All cartoonists love those Japanese matchbox labels– or they should!Are those cats or cat people? I don’t know, but they are clearly very serene, there on their balcony above the rooftops. Of course, who wouldn’t be, if we were part of such a well designed, well crafted piece of printing. Please make your day better by clicking on the image to see a larger version. The level of detail and the quality of the registration are first rate. If you want to learn how to use solid ink to create a variety of textures and a full range of tones, you can find a dozen good examples here, from dots to hatching to pen strokes that emulate the cut lines of a woodcut knife. (I refuse to believe that this actually is a two block woodcut, not with the fine linework and the impeccable registration, but I would dearly love to be proved wrong.) I’m nuts about the scroll at the top, too, and the decorations at the upper corners.
This basic composition would make a wonderful comics cover. I would be proud to swipe it, and I probably will. And, of course, if anyone would like to provide a translation, I would be glad to pass it along.