H A M

21


UITKLAPVEL

Victor Perfecto Camba & Patrick Sung

Zen and the Modern Cow Victor Perfecto Camba Silkscreen, Ink and Screentone

Victor was born in the Philippines in 1983. He is an illustrator currently residing in Long Beach, California. He’s worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for since 2003 and served as Comics Editor of the Long Beach Union Weekly from 2007 to 2010. In addition to writing and illustrating his comic strip “You’re STUCK Here,” Victor has done freelance illustration and T-shirt design. He is pursuing a BFA in Illustration at California State University, Long Beach.

Patrick Sung Original Script and Statement

Patrick was born in Seattle, Washington in 1987. In 2009, he received his B.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine. He currently resides in Tottori, Japan, where he works as an English teacher while pursuing his interests in fiction and fan studies research. This collaboration marks his first time working with comics.

22


UITKLAPVEL

Introduction

1. The search for life

A cow sits in meditation. Its limbs form the Vitarka mudra, which signifies the opening of debate. Behind its head sits a halo, a simple circle that has symbolized enlightenment for thousands of years. The panels of the sequence radiate from the corona, representing the wheel of samsara that locks the world in an endless cycle of suffering. There are divisions between panels, but no borders on the page, to further encourage a sense of timelessness.

Half-hour lunch break; I seek peace of mind. The register rings, orders are called to empty space. A cheap burger lies in my hand, soon to be eaten. Only hunger gives me the appetite to eat it. Comment: Here is the modern man. Bound by a schedule and by endless details, he fails to see life when he holds it right in his hand. Emptiness and disconnection from the world plague him.

2. Discovering the footprints

Something different in the restaurant! Are these footprints? Imbedded in the tile, over chairs and through the window, The tracks continue; I cannot help but follow. My burger and I go together. Comment: No longer satisfied, the man follows the first interesting path he finds. It originates in the fast food restaurant and soon goes far beyond. The first journey begins.

3. Perceiving the bull

The space is dark and narrow. There is nowhere to move but forward, step by step. The back of the bull is inevitable. For the first time I behold a real animal, in the flesh. Comment: Having followed the trail, the man reaches what he believes as the end. At last, here is life! He eagerly goes to see the bull’s head.

4. The captives revealed

The cacophony of steers packed together! In surprise, I let my burger fall. Corn feed, manure and sweaty hide: A dizzying smell, unimaginable before. Comment: Few people wish to imagine the realities of their food. The burger’s journey is over, as it has reached its source. However, a new journey has commenced.

5. Selection of the bull

One creature struggles against the rope. But there is no room to escape, and the bindings are strong. Soon, the bull settles down, And marches obediently to its fate. Comment: This is no black-and-white animal as one might see on milk cartons, peacefully eating grass. The cow being led to slaughter is a dark, plain creature.

23


UITKLAPVEL

24


UITKLAPVEL

25


UITKLAPVEL

6. Slaughter of the bull

Upward by its hooves, the bull carcass stands like a man, Pulled by the crank as steadily as a heartbeat. The expert knife whistles a tune, Turns beast into rib eye, tenderloin, fat for making tallow. Comment: With little fanfare, the bull is killed and sliced to pieces. This is the true beginning of wisdom, gained not by journeying toward oneness, but by bearing witness to sharp and bloody separation.

7. The first transformation

The parts have been processed and ready for shipment. Their final destinations: supermarkets, restaurants, kitchen tables. One hundred percent Grade-A ground beef patties, Quiet and innocent as angels. Comment: Once the choicest cuts have been removed, the offal and rough parts of the bull are put into a grinder and homogenized. With the aid of Styrofoam, plastic and printed stickers, dead cow becomes sanitized for consumption and rechristened “beef.”

8. The second transformation

“Hello sir/ma’am, may I take your order?” “Would you like to make that a meal?” “Your order number is 76. Thank you and have a nice day.” “We’ll call your number when your order’s ready.”

Conclusion In Mahayana Buddhist tradition, the defining trait of the bodhisattva is not enlightenment alone, but enlightenment coupled with compassion for one’s fellow beings. This interpretation of the ten bulls sequence is meant as a reminder of the suffering that modern life obscures from our notice, as well as an affirmation of humanity’s connection to life. If all creatures are in search of Buddha-nature, as humans are, then we would do well to remember what we inflict upon the world simply to survive. The aim of this essay is not to inspire anguish or guilt, but a renewed sense of respect.

Comment: The clerk places an order, and the cooking staff prepares the beef. After adding flavors and aesthetic additions, everything goes inside a bun and onto a tray for serving.

9. Perfection achieved

I behold a wonder of the modern age. Not cow, but beef since the day it was born! Made to feed and to enjoy with fries and a Coke,For a half-hour lunch between twelve-thirty and one. Comment: This is the all-American hamburger; recognizable the world over, mouth-watering in its cookie-cutter sameness, the symbol of modern processing triumphant. “Bull” has been turned successfully into “fast food.”

