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!
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!