Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Just Read: The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

This was the first collection of Tatsumi's stories to be published in the US (aside from a smaller collection, nearly twenty years ago, of stories re-translated from Spanish and published by a Spanish publisher), and the first in the Drawn & Quarterly series. I came to it after reading Abandon the Old in Tokyo, the second D&Q book, last year.

This book covers Tatsumi's best stories from 1969, as Abandon did for 1970, and the stories are are generally shorter and a little less assured than those in Abandon were. This is still excellent, serious, adult work -- different from anything else I've seen from the manga world -- but it's clear Tatsumi was still finding his way at this point.

I think I'd recommend starting here rather than with Abandon, since this book would seem more impressive read first -- and then Abandon will be even better than that. If you read the kind of people published by D&Q, Fantagraphics, and that crowd -- preferably the folks who aren't completely obsessed with their own mixed-up lives -- you'll probably be amazed that Tatsumi was doing many of the same things (and doing them well) thirty-five years ago on the other side of the world.

And now I can hardly wait until September, when presumably D&Q will bring out the collection of stories from 1971...

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