Shigeru Komatsuzaki: Cool Vintage SciFi Artist.
For more than 2 dozen of these wonderful, beautiful, campy works, go to this gallery — put together and featured on the weird, wonderful site: pinktentacle.com. Here’s a little more information on Komatsuzaki-san (1915-2001), along with some more of his illustrations. Many of his iconic works were done for the boxes that contained plastic models. Certainly collectors’ items now.
A blurb from this ad for a retrospective book on Komatsuzaki and his career:
The life and works of legendary Japanese artist Shigeru Komatsuzaki, probably best known for his Gerry Anderson model kit boxtop illustrations (Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90, UFO, and Supercar models just to name a few), as well as hundreds of other model kit illustrations in all genres. He also created the Gotengo flying submarine from the film Atragon and collaborated on many designs in the film The Mysterians. This book showcases all that great art and more, including his manga work and other artistic endeavors. Many color plates are included, as well as b&w drawings. The text is all in Japanese, but Komatsuzaki’s stylistic and dynamic art speaks loud and clear in any language!
A couple more:
Bonus eclectic, insider, language lessonーー＞ there at the very top of the very top photo (“The Missiler”), you see these “characters”:
That’s katakana, the Japanese writing system/alphabet (one of three) used to phonetically spell-out foreign words, onomatopoeia, and to italicize words. If one takes ザ・ミサイラー and spells it back from katakana into English, you get “Zah Misairah-” which is about as close as Japanese can come to saying “The Missiler” using only Japanese sounds. Now for something really inside, note the first letter/word/katakana: ザ, which is pronounced “Zah” (no “th” sound in Japanese). Well, the root “letter” is サ, which has no dual dashes at its top right and is pronounced “Sah” (with an “s” not a “z” sound). By adding the two little “ marks (called “ten ten” marks in Japanese), “Sah” (サ) turns to “Zah” (ザ) and, sounds sort of like “The.” Here’s the fun part: look again at the very top “The Missiler” photo and the yellow ザ. Check out the little ten ten marks: they’re little rockets.