BLACK BLIZZARD reviewed by the A.V. Club

Comics Panel

The AV Club    |    Zack Handlen, Jason Heller, Noel Murray, Leonard Pierce, And Tasha Robinson    |    April 9, 2010

In 1956, long before he became a manga legend, Yoshihiro Tatsumi was a struggling 21-year-old artist who pumped out graphic novels for Japan’s book-rental market. Too young and hungry to afford a studio full of assistants like the big boys, he single-handedly wrote and drew the 127-page Black Blizzard (Drawn And Quarterly) in a 20-day fever of creativity. That haste is partly what makes the book such a swift, propulsive read: The story of a hardened card shark and a pianist charged with murder but freed by the crash of a prisoner-transport train, Blizzard is a head-spinning blur of hardboiled suspense. The climactic scene—in which the two fugitives, handcuffed together and caught in a tightening dragnet, must play a game of chance to see who will saw the other’s hand off—is as nervy and taut as Mickey Spillane, even though Tatsumi’s art, still in its formative stage, feels necessarily loose and frantic… B

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