10. Return to the restaurant

Break has ended. I am tired and hungry. I must run to make it back to work. My burger will be eaten so that I may live. This moment is over. My day continues. Comment: The man returns to the world, sobered by his new understanding. Nothing on the outside has changed, but inside is a completely different world. He eats and is enlightened.

V I C T O R P E R FE C T O C A MB A & PAT R I C K S26 UNG

26


UITKLAPVEL

27


UITKLAPVEL

Sebastien Conard

Répétition et différance Sébastien Conard (1982) is a graphic novelist from Ghent, Belgium The subject of this first manga project of Asiascape.org was a very inspiring one. Being a graphic novelist, querying into the theme of the ox-herding pictures not only disclosed to me this classic Buddhist tale, it also led me back to a very meditative journey I’ve spent in Myanmar and Laos some years ago. Back then, travelling on my own, I reached a pleasant pace and an enduring feeling of content barely known before. Truly, not much more than your usual Westerner abroad, taking time off, relaxing from the daily high-speed society at home. I don’t tend to be a Buddhist, properly speaking. As Nietzsche, I believe Europeans rather need their own version of Buddhism in order to escape from debilitating nihilism. Still, I kept some of those modest insights alive since then and they helped, especially when times were harder. Inhale, exhale, slow down, feel, focus then open up, accept, don’t try, aspire without ambition. As I said: tiny things based on some superficial inquiries and personal experiences.

28 22


With the same lack of thoroughness, I somewhat roamed about on the Internet to inform myself a little further on the ox-herding sequence. Picking here and there, encountering diverse interpretations, I found it a candid little story. For me, the most interesting element is the importance that some give to the ten thousand things. True awareness is then understood as the simultaneous consciousness of all things present, all things alive and dying. It reminds me of the burgeoning multiplicity where philosopher Deleuze focused upon and writer Michaux extensively wrote about, for example in L’ infini turbulent, his combined writings and drawings about his adventures under the influence of mescaline. In this sense, I wanted to interpret the ox-herding tale as a sequence of ten thousand things that constantly change without ever really moving at all. The repetition of the central landscape dwells on this répétition et différence. Subsequently, I chose to resume the ten steps with ten pages. Each page consists of a dominant central frame, the landscape ever present but ever changing, asking for one’s first glance on the page, bordered by a sequence of ten frames. A front page precedes this graphic narrative essay: the same landscape but as an etching, introducing the setting for the reader but with a more distant, timeless feel. Throughout the story, one can link the small frames to the repeated landscape but without any exact localization. This comic might as well have started as a blurry daydream while gazing at some old etching.

To create each sequence, I wrote down a number of key words related to sense, intent and atmosphere of each step. Those notes served as small synopses. They are partly inspired by the verses of the Chinese master Kakuan (12th c.) as disclosed in the call for submissions for this project. These are my notes:

29


30


1. The searching of the bull (the bull has never been lost): grass, trees, woods, (door de bomen het bos niet meer zien), crossing rivers, crossroads, mountains, hearing the locusts chirring at night, fatigue, estrangement of one’s true nature, confusion of the senses, undecidability (many roads but which one is the right one?), the map is not the territory.

SEBASTIEN CONARD

31


2. Discovering the footprints: traces, fragrant grass (following one’s nose), high up in the mountains, nose to the sky, differentiation between true and false, discovering the path to truth.

32


3. Perceiving the bull: the nightingale sings, the warm setting sun, the soft breeze, the green willows on the river bank, the ox, a beautiful beast, hearing the voice of truth is knowing its source, synaesthesia, merging of the senses, unity of experience, truth/the ox.

SEBASTIEN CONARD

33


4. Catching the bull: struggling, mighty beast, the high plateau, clouds, mist, dust, the ravine, wrestling with experienced truths, breathtaking and intensive.

34


5. Taming the bull: the whip, the rope, taming, the dusty road, rest, sweaty skin, without a doubt, thinking straightforward and decidedly, following the path of true thoughts, naturally leaving false ideas behind.

SEBASTIEN CONARD

35


6. Riding the bull home: at night, still cloudy, mounting the beast, without whip nor rope, riding homewards, leading the ox on the flute to the endless rhythm of a pulsating harmony, rest, balance, assimilation, a cheery tune, straightforward without doubting, in harmony between body and mind, human and nature, enlightened, ten thousand things.

36


7. The bull transcended: the moon emerging from a cloud, one’s true home, man and beast at rest, at dawn, in unity: one truth, one law, one balance.

SEBASTIEN CONARD

37


8. Both bull and self transcended: man, beast, whip, rope, all vanish into No-thing, the immaculate void, an unlimited state, unaffected, undisturbed, no seeking any more, like a blinding daydream, full light.

