Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Something About Instant Bellairs Manga!

アートを楽しむ

Japan published a handful of titles in the Bellairs Corpus over the decades. The first I can find is late-1980s edition of The Face in the Frost. Later, most (but not all) of the Lewis Barnavelt series was published between 2000 and 2010. There were a few Johnny Dixon titles, too.

I note this because I found some correspondence with Jonathan Abucejo about some of the Japanese-inspired art on the old CompleatBellairs site. One of those such images is displayed above, this one purportedly illustrating a scene from The Trolley to Yesterday. But we know this wasn't published in this format so where did the image come from?
Ah, those faux Japanese covers. Well, they're really excerpts from some old "manga phonebooks" (huge Sunday collections of cartoons printed on cheap paper) from Japan I picked up at a comic store a decade ago. I scanned a few pages, changed some word balloons, and added some spectacles to a character... and voilà! Instant Bellairs manga!
Chalk it up to Mr. Abucejo to have this much detail on the site. Now someone only needs to go through and attempt creating an entire Bellairs story from these magna phonebooks. Or better yet, real Bellairs manga.

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