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RIP Yoshihiro Tatsumi

nahadef

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Japan has had many comic masters (Osamu Tezuka, Shigeru Mizuki, Taiyo Matsumoto, and so on), but none have had quite the weight of Yoshihiro Tatsumi. That isn't to say he has had the influence. Who is going to out-influence Tezuka? But Tatsumi is like the Velvet Underground of manga: everyone who read his work wanted to express themselves after reading it.

There are numerous great collections of his 60s work from Drawn and Quarterly, which is the best expression of the complexity and alienation of modern life I've ever read, but I have to recommend A Drifting Life, the massive 800 page autobiography that shows how in the post war era young Tatsumi worked his *** off to reinvent manga into a less marketable version of what Tezuka had become a success in. It's a great picture of post-war Japan, highly personal, and highly motivating.

Japan is probably the only country where comic artists are household names, and it's so sad that Tatsumi isn't one. If you want to peel through some layers of Japan, this is an artist to dive into.
 

Vincent3

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Nahahef, thank you for the recommendation. Other than having seen several of Miyazaki's movies, I haven't gotten into anime. I'll be sure to check out Tatsumi's work.
 
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