What Was Alternative Manga?
Corona Cartoons, Japan
Ryan Holmberg takes a look at manga and manga-adjacent media dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, from manga- and anime-based memes and single-page comics-format parodies, to charming cartoon diaries, admonitory medical manga, classical political cartoons, and revivals of older pandemic-themed comics.
The Weight of Postwar Life: Tsuge Tadao vs. Takano Shinzo, 1969
A never-before-translated vintage interview with the legendary mangaka Tsuge Tadao (Trash Market, Slum Wolf) conducted by a Garo editor
Eye Buds: Yokoyama Yuichi and Audiovisual Abstraction in Comics, Part 2
Is Yokoyama plugged into portability as well? Clearly he is into mobile eyes and mobile ears. How about mobile devices and mobile books, and the techniques of miniaturization, content formatting, and sensorial coordination that they require? What follows is a meandering stab at an answer.
Eye Drum: Yokoyama Yuichi and Audiovisual Abstraction in Comics
Looking at how Yokoyama plays with the fact that visual experience in comics is often deeply tied to the ear and, through the ear, the human voice.
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.
Pro-Nuclear Manga: The Seventies and Eighties
Black and white, pens-for-hire nuclear propaganda manga.
Singing Our Own Song: Hayashi Seiichi vs. Sasaki Maki, 1969
Conversations in manga.
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).
Gottfredson’s Illegitimate Heirs: Tezuka Osamu and the Great Wall of 1945
Debating Tezuka’s American influences.
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.
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.
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.
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 a series about comics-making and comics aesthetics for Manga Shōnen, the new prince of manga… Read more »
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 born, some people used ‘komaga’ instead. In my opinion, it would be more appropriate to… Read more »
Manga vs. Art History: Hayashi Seiichi at SISJAC
Modern art, comics, and some words with Seiichi Hayashi.
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 back on me and got into bed. The book I was reading was so sad… Read more »
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.
Matsumoto Katsuji and the American Roots of Kawaii
A look at shojo manga pioneer Matsumoto Katsuji (1904-86).
Shinohara Ushio’s Action Cartooning
A lost body of work we might simply call “action cartooning,” a name that captures the two art historical currents that underwrite Ushio Shinohara’s figurative work,
Seduction of the Innocent, Hiroshima 1950
An interesting research detour.
Bengal’s Drighangchoo: An Interview with Deeptanil Ray
I had been under the impression that Comix India, inaugurated in 2010, was the first amateur comics magazine in India. It might have been the first with significant heft and geographical reach. Chronologically, however, there is at least one precedent.
Poor Little Rich Boys: The Art of the Mumbai Circulating Library
Upon publishing the interview with Leaping Windows Comics Café, I was informed by an elder Indian that rental bookstores – locally called “circulating libraries” – are not uncommon in Mumbai. There used to be more, I was told, but there are still some out in the suburbs, though they deal mainly in books in Hindi… Read more »
Inverted Calm: An Interview with Vishwajyoti Ghosh
Vishwajyoti Ghosh is the real deal: an original and talented cartoonist with serious social commitments, and a smooth organizer of human resources as an editor and activist.
The Name Garo: Shirato Sanpei and the Indo-Manga Connection
Uncovering the meaning of the name Garo