Love for magazines and culture in ZINE “Konton (Chaos)” edited by Shinobu Hasegawa ,sissone.

Sissone was formed in April 2006 by Jiro and Shinobu Hasegawa, won the prize of 2014 “King of Sketch” Japan.With overwhelming ability, complex and ironic sketches, you can feel the culture they have seen with their own eyes.Recently, not only comedy, but also the range of activities such as the stage and drama has been expanded, and appearances have increased significantly on TV shows. In addition, they regularly hold solo live shows, and the artwork and product sales that make them feel the background of the two are also attracting attention.Among them, ZINE “Konton” sold at the venue was edited by Shinobu Hasegawa, and it is an interesting one that reflects his personality.

I wanted to introduce interesting people around me.

−−What was your impression of ZINE?

Shinobu Hasegawa:I have a close friendship with Mr.ANI from SCHADARAPARR, and one time I went to their gig, He showed his own ZINE to me.

The image of ZINE was very fashionable but I recognized it’s same as Fanzine.When I went to “TACO ché” in Nakano to buy comics, I checked some interesting ZINEs. Actually, I hope to selling my zine there.But I realized that the stock was running low before I asked for it, and I couldn’t even go to the store because of the coronavirus.

−−When you actually made ZINEs, what reactions did you get?

Shinobu:It’s a pretty confident work, but I’m surprised that it hasn’t been evaluated at all in the company.My 1st issue, the person in charge of production said to me, “The color print looks more luxurious, so let’s print as color!” As a result, the production cost was high and it was not profitable.Therefore, the 2nd issue has a more ZINE-like appearance. Since being chief editor of my ZINE, I made whole idea of articles, one of them is criticizing the works of the art school students.There was my production team, roughly thought about a design plan and threw it to the team, the member introduced me to the designer and so on.

−−How difficult was it to become the editor-in-chief?

Shinobu:I don’t think it was hard, but I think it’s difficult to mark up the each article texts.Even if it is ZINE, there are many contents that can not be printed, As and when I cut it, I get angry with “Why do you cut it!” (Laughs). But in total it was a lot of fun. Although the genre is different, there are many people of the same generation who are doing interesting things, so I wanted to introduce something like a horizontal connection in ZINE.It’s bit difficult for me to edit the dialogue with actor Yoshiyoshi Arakawa.That time he kept badmouthing.But in total it was a lot of fun. Although the genre is different, there are many people of the same generation who are doing interesting things around me, so I wanted to introduce something like a horizontal connection in ZINE. 

−−The cover image of ZINE by the illustrator “face”,he made products with us.

Shinobu:I followed his instagram then he followed back.Personally, I am good friend with Rachel and Mamiko from Chelmico before they do rap music.My wife and me walking down the Harajuku street and found the picture of face’s drawing work.She said “Oh, his drawing will suit for Chelmico. I though ”Probably true” but my honest thought was “No, I want to do it first!” I really wanted my ZINE  cover to look cool, so I asked face for both issues. 

−−The logo by face looks great. Why did you name your ZINE “Konoton”?

Shinobu:I want to express the  messy content like a stew.Also it’s bit embarrassing to explain thisI thought it’s funny to have similar sound of “conte(sketch)”.At the same time fixing the title,I found that Takashi Murakami was working on the artwork for “Kids See Ghosts,” a collaboration between Kanye West and Kid Cudi, he put “Konton” word on his artwork. I love Kanye but I don’t want to make impression being influenced by the artwork.

I was enjoy the information-gathering from magazine when I was high-teen.

−−I got huge influence by magazine from your ZINE. 

Shinobu:When I was a student, the internet was not mainstream, and I got so many knowledges and informations from fashion, culture magazines. Especially,”TOKION”, “relax”, and “warp” was very big to me.I was in high school, street fashion magazines were very popular, I was reading “boom” and learned about the world of Urahara culture by magazines. I remember that first time to see “TOKION” at the “APE” store.Originally, “TOKION” was bilingual in English and Japanese, wasn’t it? It was such a cool magazine I really wanted. In my hometown of Hamamatsu, “TOKION” is not sold at normal bookstores, Tower Records was only place to get it. 

It’s easy to grab information on internet,I think that the existence of magazines was huge because I still have special attachment to papers.Besides, this ZINE content is not interesting to read on the web, it is interesting because it is read on paper.From the generation of reading comics on their smartphones, it may not seem strange, and reading a paper book may be a hassle, but it is important that there is one effort step. It’s my tiny antithesis.

−−Did you also check the latest music in the magazine?

Shinobu:The popularity of hip-hop and melodic hardcore was polarized locally, but I loved both.Especially “warp” magazine covered both, so I checked new music from them.I have been to Tokyo to experience the scene there. To save money I got on a local train, but around Mishima Station feeling very bored and transfers bullet train.Including that it was good memory to me.

−−What kind of music are you listening to now?

Shinobu:I hadn’t listened to Japanese hip-hop for a while, but it’s been changing.After the freestyle battle fever, I was away from Japanese hip-hop. Now such as THE OTOGIBANASHI’S and PUNPEE are very interesting, hard style hip-hop like NAMEDARUMA is also my favorite.

−−It’s a different musical taste from Mr.Jiro

Shinobu:He loves Japanese rock band like Ningen-isu. The band and he were from same high school, they had local connection. When I met Jiro, He and I were 26, and I hit it off because we were both late to enter Yoshimoto’s training school and interests were close.He used to wear clothes like Undercover, now he was quitting everything and got into pachinko.It’s beyond the level of addiction.

−−Backing to the subject, isn’t the next issue coming out anymore?

Shinobu:I enjoyed my own collage, and it makes sense to be able to do things that I can’t do on TV with my own ZINE.TV is very limited media I guess.

The advantage of making it in-house is that it is easy to secure a budget, but since everyone participates voluntarily,Next issue it’s better to make it more DIY style like Mr.ANI made.It’s nice to get along with the people who participated before and I want to get involved Koichiro Yamamoto from “Stylist Shibutsu (Private stuff)” is close friend recently.He is very professional stylist, he speaks very artistic with a great sense, I was very inspired.So it would be interesting to put his conversation on my ZINE.

On TV media, there is a limit to introducing and expressing what we love,ZINE is a personal medie to put only what we love.In the next issue, I hope I can make the content of my hobby in detail. It is unknown whether it can be issued yet.

Shinobu Hasegawa
Born in 1978 Hamamatsu. Belong to Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd.Formed “sissone” with Jiro in 2006 from NSC. Hobbies include fashion, collecting sneakers and American comic figures.

Photography Kosuke Matsuki
Translation Sumire Taya
Cooperation BYT SHOWROOM

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Sumire Taya

Born in 1985. With a focus on female musicians, artists, and actresses, she has been translating, editing and writing, and working on the "Girlside" project at dischunion, drawing on her experience running the record and clothing store "Violet And Claire".She has supervised the translation of Alexa Chan's “It” and “Rookie Yearbook” series. She is the author of "Female Complex", "Indy Pop Lessons" and "New Kyoto".