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Yuichi Yokoyama: New Engineering Paperback – November 1, 2007
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
There is no other cartoonist like Yokoyama. The two dozen brief, deeply disquieting pieces collected here look like stories, but on examination, they're more like complicated, stylized diagrams of social, technical and ecological systems, dominated by Yokoyama's fascination with textures, costuming, repetition, landscaping and—above all—sound effects. Engineering 3, for instance, shows a mountain being built out of boulders, then covered with Astroturf, fake trees and hand-drawn simulations of more rocks. (The Japanese sound effects that appear everywhere in the book are translated at the bottom of each page, which is how Anglophone readers know that shuru shuru, for instance, is the high pitched sound of boulders being dropped from plane.) Occasionally, blank-faced figures appear on a panel to run around and scream—a couple of pieces, like the opening Book, even look like fight scenes—but Yokoyama disregards plot and character altogether in favor of atmosphere and technical details, which he draws with the kind of gusto and dramatic foreshortening other artists reserve for actual human interaction. Some of these pieces are nearly incomprehensible, as the author admits in his explanatory endnotes; he thinks of his work as serialized paintings, extending in time from single images. Yet everything is delightful on the level of pure, mad design. (Nov.)
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Actually the best piece of literature I have read this year (so far). And it's funny because there's virtually no dialogue from the characters. The landscape and the objects within speak to you. What I mean is, Yokoyama does this thing with sound effects in comics I have never seen before.
Absolutely recommended if you want to dive into Yokoyama and understand his oeuvre. This is really a series/collection of several of his different comics. But then, at the end, there is an interview, followed by brief notes on each of the pieces in the text--valuable insight from the artist himself.
Everything in here will "seem" unrelated but if you know Yokoyama, you know this is not true. I read Garden a few months ago. And in the story "Dress Up 1," pretty much Garden, in its entirety, is given new meaning and sort of explained. And I like that, about an auteur. I remember reading Garden and thinking, "???? ??? ?? ??" But then now, look, a few months later and I am beginning to understand it. Everything and nothing is connected.
Essentially tho, in a nutshell, Yokoyama is about striving to communicate something new and the "carrying of information." He explains artwork as either being craft or able to carry information. "Craft" artwork is the type of work "one desires to purchase and own." Yokoyama creates work that is able to carry information, in the sense that he is creating work "that can endure the test of time and be appreciated in a broad range of contexts--a work that can be viewed several hundred years after its production by people of other civilizations, and people from any place on earth, and still be enjoyed for the new discoveries it offers (as opposed to providing the kind of enjoyment that craft offers)."
Furthermore, Yokoyama is "influenced by the works of Tadashi Kawamata in art, Andrei Tarkovsky in film, Arthur Honegger and Toru Takemitsu in music, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka and Masuji Ibues in literature."
I am buying ALL of his books this afternoon.
As amazing as it is, this book is definitely not a standard manga; it is much larger(10" x 8") and concentrates on imagery rather than a multi-volume story. This is not bad, I bought it solely because I thought it would be different from other books I have read. I was very happy with this purchase and I recommend this book, it was a very fun read.
And, contrary to what a previous reviewer said, the Japanese edition of the book was also published in black and white.