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The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

Writing in the 60s and 70s in Japan, Yoshihiro Tatsumi seems to have quite independently invented an alternative kind of manga.

The Push Man is essentially a collection of stories from a working class Japanese sub-culture, but with frequent dark twists. I think it reads like a cross between Harvey Pekar's American Splendor and Grimm's Fairy tales.

This one's ripe for dissection - loads to talk about e.g. the role of the silent male protagonist; the in-your-face sexuality; the kind of society that can create these caricatures - and of course, whether all this makes for a good story.

If you can't get a hold of this book before the meetup, don't worry! I have a library copy that I will be happy to lend out as long as I get it back - please contact me via the link under my picture to the left. Alternatively, come along a bit early and read a couple of the stories in the bar! They're very short; very punchy. You'll get enough of a taste in just a few minutes!

The Blurb:

Thirty years before the advent of the literary graphic novel movement in the United States, Yoshihiro Tatsumi created a library of comics that draw parallels to modern prose fiction and today's alternative comics. The stories collected in The Push Man are simultaneously haunting, disturbing, and darkly humorous. A lone man travels the country, projecting pornographic films for private individuals while attempting to maintain a normal home life. The lives of two men become intertwined when one hires the other to observe his sexual escapades through a telescope. An auto mechanic's obsession with a female TV personality turns fatal after a chance meeting between the two.

Where to get it

either the library or the book depository

Where to meet

I'm open to suggestions - I'm testing out a few venues myself... Essentially we're looking for a reasonably central location, preferably just off a T stop with minimal screens and a decent beer selection!

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  • James M.

    Really good to talk through this one - Yoshihiro Tatsumi's stories are dark and uncompromising - good to share the experience! Also great to have some background from Joseph on Japanese culture and manga in general- definitely added to the depth of reading.

    January 17, 2013

  • Joseph A.

    In interesting story that led to a very enjoyable evening out :D

    January 16, 2013

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