This has to be one of the most bizarre versions of The Cure’s Robert Smith you’re ever likely to see and that’s saying something. Here the singer is joined by other new wave artists including Morrissey, David Sylvian and Boy George in being depicted by renowned Manga artist, Atsuko Shima.
The animations arrive via Post-Punk and form the vibrant minds of a Japanese music magazine, 8 Beat Gag. The mag, which was very popular during the eighties, provides us with some of the most remarkable caricatures of western artists you’re ever likely to see.
The magazine’s Manga spin wasn’t a haphazard affair either, as they mainly drawn by the acclaimed artists, Shima. The comics celebrate both the artist themselves and also puts them into different scenarios with their counterparts in other groups.
It means that we see surreal situations such as The Damned’s Dave Vanian, Duran Duran’s John Taylor, and The Cure’s Robert Smith all complaining about tourist season, while another sees David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto in a romantic relationship. While unfortunately, we don’t have the translation we can still enjoy this feast of bizarre riches.
It’s fair to say that Japan likes its fair share of fan fiction and the images below are the perfect crossover between that ethos, the incredible detail and skill of the animation, and the weird and wonderful imaginations of those who drew them.
Look below at some of the best.
In a somewhat more deliberately fan-serving piece, 8 Beat Gag’s issue on David Sylvian sees the Japan frontman in a romantic relationship with electronic music pioneer, Ryuichi Sakamoto.
On David Sylvian’s website, Craig Peacock suggests: “The main story in the comic involves David being in the UK and missing Ryuichi. He decides to visit Tokyo to further the “romance” and finds himself in competition with Akiko Yano, Ryuichi’s wife. Quite a humorous story written by a woman who was a huge Japan fan. She caricatures herself on the cover as looking very guilty about writing such a homo-erotic story, possibly in parody of the lyrics to ‘Forbidden Colours’”
Some other incredible New Wav acts were also immortalised including Siouxsie Sioux, Morrissey, Madonna, and Boy George.