Monday, August 18, 2008
The Elastic Balls of Ash Ketchum
The first comic series to feature Pokemon was titled Pocket Monsters and Ash Ketchum's adventures were serialized in the Japanese childrens magazine Koro Koro in 1995. The artwork was by Kosaku Anakubo. Instead of Pikachu, Pippi (Clefairy) was the monster hero.
The artwork of Kosaku Anakubo was described as "hideous" by one devoted Pokemon fan on her website. If Anakubo was an American , or his collected works available in English, I believe he would be put in the same class as Rudolph Dirks or Frederick Burr Opper. It may seem strange to lump Anakubo in with these Titans from the turn of the century but his manga is as crude , rude, and steeped in slapstick as any Sunday page of Happy Hooligan or The Katzenjammer kids.
Led by the crazed , popeyed Pokemon Pippi , Ash Ketchum (Red) and Pikachu dress as Ninja or Gangsters and take wild rides through amusement parks, country estates, and palmy beaches leaving mayhem, destruction and body waste in their wake.