A Drifting Life

A Drifting Life

Graphic Novel - 2009 | 1st ed.
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"Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections The Push Man and Other Stories, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and Good-Bye--originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever--the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today's graphic novel movement. A Drifting Life is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II. Spanning fifteen years from August of 1945 to June of 1960, Tatsumi's stand-in protagonist, Hiroshi, faces his father's financial burdens and his parents' failing marriage, his jealous brother's deteriorating health, and the innumerable pitfalls that await him in the competitive manga market of mid-twentieth-century Japan. He dreams of following in the considerable footsteps of his idol, manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Apollo's Song, Ode to Kirihito, Buddha)--with whom Tatsumi eventually became peers and, at times, stylistic rivals" -- from publisher's web site.
Publisher: Montréal, Quebec : Drawn & Quarterly Publications ; New York : Distributed by in the USA by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781897299746
1897299745
Branch Call Number: BIO TATSUMI TATSUMI
Characteristics: 855 p. : chiefly ill. ; 23 cm.

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mclarjh
May 31, 2016

A real tour-de-force.

c
carknerd
May 12, 2011

Gorgeous.. one of the best comic autobiographies I have ever read!

quagga Sep 01, 2010

Japanese manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi covers about 15 years of his life story, starting in 1945 when he was 10 years old. Tatsumi chose to alter some names in the book, most notably his own. He calls himself Hiroshi Katsumi.

Tatsumi’s depictions of custom and dress are delightful. For example, Hiroshi bows in apology to someone to whom he is speaking over the telephone. In another panel, a publisher sitting across a table from Hiroshi bows towards him in thanks while still in a partly seated position. Traditional wooden clogs were apparently still very commonly worn in the 1950s.

I also learned that censorship opposition to comics was not restricted to North America. In 1960, an organization of Japanese bookshop owners, in cooperation with police, attempted to eradicate “immoral books.” Their definition of immoral included "any book with pages, two thirds or more of which is without text."

Even if, like me, you don’t have a special interest in the history of manga, there is much to enjoy. The depth in this autobiography comes from the portrayal of the artist’s passion for his work and his efforts to overcome selfdoubt.

carknerdy Feb 18, 2010

An excellent read!! I recommend this to anyone interested in graphic novels, Japanese culture, or the business of making comics. It basically retraces the author's late childhood and early adulthood writing comics for money, what a cutthroat and unglamorous business it was at the time, and his struggle with a group of other artists to develop a sort of cinematic form of comic books aimed at adults.

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Anarchy_Bunny
Sep 02, 2009

Anarchy_Bunny thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 16 and 99

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Renzer
Jul 01, 2012

Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections The Push Man and Other Stories, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, and Good-Bye—originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever—the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today’s graphic novel movement. A Drifting Life is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.

Spanning fifteen years from August of 1945 to June of 1960, Tatsumi’s stand-in protagonist, Hiroshi, faces his father’s financial burdens and his parents’ failing marriage, his jealous brother’s deteriorating health, and the innumerable pitfalls that await him in the competitive manga market of mid-twentieth-century Japan. He dreams of following in the considerable footsteps of his idol, manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Apollo’s Song, Ode to Kirihito, Buddha)—with whom Tatsumi eventually became peers and, at times, stylistic rivals.

Praise for Yoshihiro Tatsumi:
“In the hands of a talent like Tatsumi…hidden worlds are excavated and dark corners of the human condition illuminated.”—Bookforum

“His nakedly personal work, created when the medium was predominantly impersonal, made Tatsumi unique in Japan and around the world.”—Print

Source: Drawn & Quarterly

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