Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Picturebox is a specialist publisher that deals in cutting edge graphic works. They have a quite an interest in the more avant-guard art methods, and are involved with quite a few Japanese artists. Sadly access to them is mostly via limited runs of posters artbooks, so for them to publish a book like this is positively mainstream!

Despite its heightened availability, Travel is still a pretty unusual manga. There is no dialogue, no sound effects and to describe it as having a story or narrative would be a stretch. Travel depicts the sensation of moving on a train from one destination to another, and that's pretty much it. Going through the ticket barrier, finding your seat, watching the buildings and scenery go by, staring at other passangers, watching the rain run down the window - all the little things that add up to make the complete experience.

There's no much else to say really. Yokoyama's backgrounds are extremely angular, with his humans being stoic throughout. The commentary at the back of the book detracts from the experience and is best avoided so you can absorb the book and make what you will of it. It's not exactly a manga you can describe as having enjoyed, but if you want 200-odd pages of something out of the ordinary (high-brow even) then this neglected curio might tickle your fancy.

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