Explanation: Heta Uma

November 27th, 2010 by Dan Nadel

Heta-Uma: Literally bad/good. Pioneered by King Terry Johnson. Pre-punk and post-hippy, Heta-Uma embraced production defects, street scrawls, and technical incompetence. By creating popular graphics in a style that was “technically” bad but sensually and conceptually successful, it rebelled against perfection and the glossy sheen on Japanese culture. Important recent artifact produced by PictureBox is Terry 100 Channels, perhaps the worst best film ever made. 30 minutes of animated sex bliss. Manifesto for Heta-Uma contained in Terry’s epic Bad ‘n Nice tome.

King Terry images select, 1978-2010:

King Terry aka Mista Gonzo aka Terry Johnson aka Terry Yamura aka Teruhiko Yumura is the master of heta-uma, the bad/good graphic style he pioneered in the early 1970s. Pre-punk and post-hippy, Terry embraced production defects, street scrawls, and technical incompetence and made them his own. By creating popular graphics in a style that was “technically” bad but sensually and conceptually successful, he rebelled against perfection and the glossy sheen on Japanese culture. Beginning with comics and illustration, Terry engineered a heta-uma revolution and influenced a generation of artists in the process, including Takashi Nemoto and Yoshikazu Ebisu, cartoonists who he mentored and whose books he designed. His work has appeared everywhere from the high avant garde comics anthology Garo to Sony billboards. With his Flamingo Studio deep inside a concrete superstructure in Tokyo, he continues to dominate Japanese graphic media whether you like it or not.

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↓ 4 Comments

  1. noel says:

    don’t forget “Terry Flamingo”

  2. Dan Nadel says:

    Good one! Immaterial soul prize for anyone else who can name other pseudonyms.

  3. Tom Hart says:

    I have a copy of Bad n Nice and I always thought it was just a catalog of images. Literally copies from television, catalogs, porn, etc.

    I didn’t know it was instructional! I’ll go do some of the exercises now.

  4. Well, this is fine, however what about the other options we’ve got here? Do you mind publishing one more post regarding them as well? Thx!

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