While a couple of other books by Otomo, like the superb Akira Club and the more recent Viva Il Ciclissimo ( a collaboration with the equally amazing Terada Katsuya ) have since been published, Kaba stands unique because of its smorgasbord of eclectic illustration work that precedes Otomo’s rise to fame after the phenomenal success of Akira. As such, it is a rare peek into the budding creative mind of the genius at work, allowing us, albeit vicariously, to follow Otomo’s progress as his illustration and narrative style evolved slowly over time to become what it is today.
Many of the featured art work in the book come with bite-sized Japanese and English production notes, and Otomo gives us insights and background information on the various projects he undertook. Otomo was also a big fan of legendary French comic artist Moebius, and in many of his early works the influence can clearly be seen, in particular his use of harmonious, muted tones and light pastel colors.
Kaba was first published in 1989 and unfortunately is no longer in print anymore. Folks who are keen to get one however, can still find 2nd hand copies, in good condition on Amazon Japan marketplace sellers.
– Dimensions – 11.3 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches
– 178 pages, hardcover
– full color / black and white
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