The collection of Yuichi Yokoyama’s early comics “New Engineering” contains the first four ‘Engineering’ comics. They comprise of Engineering, New Engineering, Engineering 3, and Engineering 4. Each describe the construction of a landscape by unmanned seemingly autonomous machines that is later occupied by Yokoyama’s usual gang of stylised observers.
The first in the series-‘Engineering’-starts with a uniform field of rocks that are crushed by large rollers, irrigated, and rolled over with astroturf. A large rectangular monolith is dropped from the sky onto the astroturf field, exploding into many boulders. A large wheel then rolls through the field and carves out a trench, it rains and a river forms in the trench. Five men show up wearing slacks and shirts and wearing a variety of absurd masks. They make blunt observations of the environment:
“What a beautiful view”.
“The astroturf is soft”.
The men select one of the boulders and a rectangular opening is made in it, the opening is lined with lift components and the men enter it. The end.
(Note that all the pages that follow are read from right to left, top to bottom, manga style. The captions contain translations of the sound effects form the Japanese, with the numbers referring to the panel number.)
All four Engineering stories follow a similar line of study; the construction of a landscape by machine, and then finished off by humans. The compartmentalised landscape, zones of activity.
In Engineering 3, a mountain is made by the dropping boulders from a plane, trees are placed around, astroturf laid with stylised gardens painted in the gaps:
The whole enterprise like a conical re-enactment of OMA’s Parc de la Villette project.