Notables 2010: Jonathan Vankin and Seth Fisher’s Tokyo Days

Jonathan Vankin and Seth Fisher, “Tokyo Days”. Vertigo Pop: Tokyo Days, Bangkok Nights, 2009.

“Toyko Days” is a story you might quite justifiably call a “romp.” An ordinary, even dull, American in Tokyo gets tangled up in the schemes of a couple of crazy unnaturally-hair-colored Japanese teen girls to pursue their favorite pop star, who is also, as it happens, a target of the Yakuza. Wackiness ensues.

What makes this story really stand out, though, is the art. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Hyper-detailed scenes of Japanese streets in cotton-candy tones are grounded (slightly) by the skill with which Fisher (the artist) executes perspective and figure work. Dorky, nose-less people nonetheless have real weight and individuality. You never confuse one character for another although there may be dozens (seemingly) in each panel. It’s just a cornucopia of stuff to look at, and it’s quite clear that Fisher knew well and loved Tokyo (the writer apparently does, too—he lived there a few years). The coloring alone makes this work stand out blazingly from most comics, let alone Vertigo’s output.

Age: teen

What is this “Notable” thing all about? Matt and Jessica are the series editors for the Best American Comics, and are responsible for the Notable Comics list at the back of the book, which is comprised of virtually all the comics we sent to the guest editor that weren’t picked, as well as a number of others that we think are noteworthy for various reasons, but that we didn’t send to the guest editor.

We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author? So this is one of a series of posts focusing on each of the Notables from the 2010 Best American Comics.

Have or know of a comic we should look at? Find submission info here.

The “age” suggestion is what we think might be the minimum age for reading and appreciating a work. All works on the list, though, should appeal to older audiences too. It’s a minimum suggestion only.



6 Comments to Notables 2010: Jonathan Vankin and Seth Fisher’s Tokyo Days

  • by Doug Jennings

    On April 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I picked this comic up as a series run in 2009 and was blown away. It introduced me to the phenomenal art work of Seth Fisher who tragically passed away since then. He also provided tremendous art for Fantastic Four: Big in Tokyo. Perhaps his best work was the intricate, beautifully detailed (M.C. Escher-esque) work in Green Lantern: Will World. You won’t be disappointed if you aquire any book Seth has worked on.

  • by Jessica

    On April 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Not following supers closely, I missed this stuff, but I’m convinced by this book to try to search it out…thanks for the tips.

  • by Cheese

    On April 20, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Didn’t Vertigo Pop: Tokyo come out years ago? Fisher died in 2006, so it must have been, 2003? It’s a great collection, nonetheless.

  • by Jessica

    On April 20, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    It did, apparently, but we didn’t see it until the collection came out, in 2009. I actually had no idea that it had been a series before, since we weren’t doing BAC at that point. Nonetheless, in general, we try to review comics when possible in collections, since people are more likely to be able to seek out the originals in that form.

  • by G. Freeman

    On May 2, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    >>”The coloring alone makes this work stand out blazingly from most comics, let alone Vertigo’s output.”

    The colours were done by Chris Chuckry for the comic book. I’m guessing this is still his work in the collection.

  • by Jessica

    On May 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks for the info! I don’t have the book at hand, but I’m sure you’re right.

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