What Was Alternative Manga?What Was Alternative Manga?

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


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


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


Manga vs. Art History: Hayashi Seiichi at SISJAC

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


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


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


Matsumoto Katsuji and the American Roots of Kawaii

A look at shojo manga pioneer Matsumoto Katsuji (1904-86). Continue reading