A DRIFTING LIFE reviewed by Booklist

Booklist Review - A Drifting Life

Booklist     |    Gordon Flagg    |    May 1, 2009

Veteran manga creator Tatsumi has won belated America acclaim with recent collections of his stories of Japan's outcasts and losers in translation. This much longer book traces his personal and artistic journey from the end of World War II, when, at 10, he discovered manga. It includes his inspirational meeting with his idol, Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka his first professional publication while still in high school; his rapid ascent through the insular world of manga artists; and the frustration with the medium's commercial strictures that spurred his development of the realistic style he dubbed gekiga. En route, he faced standard coming-of-age issues, from familial conflicts to romantic confusion, but here his artistic struggles remain in the forefront. Tatsumi's relatively dispassioante autobiography makes far more placid reading than does his harrowing, intense fiction, and his visual approach, always straightforward and naturalistic, is even simpler in it. His earnest account of living in thrall to art speaks universally, even if its greatest appeal is to manga devotees.

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