Staff Picks (Mar14): Showa 1939-1944 — History of Japan
Feb 19, 2014
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
When people think of classic manga creators they invariably think of Osamu Tezuka. And yet in Japan there is another cartoonist who is as highly esteemed and celebrated for both his unique artistic style and imaginative narrative storytelling-multiple award-winning cartoonist, Shigeru Mizuki.
This is the perfect month for new readers and old fans to build their library of this manga-ka's most renowned works as Drawn & Quarterly offers a wonderful backlist of his classics like Kitaro, NonNonBa, and the harrowing Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths along with the introduction of the second volume in his historical and autobiographical series Showa 1939-1944 A History of Japan. Much like the first book (Showa 1926-1939), this new volume promises to not only be an eye-opening read of events on the Pacific front during World War II, but also a wonderfully crafted and highly personal, autobiographical account of a young Shigeru moving from adolescence to young-adulthood as Japan further prepares to engage in war.
An atypical "war" graphic novel, the true greatness of Mizuki's craft shines through in his ability to blend historical fact with personal perspective, hyper-realistic images with caricature-like renderings of friends and family, in a way that is approachable, enjoyable, and educational. Master of the yokai (supernatural) genre as well as the autobiographical war narrative and now the Showa series, if you are a fan of classic magna or are looking to build your existing collection, Drawn & Quarterly's wonderful compilation of Shigeru Mizuki's books are all absolutely necessary additions.
~ Caitlin McCabe
In Stores: 5/28/14