COLUMNS

What Was Alternative Manga?What Was Alternative Manga?

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

 
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

 
Matsumoto Masahiko, Space Express (Central bunko, 1958), revised version of pre-debut work When Worlds Collide.

Proto-Gekiga: Matsumoto Masahiko’s Komaga

One could say that Matsumoto Masahiko was the true innovator of gekiga and today’s manga. Sakurai Shōichi (cartoonist, publisher, brother of Tatsumi Yoshihiro), 1971-72 As an aside, let me point out that, around the time that the term ‘gekiga’ was … Continue reading

 
Garo no. 72 (February 1970), special issue on Hayashi Seiichi.

Manga vs. Art History: Hayashi Seiichi at SISJAC

Modern art, comics, and some words with Seiichi Hayashi. Continue reading

 
Koga Masao, “Longing for Your Shadow,” lyric and music sheet (Victor Records, January 1931); Mori Shin'ichi, Longing for Your Shadow, 12” LP (Victor Records, May 1968), cover art by Iwata Sentarō.

Enka Gekiga: Hayashi Seiichi’s Pop Music Manga

If his autobiographical reminisces are true, then Hayashi Seiichi’s literary life began with falling tears. As he recalled the early 50s in “Azami Light” (“Keikō,” 1972): “‘Look at you sniveling like a little girl,’ said my mother. She turned her … Continue reading

 
Douglas Fairbanks, Robin Hood (1922).

The Mysterious Clover: Matsumoto Katsuji, Douglas Fairbanks, and the Reformed Modern Girl

Last time, I argued that one of the first commodity icons of Japanese kawaii was probably based on a mix of Grace Drayton’s New Kids dolls and American jazz age cartooning. This time I want to focus on a sixteen-page comic published as a premium insert furoku for “a girl’s best friend,” the magazine Shōjo no tomo, in April 1934. Continue reading