38


9. Reaching the source: awakening again, rediscovering reality, the source, the roots of the tree, one’s true home, the steady stream, the red flowers, the emerald river, the indigo mountains, just like a natural peyote trip, crystal clear water (truth), the quiet observation of life and death, integration and destruction, creation and annihilation, shapelessness (l’informe), ten thousand things

SEBASTIEN CONARD

39


10. In the world: barefooted, bare-chested, mingling with the people, in rags and dirty, holding the beggar’s staff, drinking wine on the marketplace, death trees flowering up, blissful, cheery, a secret, invisible joy, a lush inner garden, everything enlightened.

40


The result of this method is this essay in ten short sequences, some more mosaic or fragmented, others following a higher pace with rather sensorial-motoric or filmic snapshots. I wanted to subtly transgress the usual baroque sequentiality that is strongly based on affects of speed, action and chronological and representational consistency (diegetic suspension of disbelief). Still using classic figuration, I preferred to use tiny, repetitive windows on fragments of material reality, trying to translate the quiet rhythm of ten thousand things. Meanwhile, I hoped to convey some meanings by classic iconography or symbolism (like the ouroboros) or by intuitive depiction (like specific parts of the ox for the related senses). Translinear placing of formal elements like the eye of the ox/ the chicken and the moon/ sun (a comics technique called tressage) should give an overall sense of unity. The rather realistic comic style is meant to be functional (not drawing the reader away from the story) and somehow in the line of classic manga, manhua and comics. Also the use of colors might have diverted one’s attention. The choice for grayscale is thus one of simplicity, coherence and functionality. So is the choice for the absence of text. I hope the drawings, sequences and compositions should be effective enough. SÊbastien Conard, Ghent, Belgium October 31, 2010

41


Aimee De Jongh

The Bull and The Boy Aimée de Jongh (1988) lives in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She works as a professional comic artist. Ever since she competed in the competition “Stripstrijd” in the Dutch quality newspaper “Het Parool” (2006), her comics and illustrations have been demanded more and more. In 2006 she published her first book, called “Aimée TV”. Since 2007, Aimée is making animations too, from short movies to leaders. Her style in drawing is influenced by the Japanese manga comics, yet she gives it her own, recognizable touch. The professional work Aimée does consists of things such as comics, illustrations, CD covers, animations, book covers and magazine covers. Her portfolio is: www.iamshotaro.com

42


Context I hadn’t seen the ox-herding pictures before I participated in this contest. After seeing them, I went on a digital journey to find out more about the pictures and their meaning. That way, I reckoned, I could make my own interpretation of them. My approach was simple: interpret, but also make a slight twist in the story to make things interesting. I make a lot of comics for several publishers, and one of my favorite things to do is short “gags”, the four-panel-comics that end with a funny event. So I thought: How can I apply humor into the ox- herding pictures? Of course, it is a very serious set of pictures that have a lot of meaning buried into them. So I chose to keep most of the pictures intact and just add a whole page in between the pictures. The picture that represents “taming the ox” was spread out over this new page. Here, the boy would tame the ox a bit too much, by taking him to the cinema, taking a bath together, celebrating his birthday, etcetera. They eventually become best friends. But then, the sequence continues where it stopped, namely the picture of the transcending of the bull and self. The bull transcends and disappears. The boy, who had just made a new best friend, ends up in the world alone. Instead of being happy up there, he’s sad because he lost his bull-friend. Of course, this is a humoristic take on the sequence. The meaning of the taming-picture is exaggerated in an extreme way, in order to make it funny. It’s a caricature. The boy is not supposed to be sad at the end of the sequence either. So even though the events of the sequence stay the same, the emotions within the events changed. That raises a question for the reader. Did the meaning of the sequence change because the emotions of the character changed? Also, the question remains: Is friendship really important at all – or is transcending to the world the most important? Or maybe both? I think it’s best if the readers find out themselves. At the end of the comic, there’s a candle that was lit on the cake that the bull got for his birthday. So it’s a memory of the boy, but also a symbol for warmth, friendship, as well as light (or enlightening) and clarity – this points back to the sequence of the ox- herding pictures. I made an unhappy ending to the comic, because it seemed like a nice twist to the story. But in the end, he came in the world and reached exactly what he was looking for.

43


So the ending is both happy and unhappy. It’s just how the reader interprets the comic. Look and feel There were certain choices I made through designing the three pages of the comic. One was of course the style of the comic. I like manga, so I tried to use elements from that typical style, especially in the design of the boy. But in order to make it more “my style”, the bull was more cartoon-like and the backgrounds were more realistic. This makes the comic not one genre or style, but a mix. It’s much more interesting to look at, in my opinion, than a comic that’s full of cliché style- elements. The (digital) coloring was something that I decided to do last-minute. The comic worked well in black and white, but somehow the colors made it more alive. I made the backgrounds in soft colors, pastel-like and with very smooth edges. This refers to ancient Asian painters – they rarely use very hard colors, instead they choose the soft ones that always make the drawings more misty. This works very well in landscape-paintings. The foreground (characters and objects) was colored more like the cels from anime. This technique is called “cel-shading”. This separates the figures more from the softly colored background and makes them more important in the panel. This way, background and foreground are directed exactly where they should be to the eye of the reader. Because it’s a comic, I also used textballoons and I think it makes the comic even more humoristic. Aimée de Jongh 2010

