Want to trade your heart with tentacles for money? Then come on down to the Crystal Bone exchange, just make sure you don’t cough out your lungs, artificial or organic, in the poisoned atmosphere getting over here. That is “Crystal Bone Drive” in a nutshell. Drawn by Japanese artist Tetsunori Tawaraya with silver ink on Plike black paper this 7″x9″, 32 pages of visual white noise pummels your eyes until you can’t take it no more. Published by Hollow Press in limited quantities, this biomechanical nightmare will draw you into its silver dark world. Flesh morphs into motorcycles, giant slugs with razor sharp teeth attack, metal and flesh combine in a grotesque beauty.
Tetsu is also lead singer and vocalist for noise band 2up, he has been active drawing since the late 1990’s, mainly messed up sci fi comics. His art is in a lot of publications and his drawing style is really distinct, flowing, fine lines twisted into various shapes, all of his worlds seem populated by mutants, most hybrids of machinery and flesh.
Its refreshing to see a Japanese artist not rehash traditional Manga art all the time, don’t get me wrong that has its proper artistic place but sometimes it becomes redundant. I love artists both audio and visual that craft noise that takes me to another world, this comic does this. I thumb through it occasionally marveling at its grotesque beauty, I have two other works by Testu which I will review in the future. If you can get a hold of his stuff, do it, the problem is that a lot of his stuff is printed in limited quantities. It kind of pisses me off when publishers do this, it seems like a “hipster-up-its-ass” move that lots of people can’t enjoy that world but it is what it is and a lot of these small publishers don’t have a lot of money to burn they can’t all print 10,000 copies of something all the time.
To find “Crystal Bone Drive” your gonna have to hit up ebay. However here is Tetsu’s site he has some stuff for sale up there: https://tetsunoritawaraya.com/