Gorey-manga connection comes to library

November 4th, 2010
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Edward Gorey isn’t an artist whom I’d normally associate with manga. Truth be told, Gorey isn’t an artist who ever set off my radar — I hadn’t heard of the guy before Tuesday, when I received a news tip about an event that falls in that odd gray area between when I’ve already submitted one week’s edition of Cel Shaded to my editors and can’t use it in the next week’s edition because it would be too late by then.

But Gorey became very relevant to my interests when I learned of “Musings Over Manga: Exploring Edward Gorey’s Techniques Through Comics,” a workshop being held Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in conjunction with an exhibit of the artist’s work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The workshop, in the Reading Room at the Hawaii State Library (478 King St.), will be led by Brady Evans, an artist to whom UH’s PR materials refer as an “exhibition intern at UH’s Art Gallery” but we here in Otaku Ohana land know as one of the contributing members of MangaBento. He’ll be offering drawing tips to anyone 10 and older.

But what does manga have to do with Gorey, a man whose death in 2000 came before the manga boom and subsequent flood of OEL manga? My Web wanderings in an attempt to learn more about his life and his art brought me to the Edward Gorey Bibliography and this description: “Edward Gorey (1925-2000) was an author and illustrator of many unique books that often have the appearance of children’s stories, but are usually much more ominous, even sinister, and yet oddly humorous.” Somehow the works of Junko Mizuno, along with Higurashi-When They Cry, came to mind when I read that. Goreyography’s East Wing also points out that Gorey’s brand of graphical storytelling meshes well with a Japanese culture that has already embraced such stories. Motoyuki Shibata, an American literature professor at the University of Tokyo, has even translated a number of Gorey’s books in Japan, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies, The Doubtful Guest and The Epipleptic Bicycle.

So while Gorey may not be directly connected to manga per se, he certainly shares a kindred spirit with it. While I’m too busy at the moment dealing with other matters, I’d love to return someday to exploring his works and his worlds in greater depth. I’d invite you to do so as well – “Musings of Mystery and Alphabets of Agony: The Work of Edward Gorey” is on exhibit at the UH Art Gallery (on the UH-Manoa campus) through Dec. 10.

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One other local note of note as we prepare for the weekend: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya will be sticking around for another week at the Kahala 8 Theatres, so in case you haven’t had a chance to make it out there yet, at least you have another shot. Showtimes are 10:50 a.m. and 7:20 and 10:30 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, 7:20 p.m. Sunday and 12:50 and 7:20 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

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