A Drifting Life
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
Rather, this is an artist's odyssey from a young kid obsessed with reading manga to a visionary artist and author striving to push the boundaries of his art form. It's a bit slow, some times even tedious or repetitive, but I honestly loved every second of it.
I was particularly drawn to Hiroshi's strugg ...more
i'll give it another 100 pages in a few days but he better amp it up a bit.
Some Wks Later:
I give up. This graphic novel is boring me to DEATH. I hate to be harsh but...I mean, he never delves into his personal life. It's just about his focus on his art. ...more
A Drifting Life follows the artist through all the different phases of his work as mangaka, as he tries to refine his art and create a 'manga that isn't manga.'
At the same time, though, the book gives a vivid and animated depiction of Japan's social, political and cultural changes from 1945 until 1960. We see the ...more
Covers 1945-1995 or so. There are some interesting sections every chapter or so where they highlight popular cultural artifacts/events of the time. Highlights artistic struggles, invention and innovation of form, publishing games, infighting between creators....
I've read a fair number of graphic novel memoirs, which by definition are generally about graphic novel creators, but this may have been my first manga of ...more
Largely tracing his life from post-WWII middle school manga enthusiast to 25 year old struggling author, this roman-a-clef reads like a pointless and endless annotated bibliography of post-war Japanese cultural output with little window on the artist's thoughts, experiences, or actual maturation process. Primarily, we learn that Tatsu ...more
But again, might be best to make up y ...more
Ach, will the hero publish with this manga house or that one? Well, a couple chapters of these kinds of dilemmas go a long way, but Tatsumi spends more than the necessary time in his 800ish pages putting his thinly veiled autobiographical stand-in through t ...more
“In high school, working on manga was fun, but now that it was a way to make a living, it felt different somehow.”
For a massive comic, it turns out to be such an influential read coming from a legendary Japanese manga artist. So not only do we experience the ups and downs of a struggling artist, but the culture and history of Japan throughout. It’s that fascinating especially for artists like me to get into.
This epic graphic novel follows the life of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, from a young manga fan to a writer to, apparently, a manga master.
I don't know much about manga, so don't take my ignorance here as a slam on ol' Yoshi.
The best parts were the stories from his personal life, and the small details about living in post WWII Japan were interesting. For example, it was years after the war before Japanese citizens were allowed t ...more
Since I am a publisher, I am always obsessed by publishing trends in the past. And this book is heaven sent to me, because I am very much interested in Japanese pop culture of the post-war yea ...more
Even if one is not so familiar with the movement, we can relate to the universal theme of the creative industry; how creative workers struggle and thrive ...more
In any case a very enjoyable read.
Despite my loathing of memoirs, every once in a while one comes along I can't not read. And while Yoshihiro Tatsumi's monstrous A Drifting Life is not, in the strictest sense, a memoir, by all accounts this “autobiographical fiction” is truer to Tatsumi's early years in the comics industry than are most memoirs. At over 850 pages, it's also Tatsumi's most ambitious work. Despite the usual scope of Tatsumi's material, it's also in many ...more
As well as the differentiation between adults and children's books, gekiga artists were instrumental in taking manga from its beginning as 4-panel gag comics towards the form we see it in today - lot ...more
For a budding mangaka who found it difficult to write beyond 20 pages, this book is a whopping 800 pager mammoth! The story flows in a form of a series of vignettes - thematically shifting from discovering a passion for manga to petty sibling jealousy, from young ambition & (sometimes) thwarted dream ...more
His work has been translated into many languages, and Canadian publisher Drawn and Quarterly have embarked on a project to publish an annual compendium of his wo ...more