44


A I ME E D E J O N G H

45


46


A I ME E D E J O N G H

47


Competition 2, 2012

First Contact The encounter between humanity and some form of alien life is a perennial theme of science fiction; it has been pervasive in the comic books, novels, and movies of the genre for at least a century, often standing-in for interrogations of imperialism and colonial histories. However, one of the specific conceptual dilemmas of science fiction (and one of the things science fiction adds to the historical inquiry) is the question of how people can make sense of this first encounter with extra-terrestrial, alien life. Going even further, before we can even ask about how we might cope with discovering that we (qua humanity) are not alone in the universe, there is an even more fundamental question lurking in the darkness: if this alien life is really alien, how will we even recognise it as life? Isn’t it entirely the nature of the alien to be unrecognisably different from the familiar? Otherwise, isn’t it merely ‘different’ rather than ‘alien’? Surely ‘alien’ has to mean something more than (or other than) ‘different’? In the end, isn’t this the paradox of the scientific search for alien life that we see conducted by the great space agencies of Earth: they are not really looking for the alien, but rather are looking for tell-tale signs of the familiar in distant places; they are looking for evidence of ‘life as we know it,’ which is to say that they might not be looking for alien life at all. In this case, to the extent that ‘alien’ means something, it simply seems to suggest ‘from far away.’ But what else can we do? How can we quest for something that, by definition, we could not recognise if we found it? How will we ever know if we’ve been successful? This represents something of an impasse for science, but it is also a fascinating opportunity for science fiction, which is replete with adventurers discovering ‘life, Jim, but not as we know it.’ For the crew of the USS Enterprise, this first contact usually 48


involves a period of initial misunderstanding and perhaps violence (probably involving ripping a shirt) followed by a gradually dawning sense of mutual comprehension and respect for difference (probably accompanied by kissing). First contact not only generates political and ethical dilemmas but also psychological ones. We see them explored, for example, in the works of Iain M. Banks, whose ‘Culture’ novels wrestle with the implications of encountering a superior civilization that can manipulate others at will. He refers to the ‘outside context problem’ (OCP) as a way to talk about the psychological and ethical matrix that emerges from first inter-species contact. But perhaps the most celebrated investigation of the psychology of first contact is the seminal work of Stanislaw Lem, whose classic novel ‘Solaris’ grapples with the very possibility of recognising or comprehending the alien. In the end, if we construct the idea of the alien as a psychological category, isn’t it possible that all this talk of science fiction and civilizations from ‘a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,’ are leading us unnecessarily far from home? While NASA searches for the familiar but distant, couldn’t we search for the locally unfamiliar and thus value our first contact with a dog, a boyfriend, a chess-computer, or a snow flake as ‘first contact’? When we look around our immediate environment, might it not be full of ‘life, Jim, but not as we know it’?

49


Nadj Yannick Wernink The Robot and the Butterflies Nadj Yannick Wernink was born in the Hague, the Netherlands and lived there untill he was seven. He then moved to Spain and France and travelled with his family through Africa and Europe. From a very young age he was attracted to the manga style of drawing and as a consequence, his admiration for Japan, its culture, history and technology grew and grew. Animation and manga were Nadj’s first introduction to the country and discovering Japan felt to him like discovering a whole new world. He grew up watching ‘Pokémon’ and similar series, and was later introduced to the animiation films made by Studio Ghibli. Seeing creations like ‘Spirited Away’ he was mesmerized by the beauty of the flowing movements of their drawings and decided to start collecting all Studio Ghibli’s work.

50


In an area far in the future, there was a girl living with her grandmother in a little cottage in nature. Grandma is worrying about the girl, being lonely and miserable in her isolation, was she suffering a mysterious disease?

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

51


What was going on with her? Around her bed there were even diagnostic tools placed to find out and to follow the developments. grandmother worries...

52


She decides finally to change the situation and leaves the house to go to the nearest city to find a solution.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

53


Granddaughter looking through the window, seeing her grandmother leaving, wonders what is going on.

54


Grandmother arrives in the city and drives around till she suddenly sees a very special shop, called Robo -Tech.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

55


The shop specialized in Robot-technology contains many robots for all kinds of purposes.

56


Grandmother decides to buy a Robot-companion for her granddaughter.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

57


The girl wakes up hearing her grandmother coming back home. Grandma puts the present as a surprise in her room.

58


Just woken up she finds the present and sees a kit with the robot pieces.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

59


With enthousiasm she starts to re-assemble the robot and when the sun came up the work is finished.

