GOOD-BYE reviewed by Patriot News

Graphic Lit

Patriot-News    |    Chris Mautner     |    October 10, 2008

Glancing at the manga shelves in the local book store, it's easy to assume that this art form caters exclusively to teens and kiddies.

That would be a mistaken assumption. While the popular stuff does set its sights on the under-18 crowd, there are plenty of high-quality manga available in English that adults can pick up and read with impunity.

"Good-Bye" by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn & Quarterly, 212 pages, $19.95.

This is the third and final volume of Tatsumi's short stories that D&Q is collecting (though they plan to publish his autobiography at a later date). As with the previous books, these are largely bleak, dour tales of people on the fringes of society. The obsessed, poor, and utterly depressed make up Tatsumi's world.

"Good-Bye" might well be the best of the three volumes, mainly because in many of the stories Tatsumi connects his characters' sufferings to larger social and political events, namely the American occupation of Japan and deep poverty the country dealt with after World War II.

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