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Review: "A Drifting Life," by Yoshihiro Tatsumi


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This amazing autobiographic graphic novel tops out at 834 pages and is almost two and a half inches thick. One might think that his would be a colossal bore, but it is not in the least. I learned so much about post World War II Japan while reading this book that it acted as a Japanese history book as well as the self-told story of one of the greatest artists in manga history. If you have no interest in Japanese anime, manga and gekiga, than this is not the book for you. Remember, these are reviews, not recommendations. Over ten years in the making this is about one of the most influential Japanese popular artists/storytellers of the last half century, set against the cultural, political and economic recovery of Japan. It is personal, uninhibited, self-exposing. It addresses the difficulties of being both an artist, being driven to create, as well as the necessity to sell your art. It is truly an amazing work that will be studied by graphic novelists for a long time to come. Mr. Tatsumi died in March of this year, 2015, at the age of 79. I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this and to come to a greater appreciation on maga artistry and the era after World War II.