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Abandon the Old in Tokyo

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Overview

Abandon the Old in Tokyo continues to delve into the urban underbelly of 1960s Tokyo, exposing not only the seedy dealings of the Japanese everyman but Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s maturation as a storyteller. Many of the stories deal with the economic hardships of the time and the strained relationships between men and women, but do so by means of dark allegorical twists and turns. A young sewer cleaner’s girlfriend has a miscarriage and leaves him when he proves incapable of finding higher-paying work. When a factory ...

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Overview

Abandon the Old in Tokyo continues to delve into the urban underbelly of 1960s Tokyo, exposing not only the seedy dealings of the Japanese everyman but Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s maturation as a storyteller. Many of the stories deal with the economic hardships of the time and the strained relationships between men and women, but do so by means of dark allegorical twists and turns. A young sewer cleaner’s girlfriend has a miscarriage and leaves him when he proves incapable of finding higher-paying work. When a factory worker loses his hand on the job, the parallels between him and his pet monkey prove startling and significant.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The second volume of Drawn and Quarterly's ambitious reprinting of selected works by manga master Tatsumi picks up where the first left off. This outing once again showcases Tatsumi's pitch-perfect psychodramas, but this time with stories that are a bit more ambitious and sure-footed. Tatsumi more or less invented his own genre, making compelling manga out of everyday moments that otherwise pass unnoticed. His characters are anonymous faces we pass on the street, and he gives them an unsuspected inner life. In the opening story an artist for children's stories discovers a new, sinister vocation until he's found out. In another story a man is held captive by a woman who blames all men for her own psychological (and physical) scars. And in still another, an old man, once a proud business owner, returns to his derelict office day after day, despite the end of his company. Tatsumi lends all of these characters sympathetic voices through his minimal dialogue and deft line work. No one captures urban Japan quite like Tatsumi-even the streets feel nuanced. This collection of seminal work by a comics master is essential reading for anyone interested in the artistic development of the medium. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The artist's second volume of stories to be published in the US, originally published in Japan in 1970, shows that the graphic visionary was decades ahead of his time. As the anthology's title suggests, Tatsumi (The Push Man and Other Stories, 2005) set these stories in a period of profound transition, both for Tokyo and for comic art, with the old giving way to the new in the 1960s. The artist's response reflects a deep ambivalence, as progress threatens obsolescence for a protagonist who has long catered to the youth comics market and for his ailing mother, whom modern society treats as refuse. Like the "underground comix" of R. Crumb and Gilbert Shelton of the same era, Tatsumi's work opened the comics format to themes that were more mature, often sexual or scatological, and frequently darker than graphic narratives aimed at adolescents. The strength of the illustrations transcends differences in culture and language (the narrative is in English, with graphic signs translated), as Tatsumi depicts the common man-be he a graphic artist or a sewer worker-in the grip of modern forces that he finds complex and confusing. What little humor there is within these seven stories is deadpan, subtle and mostly visual, though there's an irresistible irony in the opening story, "Occupied," in which the protagonist, whose work no longer appeals to kids, finds inspiration in bathroom graffiti, only to get him labeled a pervert in the process. Such a spirit of artistic subversion and self-deprecation sets the tone for the anthology as a whole. Fans of the contemporary graphic narrative won't find this volume of Tatsumi's work dated in the slightest.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770460775
  • Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 950,421
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in 1935, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who has influenced generations of cartoonists, lives in Japan.

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Table of Contents

Occupied 11
Abandon the old in Tokyo 37
The washer 69
Beloved monkey 85
Unpaid 117
The hole 135
Forked road 157
Eel 183
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Customer Reviews

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