The Comickers magazine published an article about Shirow, inside the issue number 10, 1998 (after a previous on September 1995). The cover shows a "science-fiction" girl, together with a small alien) and flying ships in the background. This illustration (3048, following Shirow's numbering system) is really good, but unfortunately this is the only new one. Inside there are three post cards, but they are 3048 and other two versions (3048.2 and 3048.3). The two characters are the same, the only difference is the background: two different flying ship, one ship and a city landscape, one ship and a particular of the same vehicle. The article itself is 7 pages long (from page 12 to 18). It is titled Shirow Masamune Digital Gallery and starts with 3048 again (more a brief advertise about Blades). On the second page (Color variation of the Cover) there are four versions of 3048 characters, as the girl hair change color (one time the armor color too). The third page is about three versions of 048. In reality 048.2 is the same picture printed as 2148 inside Blades (page 048), but I don't understand why they have renamed only it since other illustrations have the same name as in ID2. Shirow from Blades: "There are other versions of this illustration, with and without tiger patterns, red clothes, and gold letters on pink. Only one version's shown here, but the others will probably be used somewhere eventually. One of the best things about working digitally is that you can create as many different variations of illustrations as you want with different colors, making revisions and additions. There are obviously are some problems with digital art, but for artists like me it's a lot of fun." "Of course, ultimately you have to submit one version of the work you're doing, but I always wish I could see them all printed."
048.1 hasn't the red stripes or any external background and the clothes are more orange. 048.3 has a background similar to 2148 (048.2) , but it's not snowy; the clothes are red and there are two big ideograms. It was used for a poster and there is written: "Intron Depot 2 - Page 048 - NO. 2148.2 - 1998.07.09 - AM02:14 - Masamune - Shirow." Page four is about 2200 and 2202; they have a ".2" suffix, but I was unable to find any difference. There is also a small 3D image about the flying vehicle for 3048. On page five there is a version of 2207 (only the Gigantus): the skin of the monster is more gray, the bodice of the girl is red with gold drawings and her cloak is decorated in red. Page six has three variations of 2209: 2209.1 is the same; 2209.3 (there isn't any 2209.2) has a more blue-green background, two black ideograms and there is written: "Intron Depot 2 - Blades- Page 010 - 2209.2 - 1998.07.03 PM05:06 - Masamune - Shirow"; in 2209.4 the girl has dark gray clothes, the background and the ideograms (in red) are the same of 2209.3, whereas this time there is written: "2209.4 - 1998.07.14 AM09:00 - Unused - Masamune Shirow." On the last page (seven) there is the Message from Masamune Shirow to Comicker.
Shirow has drawn two posters for the Uppers magazine by Kodansha. The name of the series is E-Oppers and several mangaka (Shirow, Clamp, Samura, Terada, ...) are involved in this project. The title comes from E (the English pronunciation is similar to the Japanese "beautiful") and the Japanese "appai" (meaning "breast") written as it was an English word (Oppers). Mr. Shirow's pictures are a mixture of cyberpunk and eroticism. He has defined it as fetishist and he has said that the people, who like this kind of stuff (and big breast), will be so much satisfied that they'll start to rub themselves on the magazine. Because of Geocities' regulations, I had had to cut the E-Oppers image on the right (imagine what stands below!). Sorry. Anyway you can find both images at pages 090 and 091 of ID2 "Blades".
Shirow from Blades: "It's fun the way I'm often commissioned to do similar sorts of work at around the same time. Right after doing Demon Hunter, which placed a lot of emphasis on bare breast, I was commissioned to do this piece, with one of the top requirements that "the character's breasts be visible." I try hard not to create something too vulgar [...]."
During 1995 Shirow drew the illustrations and chosen the tracks for a part of a Toshiba EMI CD series titled Ein Requiem Für Menschen (Requiem for Mankind; this title was taken from Brahms' German Requiem). So the publisher intended to introduce new listeners to classical music. Shirow (from ID2): "Depending on the situation, I normally listen to a wide variety of musical genres. When I'm reading an overly-serious book or just taking it easy, though, I listen to classical music." "In order to select the tracks, I had to buy over seventy CDs [...] and spend hours listening to them - so relative to the amount of time I put in, this work wasn't particularly lucrative." "Since the CDs would be on the classical music shelves in stores, I wanted to make my cover designs look as little like anime-style illustrations as possible." "Angels are usually drawn as males in Christian religious art, but I don't see anything wrong with having female angels, too, so I drew them as such." Many images have been reprinted inside Blades (pages from 095 to 106).
|These CDs include at least:|
|Bach's St. Matthew Passion
Brahms' German Requiem
Haydn's The Creation
Rossini's Stabat Mater
|Shostakovich, Wagner, choruses and triumphant marches.|
Years ago the Comickers magazine published an article about Masamune Shirow and his art. Comickers is a monthly for guys who likes to draw; it explains techniques and shows materials. They interview famous artists too and on September 1995 the focus was on Shirow. In the article he showed how he was used to draw illustrations (before using so much computer design) and there were all the 12 steps necessary to create the cover picture. Also that issue was the only one I know to have ever published a photo of Mr. Shirow!
They have published another article about Shirow inside issue number 10, 1998.
Title: ManMachine Interface ©1997 Shirow/Kodansha. From the Top: 1) Comickers ©1998 Shirow/Comickers. 2) E-Oppers ©1998 Shirow/Kodansha. 3) ID2 Blades ©1998 Shirow/Seishinsha. 4-5) Comickers ©1995 Shirow/Comickers. Left: Orion ©1991 Shirow/Seishinsha.