There is something to be said about Keiichi Arawi’s sense of humor and style when you know you are in for a good time purely based upon knowing about his prior work. Knowing that, and the fact that all of Helvetica Standard Bold and Helvetica Standard Italic is in color really makes this a must have, if you are a fan of his work and of the Nichijou series.
Helvetica Standard Bold and Helvetica Standard Italic are essentially a collection of shorts of his work from the Nichijou universe. They are either simple 4 panel jokes for quick snapshots into (up until now) unpublished moments from the series. And since all the characters within this are ridiculous to begin with, you are in for a journey. It essentially is an depth look into Nichijou and how it was made. The books themselves are comprised of 4 different segments with each book providing different content. This ensures that you aren’t just getting an extended art book by getting both.
The first title (Bold) is segmented into an art book, part comic book (it has a collection of one off 4 panel jokes from Nichijou), part journal with details from Keiichi Arawi, and finally a design book. The jokes themselves are funny and a nice touch to give us a bit more Nichijou.
The second book (Italic) is much of the same. Providing us with just as much insight and jokes as it’s predecessor. This version however, I feel provides more insight into the writing and illustration than the first title. If there is anything to be said about these two titles, it is surely that they give you an interesting view into the mind of Keiichi Arawi. Which, if you’re a fan, is fun to learn about.
These books shouldn’t be considered standalone by any stretch of the imagination. They are both for the Nichijou super fan that feel as if they really have not gotten enough out of the artist or the series since its conclusion. It is also an interesting book for those who are looking for some insight into what it takes to make a manga like this.
Author: Keiichi Arawi
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Disclaimer: A copy of Helvetica Standard Bold and Helvetica Standard Italic was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review