60


But she did not realise that, while programming the robot, she made some mistakes. By accident she made the first emotional robot ever existed. The robot is ready, the chips are placed, she starts to load the batteries. The first signs of life are there and enthousiastically she embraces her new friend.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

61


Having decided to show him the magic of nature and the world she takes him by the hand. Greeting grandmother in the garden, both are leaving home.

62


Having entered the great forest, she shows him all the miracles.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

63


Leaving the forest they enter the valley of the butterflies. Seeing those free-flying butterflies, slowly the robot starts to realize his limits. Somewhere he knows he is just a human creation.

64


After a very intensive day they came home. granddaughter content but exhausted fell asleep. The robot reviewing the impressions of the day becomes more and more restless. Realising his own imperfection and not understanding his own emotions, his system starts to overload.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

65


Hallucinating more and more, he starts to disconnect with reality. The enlightening butterflies became obsessive. Feeling this disturbance the girl wakes up and is just aware of a shadow leaving her room.

66


Hallucinating he leaves the house, it becomes too much now for him. Trying to liberate himself from his imperfections he became like a raging bull.

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

67


Afraid to be abandoned by her new friend she runs after him in shock, but for him the only escape from his threatening self-reflections is to jump into the abyss...

68


Seeing him disappearing into the void her heart breaks and realising her friend is gone forever, she cries... But a new sun is rising and a new part of her life begins. In a way the experience with the emotional robot had strengthened her and had changed her life...

N A D J YA N N I C K WE R N I N K

69


Izumi Kijima

“I’m Izumi Kijima, an Aquarius born January 27th in Chiba Prefecture and raised in Hyogo Prefecture. I started drawing manga-style pictures after I first encountered a magazine called “Chao” as a second grader in elementary school. This is my first full-fledged manga, and I learned again that drawing manga is difficult. My work this time is the true story of the spring break of my third year of middle school, which I turned into a manga. The theme is “The happiness of the first moment my English came in handy.” I think it’d be wonderful if this contest could be my debut as a manga artist.”

70


71


Top right: Everyone!! It’s spring break!! Top left: I’ve come to have fun in Tokyo!! Bottom-right box: (This story’s main character) Nakata Haruka (15), a high school first-year, starting in April. Bottom left: Wow—amazing!!

72


Top right: This looks delicious—! (Mom, will you buy it for me?) Top left (Mom): We’ll pass it on our way home, too... (So calm down…) [Boxes: Tokyo Banana; Harajuku Baked Chocolate] [SFX: Sparkle] Middle box: Then… [Bottom right SFX: Beep] Bottom left (Haruka): How long does it take to get to Tokyo Station? Bottom left (Mom): Around 20 minutes, maybe. Bottom left (English): Hey! You!!

I Z U MI K I J I MA

73


English: Hi!! Excuse me. Could you tell me the way to UENO station? Do you know how to go? Background: Whaaaat?! Top left: (There’s no way I can give you directions!!) Middle left: (What do I do…?) Bottom left: Y—

74


Top right background: A moment later, on track 1… Top right, Haruka: Giving directions is difficult… Top left: But it’s good that you could try out some English conversation! Middle: It’s the first time English conversation’s been useful. Middle-left background: Ah…! Bottom right, Mom: The train’s coming soon. Bottom right, Haruka: Okay. Bottom left (big background, Haruka thinking): Today is the first day I’ve ever used English in my daily life. Bottom left (small background, next to the platform sign): The train is leaving; please be careful of the doors. [Bottom left, SFX of the doors closing: “patan!”] I Z U MI K I J I MA

75


Brainne del Rosario The Dead Planet Title: The Dead Planet. Artist: Brianne del Rosario (UK) DOB: December 8 1997 Occupation: Student About ‘The Dead Planet’ This was my first time using ink - I’ve entered a couple other competitions before but I’ve always lacked in some materials so I think this is the one that looks most professional. The story was going to be completely different and be about a love story which I was more comfortable in doing but after deep considerations I thought it wasn’t meeting the themes enough so I changed it in the last minute and I thought drawing aliens was ridiculously fun. The story is about our dying planet which is saved by aliens ‘passing by’ by taking two newborns (to repopulate?). Then the alien ironically turns against the humans and kills the pregnant wife to stop the repopulation of the human race to prevent past events from occurring once again.

76


BRAINNE DEL ROSARIO

77


78


BRAINNE DEL ROSARIO

79


80


BRAINNE DEL ROSARIO

81


82


BRAINNE DEL ROSARIO

83


Anonymous

84


85


86


A N O N Y MO U S

87


88


A N O N Y MO U S

89


90


A N O N Y MO U S

91


92


A N O N Y MO U S

93


Denise Telalagic

Denise Telalagic is a high school student from Bosnia who currently lives in Prague. She is a hobby artist with a particular interest in Manga-style art, which she has been drawing for ten years. Denise is especially interested in Japanese culture. She has spent time studying the Japanese language and is hoping to visit Japan one day. Denise is interested in being involved in more art projects and can be contacted at denisetelalagic@gmail.com.

