Monday, February 2, 2009

Vertigo Pop Tokyo 1 page 15

Maki's brother Ryuji, wuss though he is, is a Yakuza, not a very reliable one. He has been sent to collect payment from the owner of a video game arcade, but once inside he spends his time playing games. His close superior Hara shows up and chastises him.
The opening statement on the page, "I never thought speaking English could be so dangerous," sets us up to look for danger. So Seth plays a little trick on us in the first frame, giving us Ryuji pointing a gun out at a foe just over our left shoulder, and rejoicing over his great shot. Ah, then we see that it's a video game that he is rejoicing over like an adolescent.

Hara and Ryuji are like a pair of comedians from the 50's, like Abbott and Costello, where one of them is naive and foolish and the other is grumpy and cynical. One of them is the pratfall guy and is always being pushed, hit, and poked by the other for his supposed stupidity. But it is the loser we root for. In this case they both have absurd hairstyles, but Ryuji's is, in my opinion, absurd but cute, and Hara's is merely ridiculous.

The bottom two frames feature the shop owner, Nishizaki. It is his scared face that we see up close in the left frame and directly at the vanishing point of the right frame. Is it an accident that above him on the right are what looks like a row of teeth, so he is pictured inside the open mouth of something about to eat him?


j_ay said...

Have you picked up the collected edition yet Vicki?
(I’d actually hope Vertigo would have sent you one but I’d bet against it).

I’m curious if any ‘extra’ goodies are in the back, but you previously said they never asked you for, sadly, probably not.

I may order one regardless. I prefer comic books (the individual issues) but I flip through my Seth collection so often they get pretty beat up so a collected volume is a nice idea...

Vicki said...

I haven't picked it up yet. Actually usually DC has been very nice about sending comps. Where Marvel sends 4, DC sends 40. But maybe since they actually bought the reprint rights from us, we no longer have any connection with them; I don't know how these things actually work. If I wrote to Jon Vankin I bet he'd send me some, but that seems a little cheap. I can go buy them like everyone else.
They may HAVE some extra goodies to put in the back--emails from Seth while he was working on the books, and so forth.