In the 18th Century, Japanese artist Toriyama Sekien attempted to depict each spirit of the ‘yokai’ tradition; an ancient race of demons whose descendents would later terrorise the earth under the guises of Godzilla, Mothra and Rodan. Now, two Bristolian men aim to rediscover the near-forgotten Yokai, and return these ancient beasts to their former glory, in the form of the Bento Bestiary.
Fourteen spirits and demons are lovingly rendered by Ben Newman in the bold and colourful illustration style we have come to expect from him. Newman draws heavily on early and mid-20th century design in his work, incorporating worldwide themes from European deco to Japanese film posters and 50’s American cartoons, never losing his strong sense of a most English deadpan humour. Bento Bestiary is available from Nobrow Press.
Editorial work by Ben Newman for 'Teaching Tolerance' magazine in the U.S. The article was about the 'digital divide' in American schools and how some children who have computers, mobile phones and internet access at home have the opportunity to develop further and faster than those who don't.