94


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

95


96


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

97


98


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

99


100


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

101


102


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

103


104


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

105


106


D E N I S E T E LA LA G I C

107


Competition 3, 2014

Interpreting Kurama Tengu

Following on the success of the first two manga competitions, ‘The Ox-Herding Sequence’ (2010) and ‘First Contact’ (2012), Asiascape announced its 3rd competition at the start of 2014. For this competition, we invited manga artists, cartoonists, students and scholars to give us their graphic interpretations of the classic Japanese Noh play Kurama Tengu. Contributors were asked to interpret the play as creatively, expansively, or parsimoniously as they liked: style, genre, and length could all be freely chosen. Contributors were encouraged to give the Kurama Tengu a Science Fiction twist but this was not a requirement.

Photo Stéphane Barbery 108


109


Kurama Tengu Play synopsis

A certain Yamabushi (mountain priest) from the valley of Sõjõga-tani had heard that there would be a cherry blossom viewing party on the nearby Mount Kurama. He decided that he too would like to enjoy the wonderful sight and fragrance of the blossoms. Coming to Kurama temple he sat apart from the others gathered there, he sat quietly and in waiting. Meanwhile a servant from the West Valley temple arrived with a letter for the Senior Monk of the East Valley temple. The Senior Monk received the letter from his counterpart, and proceeded to read it. It was an invitation to visit the West Valley and view the cherry blossoms since they were at their peak. It was said that the blossoms were perfect, and that no branch was withering that there wasn’t another branch about to bloom. The Senior Monk of the East Valley and his retinue decided to accept the gracious invitation from the West Valley – they departed for Mount Kurama. They took with them a number of people, including some children and the boy Ushiwakamaru. It was as if the mountain were a cloud of cherry blossoms. They felt that they couldn’t lose their way on the winding path, following the sight and scent of the blossoms. When they arrived at the West Valley, one of the temple servants noticed the unkempt Yamabushi watching the proceedings from a distance. Distraught with the Yamabushi’s unseemly looks, the servant approached the Senior Monk and asked whether or not the Yamabushi should be chased away. The Senior Monk was concerned that this might lead to some personal disgrace, and unwilling to have a confrontation he decided it was best to retire with his retinue and return the next day. The boy

Ushiwakamaru was left behind.The Yamabushi was somewhat insulted that, having merely seen him, everyone at the party had run off. He was reminded of a poem that said that we should celebrate the blossoms in the garden together, and not have concerns about the nature of the guests who’ve gathered there to enjoy them. Believing that Kurama temple was free of worldliness, he was saddened to learn that the devoted monks and servants would fail to show compassion to all living beings. The boy Ushiwakamaru saw the Yamabushi’s distress, and in friendship invited him to come closer and enjoy a better view of the blossoms. The Yamabushi was grateful for Ushiwakamaru’s kindness and was taken by his youthful appearance. He inquired why Ushiwakamaru had stayed behind when all the others had left. Ushiwakamaru replied that the other children were descendents of the Heike clan and greatly valued at the temple, while he was a descendent of the Genji and not treated with much favor. Learning of the boy’s noble blood the Yamabushi felt great empathy; he also was set apart and lonely as a result his station in life. Here, on Mount Kurama, it could be without doubt a lonely place. The cherry blossoms might fall just as snow or rain or pine needles when the wind blows. The cry of monkeys in the distance could echo from the peaks and sound sorrowful to those who might have listened. As the evening began to draw near, the Yamabushi asked Ushiwakamaru to accompany him. He spoke to him of Mount Atago as well as Mount Takao in the East where the flowers were first to bloom, and Mount Hira and Mount Yokawa where the flowers where the last. The evening bell at the temple began to ring and Ushiwakamaru was happy for the graciousness and attention shown to him. The boy inquired as to the identity of the Yamabushi. The Yamabushi declared that he had nothing left to hide. He was in fact the Great Tengu of Mount Kurama and had dwelt on the mountainside for hundreds of years. He informed the boy that he would be willing to impart the secrets of the art of war to him since he sensed he should become a leader of the Genji clan. With these words he bade Ushiwakamaru to return the next day, and then bounded off onto a cloud and flew away into the sky.

110


And so Ushiwakamaru came to devote himself to training in the secrets of the art of war. His sparring partners became the menial tengu themselves and in time he was readily able to best them. For his practice Ushiwakamaru was taken to wearing a cherry colored kimono and a thin hitatare. He tacked his sleeves up on his shoulders by their strings and covered himself in banded armor while carrying a splendid sword with a white wooden handle. It was said that even monsters and demons were unable to overcome his elegance and bravery. The Great Tengu oversaw the young lad’s training, and introduced his own retainers – tengu from far provinces: Kyushu, Shikoku and Suruga. Tengu from many more places were present, even the revered tengu of Mount Takao. They flew about the mountain, leapt from tree to tree and were like smoke or mist or clouds; so swift were they and numerous. Like a storm in winter or the thunderous cascade of a waterfall, their ceaseless motion reverberated through the mountains. Ushiwakamaru had been lenient with the menial tengu. In sparring with them he had only cut them slightly. Since they were retainers to the Great Tengu he refrained from injuring them greatly out of concern that he would be admonished. The Great Tengu was satisfied with his approach, and told him the story of the respectful treatment of a master:

