Giant Robot Issue #48 2007
Bobby Hundreds, Cornelius, Susumu Terajima, and more!
Back with another upload this week, this time it is an issue of Giant Robot from 2007. For those not familiar with the publication, Giant Robot was first started in California in 1994 and bridged the gap between Asian culture to America. The magazine would feature a number of different Asian artists, actors, musicians, and other pop culture figures with text all in English which gave Western readers with much more insight into Asian culture as a whole.
The publication was created by Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong who first met as undergrads at UCLA. The two initially bonded punk music, movies, and street culture in Asia specifically. Their first issue was in the form of a small photocopied black and white zine before it gained enough popularity to become a full color print magazine. The two focuses on subjects relating to film, skateboarding, art, books, music, TV, food, and tech, a little something for everyone. Nakamura and Wong would personally go to book and music stores trying to get their magazine carried which eventually paid off. By 2003, Giant Robot had reach its peak success and could be found at Tower Records, Virgin Store, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.
Another big deal for Giant Robot was that they started a mail order service for the products they featured in their magazine followed by an online store. By 2001, Giant Robot had opened brick and mortar stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Later they continued to expand with GR2, another store in Los Angeles dedicated to contemporary artists, as well as a New York flagship.
Growing up in the early 2000’s it’s safe to say Giant Robot played an instrumental role in the marketing and distribution of some of my favorite toys. From Be@rBrick and Tokidoki to Gloomy Bear and Domo, they helped these toys gain mainstream popularity in the states and the world. Moving through this magazine we get exclusive interviews with artists, musicians, and fashion designers, all conducted in English to maximize knowledge and understanding. First up we have an interview with Heisuke Kitazawa.
Heisuke Kitazawa is a Japanese artist and graphic designer who started his career during a 16 year period while he was living in Los Angeles where he recived an undergrad and masters degree in art and illustration from California State University Fullerton. Kitazawa is also referred to as PCP, a name he gave himself when people couldn’t pronounce his Japanese name. He also states that he did want people to associate his artwork with manga and anime so he chose something that had no real meaning. PCP is an acronym for him as well which stands for “Paranoid Corporation Presents”. He describes his artwork as a way for him to communicate with the world using the universal language of art. Personally I wasn’t super familiar with his work before reading this article but I love his color palettes and simplistic way of adding detail in his work.
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