Author Archives: Ryan Holmberg

Conversations: Contemporary Manga Elegy (Seirindō, October 1970), cover art by Sasaki Maki.

Singing Our Own Song: Hayashi Seiichi vs. Sasaki Maki, 1969

Conversations in manga. Continue reading

 
Hayashi Seiichi and Sasaki Maki, photographs from A Vogue for I Don't Get It, Weekly Asahi (August 22, 1969).

A Vogue for I Don’t Get It: Hayashi Seiichi vs. Sasaki Maki, 1967-69

In the late 1960s “Hayashi and Sasaki” became a set conjunction, and remained so in much retrospective writing. Amongst the standby names used to group their work were “avant-garde manga” (zen’ei manga), “difficult-to-understand manga” (nankai manga), and “anti-manga” (anchi manga). Continue reading

 
Tezuka Osamu and Sakai Shichima, New Treasure Island (January 1947).

Gottfredson’s Illegitimate Heirs: Tezuka Osamu and the Great Wall of 1945

Debating Tezuka’s American influences. Continue reading

 
Garo no. 102 (February 1972), cover by Sasaki Maki.

Back to the Avant-Garde: Sasaki Maki’s Nonsense

Sasaki Maki was the first Garo artist I tried to write about seriously, with the interests of the art world and art history in mind. Continue reading

 
Mizuki Shigeru, Kitarō Night Tales, vol. 1 (Sanyōsha, September 1960), showing Trunk Nagai with the sprout of the bloodsucker tree.

Blood Plants: Mizuki Shigeru, Kitaro, and the Japanese Blood Industry

Blood banks and comics? The topic’s not as arbitrary as you might think. It’s quite a natural pairing, actually, both in Japan and in the United States, though for utterly different reasons. Continue reading

 
Dharavi-biennale

Dharavi Comics Epidemic: An Interview with Chaitanya Modak

The Society for Nutrition, Education, and Health Action, based primarily in Dharavi, Mumbai, has recently initiated interesting community art and comics projects. Continue reading

 
Tatsumi Yoshihiro, photograph from Garo, special issue on the artist (March 1971).

Tatsumi Yoshihiro, 1935-2015

Tatsumi Yoshihiro, one of comics history’s greats, passed away on March 7, 2015. He was seventy-nine years old. He died of malignant lymphoma. Tatsumi is famous as the artist who helped fashion a new style of manga known as “gekiga” … Continue reading

 
Manga Shōnen (November 1952), cover by Ōtsuki Sadao and Nagata Toshio showing Tezuka Osamu doll in diorama.

The Fukui Ei’ichi Incident and the Prehistory of Komaga-Gekiga

Though generous to his fans, and generally warm with his peers, Tezuka Osamu (1928-89) was not above letting professional jealousy get the best of him. The first time this trait reared its head in public was in 1953, when, in … Continue reading