Comparing Ushiwakamaru with the dutiful Zhang Liang, the Great Tengu praised him for his diligence. Although the Great Tengu was rough and difficult to look at, the boy had treated him with the utmost respect. The Great Tengu was in fact a creature of immense dignity despite his appearance, and he danced a lively dance in demonstration of this truth. The Genji, descendents of the Emperor, were particularly prestigious the Great Tengu told Ushiwakamaru. If the lad were to follow the Great Tengu’s training he would truly be the one to defeat the boastful Heike and drive them in shame into the Western sea. Ushiwakamaru would have the secret skills to fly by riding on the clouds or even hover over the greatest of waves. He could utterly destroy his enemies and so erase a stain from his both father and his ancestors. The Great Tengu promised his eternal protection, and saying this bade his farewell. Ushiwakamaru caught at the Great Tengu’s sleeve, telling his master that he would miss him greatly. Even though he might battle in far distant lands, the Great Tengu said, he would ensure the lad’s protection even as a shadow never departs from its host. With these words the Great Tengu flew up above the treetops of Mount Kurama and disappeared into the gathering twilight. taken from http://theatrenohgaku.wordpress.com

Once, in a distant time, there was a man named Zhang Liang who was servant to the first emperor in the Han Dynasty in China. Zhang Liang inherited his military prowess and the great secrets of the art of war from his master, the renowned ascetic Huang Shigong. One day each of them were on horseback, and ran across each other quite by accident. Huang Shigong, for some reason, intentionally dropped his shoe and ordered Zhang Liang to pick it up and put it back on his foot. Even though Zhang Liang felt unhappy with such a preposterous request, he dismounted his horse, retrieved the shoe and returned it to his master.

111


Elena Vitagliano Tariki Divine Intervention Elena Vitagliano “...grew up in Italy during an era of predominantly Japanese anime, thus having a steady diet of the old anime classics from the 70s and 80s. This had a massive impact on me, leading to me developing a keen interest in the culture, culminating in a degree revolving around Oriental culture and language, and even spending a year living in Tokyo. Eventually, my passion got the better of me and I began to pursue a graphic design and manga career with explosive successive success. My winning streak encompasses various National Italian illustration awards, being a finalist at Torino Comix 2011, winning the European Competition “Comics for Equality” and culminating in the 2011 edition of Manga Jiman competition in first place. Futhermore, I occasionally write articles about manga, published in “Con gli occhi a mandorla” (Tunue Edition) in Italy. My work draws from everyday experiences and follows themes encompassing racism, the hopes and struggles of a colourful array of characters, with a strong emotional element present in most of my works.” Elena’s work is on cargocollective.com/elenavitagliano.

112


113


114


E LE N A V I TA G LI A N O

115


116


E LE N A V I TA G LI A N O

117


118


E LE N A V I TA G LI A N O

119


120


E LE N A V I TA G LI A N O

121


122


E LE N A V I TA G LI A N O

123


Brittany Partin

Drop this? Wind Between the Pine Needles Brittany Partin has a B.A. in Economics and Chinese and Japanese Studies, as well an M.A. in Chinese Studies from Valparaiso University, USA. She is a self-taught artist and has been heavily influenced by American newspaper comics and Japanese manga, especially shôjo manga. Currently a coordinator for International Relations in Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, her artistic endeavors are focused on comic interpretations of Shinto mythology that took place in the San’in region of Japan, which are posted on her blog in English. Her purpose is to interpret the mythology and associated history and culture in a humorous, understandable, and memorable way; as such, manga is her medium of choice. In addition to writing manga, Brittany practices naginata and the tea ceremony.

124


I hear he’s 125


Today’s cherry blossoms are absolutely perfect, as no branch starts to wither while no branch is le left without a bloom.

Where shall I view them?

Mount Atago? Mount Takao?

Mount Kurama is such an extremely lonely place. Around this time a few years I joined ago

some of the monks from Kurama Temple in their flower viewing.

126


But everyone left the party because I was there.

...who should be free from worldliness...

...have sold out to the Heike clan.

It was outrageous! Those monks...

The Heike boys at the temple are treated like flowers in full bloom!

There was but one boy who recognized the value of a Great Tengu’s company.

....of the decimated Genji clan.

B R I T TA N Y PA R T I N

127


It would have been better if he had bloomed after the other cherries had withered

as he was pe a perfect bud stifled by his surrounding Heike blossoms.

He was starved of the space to thrive and blossom into one who would avenge his clan.

I, the Great Tengu of Mount Kurama,

So be it! I decided,

Later!

will take you as a disciple and teach you the art of war!

