Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yoshihiro Tatsumi's The Push Man, signed with drawing (Drawn and Quarterly, 2005)

I was really sad to learn of Yoshihiro Tatsumi's death earlier this month. I was scrolling through instagram and saw that there was a new Tatsumi window display at the Drawn and Quarterly bookstore in Canada... it took me a second to realize that the display was to commemorate his life and not a new book.

Tatsumi was one of the founders of the 'gekiga' manga movement, which opened that medium up to darker, more mature stories. Discovering these, in turn, opened my eyes to a world of manga and comics that I hadn't known about before. Tatsumi made comics the way 'serious' writers wrote short stories; these were comics as literature in a way that even some of the most progressive cartoonists of today haven't been able to meet. In a strange way, I'd put Tatsumi's short works on par with some of the best 70s-era short America fiction; he cut through to the gnarled core of domestic life with as much finesse as Raymond Carver or the Rabbit Angstrom novels.

The stories in The Push Man were first published in 1969 and were translated and compiled by Adrian Tomine for Drawn and Quarterly in 2005. This copy is a second edition, but it's signed by Tatsumi with a drawing on the flyleaf. I wish I could say Tatsumi signed this for me in person, but I recently picked this up from a seller online. It's also signed by Tomine before the introduction.

Currently reading:
The Paris Review 212

Currently listening to:
Bing & Ruth, "Tomorrow Was the Golden Age"

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