I was looking yesterday, amongst other things, at the work of Suzuki Yumiko, a manga artist. I coudln’t find a scan of the actual manga and it seems anyways that none of her stuff was ever translated. Funnily though, I found out she did a project in collaboration with SHOWSTUDIO, Nick Knight’s experimental studio in London. It’s a pretty funny performance with her redrawing the current fashion looks (it was filmed in 2007!!) on photos of a model, but japanese style “purikura”. Check it out here.
You don’t know what purikura are? They’re basically machines that take your photo and allow you to redraw, write, add accessories over it. They range from the most basic, to the most elaborate with filters, graphic styles etc… CHeck these :
ALso, I recently saw HELter Skelter, the film version of the comic, because a friend of my boyfriend plays in it. THe manga is by Kyoko Okazaki, and it’s pretty interesting. I never felt drawn to it when I saw it in bookshops, because I’m not fond of the artwork. I would always tell myself how its a bit rough, a bit unclean but at the same time pretty “girly” in a cliché way.
Well actually I was wrong, but I only realized a few years after, because my sister bought it and I was out of things to read. Tha author, Kyoko Okazaki is actually someone who pioneered her style, her own storytelling and has been for about 25 years. Hahaha. I felt pretty dumb after I looked into it.
Anyways the story is about this model, “LIlico” whose apparence is the result of extreme surgery. As expected, she’s highly unstable and the treatment to maintain her appareance doesn’t help. Her surroundings don’t help out, and the manga is pretty much about how thei “Lilico” copes with her high stress celebrity status, with sex, medicine, manipulation.
So what’s different about this story? The characters feel human, they have their shortcomings, but their are endearing and interesting. Also, the manga is very fast-paced, the story extremely rich, and rather than focusing on morals, it deals with the actions of the individual and the extremes they can be driven to. The “spontaenous” drawing style of the author helps it not to fall in any cliché, and make it more credible. I don’t think she is the most technical of mangakas, but there’s a definite strong symbiosis between form & content. It’s a style I called in my mind “life stories”, the same category I’d put in, for example, Ebine Yamaji.
Yeah I’d really recommend it.
I’m sure you can read it online, but it’s much nicer as a book.
OH I almost forgot the film; it wasn’t so great, it was exactly the way to make this story very clichéed and boring. And I fond the actress not so much like the main character in the book, I thought she would be more like the supermodels if the 90s.