Synopses & Reviews
A collection of short stories from the grandfather of Japanese alternative comics.
Legendary cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi is the grandfather of alternative manga for the adult reader. Predating the advent of the literary graphic novel movement in the United States by thirty years, Tatsumi created a library of literary comics that draws parallels with modern prose fiction and today's alternative comics.
Designed and edited by one of today's most popular cartoonists, Adrian Tomine, The Push Man and Other Stories is the debut volume in a groundbreaking new series that collects Tatsumi's short stories about Japanese urban life. Tatsumi's stories are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous, commenting on the interplay between an overwhelming, bustling, crowded modern society and the troubled emotional and sexual life of the individual.
"Tatsumi's brief, disturbing stories, originally published in 1969, have a tone somewhere between contemporary short fiction and EC Comics' old 'shock' comics. Each hinges on some kind of prurient or sexually twisted situation: a man's bedridden lover turns out to be a physically mutated sex slave; an office worker puts on his girlfriend's makeup and clothes and has an affair with another woman; a man who disinfects telephones for a living calls a prostitute, but can't think of anything to do but pull out his disinfection kit. Produced over a short period of time, the stories are variations on a theme of social maladjustment. Tatsumi draws marvelously evocative settings, and his stories flow with dreamlike ambiguity, speeding toward the inevitable tragedies at their ends, but his characters appear practically identical. This reinforces both the repetitive nature of his themes and Tatsumi's view of the common man's continuing struggle in a merciless world of menial jobs, impotence and abortions. Tatsumi is known as the 'grandfather of Japanese alternative comics,' and this is the first in a proposed series of authorized English-language collections of his work. His work anticipates American alternative comics, making it clear why American cartoonist Adrian Tomine, who edited this collection, was attracted to the work. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"What a revelation this book is. I'd no idea that long before writers like Haruki Murakami and Kenzo Kitakata, the work of Yoshihiro Tatsumi had so expertly peeled away the lacquered layers of Japanese social and sexual surfaces to reveal the elemental heart beneath, and with such fearless depth of feeling. Decades ahead of its time and long overdue for U.S. publication." --Chip Kidd
This collection of short stories features the work of the grandfather of Japanese alternative comics. Illustrations.
Thirty years before the advent of the literary graphic novel movement in the United States, Yoshihiro Tatsumi created a library of comics that draw parallels to modern prose fiction and todays alternative comics. The stories collected in The Push Man are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous. A lone man travels the country, projecting pornographic films for private individuals while attempting to maintain a normal home life. The lives of two men become intertwined when one hires the other to observe his sexual escapades through a telescope. An auto mechanics obsession with a female TV personality turns fatal after a chance meeting between the two
About the Author
Born in Osaka, Japan, in 1935, Yoshihiro Tatsumi
began writing and drawing comics for a sophisticated adult readership in a realistic style he called Gekiga. He has influenced generations of Japanese cartoonists.