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Adrift: Remembering Yoshihiro Tatsumi

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“It’s obligatory to eulogize the recently departed by saying that they were gracious and humble, but with Tatsumi it was true. He was modest above all and insisted, even having received so many accolades, that he was just a regular person.”

Chris Oliveros’s memories of Yoshihiro Tatsumi were posted in The Paris Review last week. He shares his experiences meeting the legendary-yet-humble cartoonist, and how extremely honoured Drawn & Quarterly is to have published his works. An excerpt below: 

“I met Tatsumi a second, and last, time in Tokyo in November 2012. I was waiting at a restaurant when he arrived with a box that seemed a little too large and unwieldy for a seventy-seven-year-old man to lug through the city. He opened the box and pulled out approximately two hundred pages of original artwork, all early pencil drafts for a second volume of his memoir, A Drifting Life. I had heard inklings that he was at work on a follow-up, but this was the first I’d seen of it. What struck me about our meeting was that he was very enthused about this new work, and he watched closely as I perused each page, hoping that I liked what I saw. Over the course of the next two years, I checked in with Tatsumi regularly, each time politely asking when this final volume of the memoir would be completed. He granted us the rights to publish a twenty-page excerpt in Drawn & Quarterly’s twenty-fifth-anniversary book, but sadly it is still unclear if he was able to finish the book or if there are completed chapters beyond this excerpt.

It’s obligatory to eulogize the recently departed by saying that they were gracious and humble, but with Tatsumi it was true. He was modest above all and insisted, even having received so many accolades, that he was just a regular person.

It’s been ten years since we first published Tatsumi’s work, and it’s been an honor to have represented him for this period. And we are especially grateful to Adrian Tomine, without whose ongoing efforts Tatsumi’s gekiga may have never been translated and published in North America.”

The entire essay can be read here

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