Review: Yoshihiro Tatsumi – “A Drifting Life

A Drifting LifeA Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stylistically, there is not much to be said: this is a work by a master. Both the drawing and the text dance and merge so well together, over time, that this, more-than-800-pages, leaps out at the reader and makes for an interesting read, no matter if you’re “into” comics, graphic novels or manga (and, indeed, gegika) or not.

Tatsumi writes of his life as a young manga lover. He reads, discovers, and at the same time experiences life, love and family troubles, mainly through his ill brother.

While this is a far cry from modern graphic novels, Tatsumi uses space – both in text and in drawings – to great advantage, which I always feel is one of the hallmarks of a master at her or his trade. His tale is one of marvel: at the manga world, at reading, at creating, at becoming forced to deal with the business side of his passion for manga, while growing up. His family’s problems and fort├ęs spring at the reader, and he, our protagonist, finds love, in some ways.

I found the ending to be the most non-likeable part of this book. While it’s explosive in one way, it’s still left the reader hanging, and I wonder: is there more?

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