I CAN’T WAIT. Sake Jock is a seventy page pamphlet of a manga anthology, published in 1995 by Fantagraphics, a whole year before Comics Underground Japan. Did anyone read this thing when it came out? I sure as hell didn’t. I was nine. I was probably watching Pokemon. Like a mainstream chump. The editor’s introduction explains the book’s hyperbolic intentions in even more detail. Click the thumbnail for the full page… I scanned it just for you.
Back already? That was fast. Are you sure you read the entire thing? Were you sufficiently mired in every pretentious syllable?
Maybe I’m being harsh. This book was a product of its time, when anime and manga were far hotter commodities than they are now, and misunderstandings about the medium extended beyond otaku fandom and into the mainstream itself. Perhaps Sake Jock was screamed into existence with the same urgency as someone in the present age might malign the overabundance of shitty comic book movies, or something like that. It’s hard to imagine an era where normal people might be familiar with anime and manga, but it wasn’t that long ago.
Regardless, Sake Jock consists of seven short stories created by alternative manga artists, presumably taken from the pages of Garo, though exact details such as that and their year of original publication are left unclear. I can tell you Cat Soup‘s Nekojiru has a contribution, as do a few other recognizable names.
Overall Sake Jock is an interesting artifact of an era long gone, though it’s more than been superseded by 2010′s Ax: A Collection of Alternative Manga, another book setting out to accomplish a similar goal but with its head decidedly nowhere near its ass, and at 400 pages, it has an actual chance of accomplishing something. Though Ax never really penetrated into the consciousness of the contemporary North American manga fan, another volume is on the horizon. Look forward to that, and leave this curious tome to the completionists.