The Collected Dal Tokyo

Image of Gary Panter's book Dal Tokyo

My friend Mat recently gave me a thoughtful gift—a book by illustrator Gary Panter of his collected comic strip series Dal Tokyo. The book caught Mat's eye because of its unusual letterbox format, which is the format Panter originally chose to draw in. The collection contains Panter's drawing style from the early 1980s to the present and it's fascinating to see how his style changed over time—from very loose, punkish drawings to polished and carefully crafted renderings. I enjoy the raw drawings from the early period because anyone could have done them—me, you, or a twelve year old kid—but we didn't, Panter did. And it's his punk spirit that gets me all wound up to create my comic strip or graphic novel, just for fun. Maybe I'll call it Tokyo Mojo.