"Enter the strange world of Imiri Sakabashira whose denizens are zoomorphic creatures that emerge from one another as well as their eqully bizarre environs". Excuse me for lazily quoting the Drawn & Quarterly website by way of introducing The Box Man but they do the book justice by using tongue-twisting high Scrabble-scoring language.
Although the tenuous tale follows a man on a scooter with his intriguing box, this is merely an excuse to take a trip through Sakabahira's extraordinary vision. Every panel is a collision of symbols, everyday objects, historical references, pop and folklore from around the world. Monsters wrestle with different traditional versions of Japanese women, the town is alive with veins, the book is propelled along by the action movie staple of a police chase. The abstract is always grounded. Everything makes some sort of sense because there is always something familiar and Sakabashira's rendering of the world is extremely three dimensional.
There is predominantly no dialogue making it a brief read but it's a testament to Sakabahira's storytelling that despite the detail in every page, I read the book at pace and then went back to explore. There isn't really a story but there is a compelling narrative drive and we're rewarded with an unsettling ending.
Finally, to top it all, it features the best, most fitting author photo I have ever seen. The book is hardcover and costs £19. Preview here.
Image by Imiri Sakabashira is not from The Box Man. Check here for a gallery of his work.