Another conversation between two artists today.
One is Harold Sakuishi, the artist who you hopefully know as the guy who made Beck, among other great manga. The other is Hisashi Eguchi, a well-known figure among Japanese manga buffs who is basically unknown in the English-speaking internets. Eguchi has two manga that he’s mostly known for: One is his first and by far longest work, Susume!! Pirates, a silly 11-volume baseball comedy that ran in Shonen Jump in the late 70s; the other is Stop!! Hibari-kun!, a manga about the cross-dressing son of a yakuza boss which famously simply vanished from Shonen Jump after ending a chapter with a character crying tears of blood and declaring, “Shonen manga is dead”. Since then, Eguchi doesn’t seem to have been able to keep himself working on a series for more than a volume, instead putting out mostly short gag pieces, although that isn’t to say he’s been altogether idle since Hibari-kun: In 1994 he founded Comic Cue, a now-defunct yearly anthology of one-shots from various artists, and he has also gone on to become a pretty successful pop-art illustrator.
This conversation is from a 2005 issue of the pop culture magazine Quick Japan, back when Beck was 21 volumes in and was kind of a big deal, having just gotten its anime adaptation.
Sakuishi: I was pretty pleased to hear that you’ve praised my work, because I had absolutely no idea that you even knew about my manga. I used to read Susume!! Pirates back in elementary school, you know. Artists like you and Katsuhiro Otomo are what paved the way for my generation, so you’re a living legend for me.
Eguchi: Oh, please. (embarrassed laugh) I really like Beck, though, and I have a lot of things I want to ask you, so to start off: What was the first manga you ever read?
Sakuishi: I started from Shinji Mizushima’s Dokaben. I liked old school manga — Osamu Tezuka’s The Amazing Three, or Shotaro Ishinomori’s stuff. My friends in elementary school used to ask me to draw things like Kawai from Ring ni Kakero, but I didn’t even know who that was. I didn’t like those series that were falling all over themselves trying to be popular every week; I was into stuff with real storytelling that you could take your time reading, like Tezuka and Ishinomori used to make. Continue reading