Author Archives: Ryan Holmberg

Nakashima Kiyoshi, Furusato of the Wind (2013), watercolor.

Nuclear Literati: Nakashima Kiyoshi’s Furusato Goes to Hell

The complicated role of Nakashima Kiyoshi at the intersection of art and power in Japan’s Nuclear culture. Continue reading

Advertising Critique, no. 95 (June 1987), cover design by Yokoo Tadanori, cover painting by Yokoo Mimi.

Pro-Nuclear Manga: The Seventies and Eighties

Black and white, pens-for-hire nuclear propaganda manga. Continue reading

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 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