Yoshihiro Tatsumi

A Drifting Life [Drawn and Quarterly]

Books Reviews Yoshihiro Tatsumi
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Yoshihiro Tatsumi

The tenor of the first 100 pages of A Drifting Life, with its muted grays and blacks, is a notable departure for the 74-year-old Tatsumi. His best fiction has heretofore been deeply dystopian: A laborer chops off his arm to earn insurance money for a greedy wife, a sewer worker steals valuable jewelry off the corpse of a dead baby, a woman is savaged by a hungry rat. To Tatsumi, traditional comic art was unable to accurately depict the violent realities of post-war Japan, so he turned to the grotesque and the absurd, dubbing his new style gekiga—in Japanese, “dramatic pictures.”