Born in 1967, the graphic designer, Yuichi Yokoyama lives and works in the suburb of Tokyo. For several years now, he has developped and expressed his graphic and pictorial art in comic strips. He also designs illustrations for the press and publishing world. In 2004, a first selection of his work, entitled Travaux Publics (Public Works) was published in France, whereas Japan was biding higher by publishing Nouveaux travaux publics (New Public Works). His mangas are regularly published in the underground press, in Comic Cue, and Mizue, and Saizô.


Are you interested in Science Fiction?

I was impressed by Tarkovski’s films, Solaris and Stalker and also by Kubrick’s 2001, a Space Odyssey. I also like TV shows about aliens and prehistoric times… If one sees Sci-Fi in my stories, that doesn’t bother me, but it’s not specifically my intention. I’m not trying to write stories that are set in the future, but rather to write stories which are delivered from references to any given epoch or time. If the history of the world had turned out differently from what we know today, men would live according to different sets of values and different aesthetics. The culture of that world would probably demand that people not wear shoes or always cover their heads and never show their true faces. It would be a civilization completely alien to ours. Tomorrow’s world takes root in our present time, and is always connected to it. That’s why it doesn’t interest me to depict the world of the future. Two of my stories, entitled “Dress-Up” and “Travel” show characters with no hair on their heads. And yet these characters are not old men with bald heads. They are young people who shave their hair off. In the civilization portrayed in those two comic strips, that’s the way things go: it’s maybe part of the fashion to pretend to be old. I draw characters whose aesthetics are different from ours.

What meaning do you convey to the word “new” which is frequently used in your titles?

In my work the word “new” means “new form” and I don't want to confine that form either to the lure of innovation or to that of exception. I try to draw things that everyone could know and understand. I don't assimilate this newness to a future that has taken shape.

Your own life style underlines what you are describing. You don't use a computer for example…

Indeed, I don't own a computer. I don't have a driver’s license either, nor a television. I watch TV at other peoples' homes. I don't really lead a contemporary life.

Extract from the written interview with the author,
Combats, 2004, pp. 119-126,
translated from Japanese into French by Céline Bruel,
translated into English by Mark Roberts and Marie-Noël Tournoux.