The epic autobiography of a manga master Acclaimed for his visionary short-story collections "The Push Man and Other Stories," "Abandon the Old in Tokyo," and "Good-Bye" originally created nearly forty years ago, but just as resonant now as ever the legendary Japanese cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi has come to be recognized in North America as a precursor of today's graphic novel movement. "A Drifting Life" is his monumental memoir eleven years in the making, beginning with his experiences as a child in Osaka, growing up as part of a country burdened by the shadows of World War II.Spanning fifteen years from August 1945 to June 1960, Tatsumi's stand-in protagonist, Hiroshi, faces his father's financial burdens and his parents' failing marriage, his jealous brother's deteriorating health, and the innumerable pitfalls that await him in the competitive manga market of mid-twentieth-century Japan.
He dreams of following in the considerable footsteps of his idol, the manga artist Osamu Tezuka ("Astro Boy," "Apollo's Song," "Ode to Kirihito," "Buddha") with whom Tatsumi eventually became a peer and, at times, a stylistic rival.
As with his short-story collection, "A Drifting Life" is designed by Adrian Tomine."
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 840 pages, black and white illustrations throughout
- Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
- Publication Date: 28/04/2009
- Category: Comics and Graphic Novels
- ISBN: 9781897299746
Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.
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Review by lt999
This book was just okay for me. It was interesting to read about what was happening in Japan right after WWII. Besides that, what author described of making a new 'genre' of manga seemed a little dramatic and exaggerated. It even sounded trivial what he was trying to accomplish.
Review by laurent
My first contact with Gekiga... I immensely enjoyed this book, because of the pace & the atmosphere. I am now reading the Push Man; it's *a lot* darker (still just as enjoyable). I'm glad I started with "A Drifting Life".
Review by jasonli
"A Drifting Life" is an autobiographical and graphic account of the rise of one of Japan's renowned manga writer-illustrators, Yoshihiro Tatsumi. He writes frankly of his early years as a struggling artist in high school and his later years as he gains fame within the scene. It's a chronological account that gives an insider's look on how Tatsumi and the manga movement evolved in tandem.While I found his account frank, I did not find it very dramatic. I get the impression Tatsumi created a humble documentation of the events, instead of a serious drama of his struggles. Which isn't to say there aren't struggles and strife in his story, but they are bound into tiny chapters with insufficient buildup and characterization.
Review by sylliu
Not often do I read an 800+ page book in a few days, but this fascinating autobiography of one of Japan's leading manga author/artists riveted me. Tatsumi tells the story of his early adolescence and career as a comic artist in post-war Japan, chronicling the rise and evolution of manga from short, gag-filled comics, to the longer, more psychologically interesting stories he helped develop. A Drifting Life is a sprawling work that covers a lot - key political and cultural moments in post-war Japan until the 1960s; the artist's early struggles and successes; his rivalries and experiences with collaborators - and all of it is told in a clearly drawn and accessible style. ing manga author/artists riveted me. Tatsumi tells the story of his early adolescence and career as a comic artist in post-war Japan, chronicling the rise and evolution of manga from short, gag-filled comics, to the longer, more psychologically interesting stories he helped develop. A Drifting Life is a sprawling work that covers a lot - key political and cultural moments in post-war Japan until the 1960s; the artist's early struggles and successes; his rivalries and experiences with collaborators - and all of it is told in a clearly drawn and accessible style.
Review by bluepigeon
Well, this memoir has it all: world history through the Japanese lens, the pop culture references of the time in Japan, the birth and soaring success of manga, manga publishing wars, struggle of artists to create and produce, to make money and to invent... Tatsumi tells his personal story, which includes his rivalry with his sick, older brother, the money troubles his father always seems to have, his emerging interest in women as he grows older, his friendship with many other manga artists (most of whom are big names now!), in the context of a recovering Japan, the emergence of TV and film. Those who are not interested in the details of manga history and publishing might find some parts tedious. But for the rest, a captivating, interesting read from cover to cover.
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