Hi there, today Ryan Holmberg brings us thoughts on the early history of artist interviews in manga, and the first translation of a complete 1969 Garo interview between great Sasaki Maki and Seiichi Hayashi.
The Goal and Purpose of Manga
Sasaki: I had previously published “A Familiar Topic” (“Yoku aru Hanashi,” Garo, November 1966) and “An Unknown Star” (“Mishiranu hoshi,” Garo, February 1967), but I feel with “A Dream in Heaven” (“Tengoku de miru yume,” Garo, November 1967) that I reemerged reborn. That’s why I think of “A Dream in Heaven” as my first work.
Hayashi: I’ve made a living in animation, when all of sudden I wanted to start making manga. Maybe it’s that I wanted to say whatever it was that I had wanted to say. I wasn’t really thinking of what the goal or purpose of manga was. I don’t think that’s changed even now.
Sasaki: When manga is used for satire, manga is being used as a means. Manga isn’t the goal. It’s the means by which to create a tangible effect. Thus, after a certain amount of time has passed, that purpose comes to an end. I respect that kind of manga. At the same time, I also respect manga that is part of the wider field of using images (eizō). Right now, I’ve ended up putting more emphasis on the latter.
Hayashi: In my case, if you ask me why I make manga, it’s simply because there was something I wanted to draw so I drew it. If you force me to explain it, I think I’d say that drawing manga is a kind of “violence.” Giving “birth” to something is violent, right? If you asked me why I gave birth to something, I’m not sure I could answer that.
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