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Law of Diminishing Returns


English /日本語

Dear God,

It’s me, Ian.

The year was 1996. I had been running a small publishing venture called Migraine for a number of years, putting out mini-comics, zines, books, and the occasional record — all in the D.I.Y. spirit.

The press released three projects of my projects that I still really like, this being the Japanese translation of one of them. The comic is a somewhat confusing semi-autobio comic about my life and own bewilderment at having moved to Portland, Oregon — told through the eyes of a blobular fellow named “Our Hero”.

Another project I put out at that time were the first two issues of an encyclopedia zine called My Alphabet, written by Patrick Mullins. They are my favorite Migraine releases and available in pdf format here and here.

Shortly after that time, I visited Japan for the first time, playing music with the noise act Jalopaz. It was a really intense visit, and I wanted to pay back the friends I had made here by giving them something. Joshua Hansell translated the comic for me, and I printed a limited edition of 250 spiral-bound versions of this comic, boxed them up, and sent them to Tokyo for friends. That was the last of this comic. Until now.

In retrospect, it’s shittily scripted and drawn, but it definitely captured a certain moment. And thus, I share it with you:

Law of Diminishing Returns

Note: LODR was originally laid out with 4 panels per page, but that wouldn’t work so well as a gallery in here. Also note that the gallery contains 126 panels, so proceed if you have some time on your hands…





その頃出版したもう一つのプロジェクトは、Patrick Mullins 作の百科事典を基にした雑誌、My Alphabet の最初の2号でした。これらは僕のもっとも好きなMigraineリリース作品であって、こことここでPDFフォーマットで提供中です。

それから少し時が経ち、僕はノイズアクトJalopazとともに披露するため、日本を始めて訪れました。それはとても強烈な体験であって、出会ったすばらしい仲間達に何かをあげることで、せめてもの恩返しになればと僕は思っていました。Joshua Hansellに訳してもらったそのコミックを、僕はらせん綴じにして250冊印刷し、箱にいれて東京の友達へと送り出しました。それがそのコミックの最後でした。そう、今日まではね。


Law of Diminishing Returns



March 6, 2008

Ian Lynam is a graphic designer living in Tokyo and the art director of Neojaponisme. His website is located at His new book, Parallel Strokes, on the intersection of graffiti and typography is available now.

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