Wild Mook: Japanese '80s fanzine devoted to American cops

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(click for larger image). Sweet baby Jesus and biscuits, I can't hardly believe my eyes. Above, the truly awesome cover of a 1980 issue of Wild Mook, one of many fanzines produced in the early 1980s by the late Haruo Mizuno. "Mook" refers to a type of publication that's kind of halfway between a magazine and a book. Matt Alt (who I reached out to for comment in this BB post today) says

[Mizuno was] so obsessed with American cops that he actually managed to talk the NYPD and LAPD into letting him ride along with officers. This amazing book is but one of dozens he authored on the topic. None sum up the Japanese fascination with the American power aesthetic as much as this fetish-like pastiche of uniform, hamburgers, weapons, and mountains of french fries, though.
More on Matt's blog. Man, if anyone out there has a copy of Wild Mook, please scan it and share online. I want a hard copy so bad!

Such art direction, too! I mean, just look at the pile of fast food surrounding the cop (or model) on the cover, above. I count six Big Macs, a couple Filet-o-Fishes, 5 metric craploads of fries, and at least one jumbo gordito taco supremo with guacamole.

He is RESTING HIS BILLY CLUB ON THE FRIES. The billy club may actually be PROTECTING THE FRIES. And there's that steely gaze in his eyes... as if to say, "You touch my hamburger, punk, and it'll be your last."

Below, scanned covers from two other issues.

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  1. Anyone else notice 3 different company’s fast food in that pic? Who lets you sit down to eat at a mcdonalds when you’re carrying a carl’s jr cup and a can of a&w root beer?

    Also, what self respecting cop puts his nightstick down in his mound of fries? That’s just unsanitary! That’s a sure way to get crackhead blood in your fries!

    1. 3 things:

      1.) If you order that many fries at a McD’s they’ll usually let you bring in whatever you want

      2.) Cops do whatver the hell they want anyways

      3.) Senario: youre a McDonalds worker, mid 80’s making nearly nothing. Cop comes in lays down about 15 lbs of fast food from other places, but still orders something from you. Then places his nightstick on the bucket of fries he ordered. Are you gonna tell him to leave?

  2. wow, i looked around some more. copies of different issues are on google shopping ranging from $44 to $100.

  3. I saw that! I’ve asked our own Lisa K. if she wouldn’t mind stopping by a store in Japan on her next trip. I’m totally nuts for this now.

  4. I can’t quite figure out who the audience for this is intended to be. It doesn’t seem like it’s supposed to be for police. Of course, there’s nothing more different than a Tokyo police officer and an officer on “Cops.” Novelty wins again.

  5. Is there nothing teh Nipponese will not fetishize in print?!?

    Yeah, ’cause cops have NEVER been idolized, fetishized or even admired in American media. Hasn’t happened even once! No sirree, Bob!

  6. In 1990 I remember seeing guys decked out in full CHIPS regalia – bikes, uniforms, helmets, at a beach on the sea of Japan. They were on their own, not part of a parade or a show or anything. At first I thought they were cops but it finally clicked that they were dressing up.

  7. Wow, anyone else remember those old McDonald’s wax paper cups? Funny how an image like that can bring back all sorts of memories.

  8. Is it just me, or does the front seat of the “69” police car appear to be reclining quite a bit? As if those bench seats weren’t already spacious enough.

  9. Weird but true: I’ve been sitting at home today feeling blah not wanting to go outside, but this cover is motivating me to shower up and head to the McDonalds next to the police station for some cop watchin’. Thanks Xeni!

  10. The level of detail in these mooks is just superb.

    If you’re a modelmaker or similar hobbyist of any sort, looking for quirky details to make your work more authentic, you can be absolutely guaranteed that the acme of reference sources is an oddball Japanese publication.

  11. Even these days magazines dedicated to Air Soft guns (like ARMS) keep celebrating and idolatrizing the American COPs (but the covers are way less interesting than this old Mook!).

    Small note on the post title: a MOOK is not a fanzine but a professional published magazine+book hybrid.

  12. I’ve had internet access since 1994, and this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet.

  13. yeah I’ve seen the Japanese “american police enthusiasts” who collect uniforms, the gear, even fully decked out police crown victorias and various other vehicles, lights, battery rams and all

  14. If you like this Mook you’ll love the others. A trip to any well stocked book store in Tokyo should give you material beyond your wildest dreams. Want reference Mooks covering cigarette wrappers used by different WWII armies? There’s a Mook for it! Want to see 1200 retractable visor designs for motorcycle helmets? There’s a Mook for it! Want to see a comprehensive list of sock emblems used by Japanese high school girls? There’s a Mook for it!

  15. [H]e actually managed to talk the NYPD and LAPD into letting him ride along with officers.

    Why the incredulous tone here? “Ride-alongs” with officers are not uncommon or exclusive. It is a fairly standard form of educational outreach in most police departments, an opportunity that is open to pretty much anyone who is interested enough to ask.

  16. “I know what you’re thinking… did I eat 6 burgers or only 5; to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself…
    But this is no ordinary Billy Club, this one is a French riot police Baton, and it can leave a mark you’ll remember forever.
    So when reaching for those fries, you’ve got to ask yourself one question “do I feel lucky?”…
    Well do you, punk?
    ” – Dirty Harry, I mean really dirty..

  17. I saw that *exact* issue (Mr. burgers&fries) in a showcase at Mandarake in Nakano Broadway a couple of weeks ago.

  18. “Who lets you sit down to eat at a mcdonalds when you’re carrying a carl’s jr cup and a can of a&w root beer?”

    Obviously, a clear-cut case of ‘abuse of authority’.

  19. When I saw the Carl’s Jr. cup, I first thought it said “Carb”. Huh, you don’t say?
    Also love the yellow battle-ready Ford Fairmont (two headlights, must be a 1978 to 1981 production run; had a 1981 myself). Who’d have thought that such a mundane car (in the eyes of some) could look so, shall I say it, cool, in all its policiness?

  20. Xeni – I came across this image a few months back…instantly became one of my favorite internet treasures. Thanks for posting the background info!

  21. When I saw the image, I flashed on a picture of a sumo wrestler downing a meal that would feed a family of six. I’m thinking that sort of supersize fetish plays into this as well.

  22. “In 1990 I remember seeing guys decked out in full CHIPS regalia – bikes, uniforms, helmets, at a beach on the sea of Japan. They were on their own, not part of a parade or a show or anything. At first I thought they were cops but it finally clicked that they were dressing up.”

    Back in the mid-’80s, when Harley Davidson was restoring their brand the company ran a series of ads to counter the reputation of poor quality they had acquired while they were owned by AMF. My favorite one showed the group mentioned above, about 20 strong, standing behind their HD electraglide police bikes with the caption, “some people just can’t get behind a Japanese bike.”

  23. I actually count food from 4 or 5 sources here. McDonalds, Carl’s Jr., a can of A&W Root Beer, the taco (which wasn’t served at either McDonalds or Carl’s at the time), and an unidentified cup with some multi-colored squares printed on it that’s mostly cropped out of the picture. The unidentified cup may have come from the taco place.

    My guess is that either the picture was posed, or this was at a food court or some other place where several officers were all eating at one table (and pooling their fries, apparently).

    It’s pretty amazing how much landfill space was saved by one company (McDonalds) abandoning styrofoam packaging. I wonder how much of a hit their styrofoam vendor took with that move.

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