size: 10.7 x 14.9 inches (approx.) / 272 x 378mm
medium: cut washi and chiyogami paper on board
It’s been awhile since I’ve dipped my toe in POP!-py waters, let alone a pop-comic-book-Tokyo-parody. It took one of my favorite Batman villains – and Patrick Washburn – to chase me back into that brightly colored world of modern day references. Originally begun about 2 years ago for American Comics Exhibition 2010 ~Bad Guys~ from SuperVillain to Anti-hero at Gallery Kopis in Tokyo, I only got around to finishing the poster lettering a little while ago.
My Tokyo-dwelling fans will have no problem recognizing the parody and, perhaps, getting a chuckle from the cultural collision. Those of you who haven’t experienced the pleasures of the Tokyo Urban Metro Subway system may need a little more guidance. Since we all know that lengthy explanations of humor only serve to make it funnier.
From 2008 through 2010 – a span of 3 years – each month Tokyo graphic designer Bunpei Yorifuji created another one of these brilliant yellow and black manner posters, instructing us passengers on proper subway etiquette. Often hilariously funny and true to life, I used to look forward to every new poster – even after the obvious rude behavior had all been covered. The thought of creating a parody poster crossed my mind pretty early in their run, but the right opportunity didn’t crop up until the supervillain exhibition.
Bunpei Yorifuji talked to the Tokyo Reporter about the inspiration behind these posters in a great little interview.
For the whole run of 36 posters, check out the Gakuranman blog.
Mr. Freeze has always been my third favorite Batman villain (Two Face takes spots one and two). Of all the many incarnations of the character, the original Batman: The Animated Series version will always be my favorite. The sense of loneliness and alienation, coupled with the determination to turn tragedy into strength – even if tainted with ruthlessness – always made Victor Fries one of The Bat’s most sympathetic and human foes. Who among us has not wanted to feel a love and longing so intense, the rest of the world be damned?
Just remember, if you must revert to super-villainy, please refrain from freezing other passengers unnecessarily.