128


My eyes could tell he was destined to claim glory

by defeating that stupid, pompous

Heike clan!

That, and he’s the only human worthy of my tutelage!

BAM

Hahaha--

Ow! I hate it when my nose reflects my ego.

B R I T TA N Y PA R T I N

129


This would all be fine and good

if it weren’t for what I’ve heard from my menial Tengu as of late.

Hey, Tengu!

Even if I can enjoy the company of such a fine boy for one night

SHWIP

What!?

no one knows what will happen between us in the future.

130


Drop this?

I hear he’s grown to be a haughty little punk.

LE ST U R

SWIPE

B R I T TA N Y PA R T I N

131


Did you come here

A fight with you?

Haha, no!

Why would I harm an underling like you?

looking to pick a fight with a Tengu?

He dares to think he’s above Tengu?

He really has been tainted by those Heike boys! His potential has been suffocated by living among them in their age of power.

He should have bloomed in a later age

after all the other blossoms have fallen!

132


Does taunting Tengu feed your ego while the blossoms steal your glory?

I’m merely waiting here.

For what?

I’m waiting for the wind to blow between the pine needles... needle ...to console the dispersing flowers.

Then, the cherry blossoms will fall as snow and rain.

B R I T TA N Y PA R T I N

133


In this Mount Kurama, who knows that you exist?

Unless you communicate with people,

no one knows where you are.

If this wind you speak of would come

the beautiful moon would not be covered by gloomy shadows in this dark Kurama Temple. 134


But would there still be moonlight to see?

Instead of just waiting around out here

how about a lesson from me in the art of war?

Say...

B R I T TA N Y PA R T I N

135


Carl K. Li

KRMTNG Carl K. Li is a PhD researcher at Leiden University (The Netherlands) who studies the visual expression of emotion and its political potential in science fiction manga. In addition to his research, Carl is an artist and an avid enthusiast of manga and other forms of comics, with a special interest in how art merges with narrative and how visual expression conveys ideas. As an artist, Carl generally places heavy emphasis on use of black tones and chaotic, painterly qualities, but experiments with other styles as well. In 2006, he published the comic ‘The Exciting and Emotional Adventures of Sylvia North’, about a girl who delivers garbage to the world. In 2013, he created ‘Look Ahead’, a short science fiction romance about a society divided between those with torso and those without.

136


C A R L K . LI

137


138


C A R L K . LI

139


140


C A R L K . LI

141


Deanna Taylor Nardy The Ghost Flower of Mt. Kurama In Deanna’s own words: With an African-American mother and an Italian-American father, Deanna’s passion for Japanese literature and culture comes as a surprise to many people. Once they recover from the initial shock, however, they ask whether she plan to work as an ambassador or a translator when she graduates. This is when the shocked faces reappear, because Deanna’s dream is to become a professional manga artist.  She’s been an addict of anime since ‘Dragon Ball’, and with over fifty action figures, seventy-five volumes of manga, and innumerable T-shirts, notebooks, pillows and every other merchandise you can think of, there is no turning back for her. She’s spent nine months in Japan in her twenty-one years, and the last eight were for a study abroad program in Kyoto. During her stay, she actually climbed Mt. Kurama three times, and attended the Yoshitsune festival. Minamoto no Yoshitsune has always seemed like a tragic historical character to Deanna, and when she found out that Ushiwakamaru is Yoshitsune as a child, she could not help but put the whole story together. 142


Deanna’s original manga was composed in the conventional Japanese order, meaning that it was designed to be read from right to left (instead of left to right). Asiascape agonised about this, but in the end we have reversed the order of the pages so that you can read it in a manner consistent with the other manga in this book (ie. moving from left to right, following the pagination). However, it is possible that the flow of images and cells on individual pages might still move in the Japanese direction.

143


144


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

145


146


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

147


148


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

149


150


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

151


152


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

153


154


D E A N N A TAY LO R N A R D Y

155


the political arts initiative

.org

Colophon ©2014, Asiascape.org www.asiascape.org Concept Chris Goto-Jones, Professor Comparative Philosophy & Political Thought at Leiden University. Director Asiascape

Artists Paul Fordham • Victor Perfecto Camba & Patrick Sung • Sébastien Conard • Aimée de Jongh • Nadj Yannick Wernink • Izumi Kijima • Brainne del Rosario • Anonymous • Denise Telalagic • Elena Vitagliano • Brittany Partin • Carl K. Li • Deanna Taylor Nardy

Production Esther Truijen Design André van de Waal Remco Mulckhuyse Joël Comvalius Coördesign, Leiden

Printing H R G, Litomyšl, Tsjechië Laser cover ID Laser, Westzaan Binding Patist, Den Dolder

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publisher.


157


158

BEYOND UTOPIA, Manga in/as Essay  

Asiascape sponsored three international manga competitions over the course of 4 years (2010-2014). This volume gives you the best of all thr...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you