Matt Hall hosts Film at 11 on JACradio and Asphodel Meadows on 4zzz 102.1FM. Reviewing FILM and COMICS//MUSIC.

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Early Tsuge:

A lot of Western comics readers are familiar with Yoshiharu Tsuge’s dark, ambiguous stories from the ‘60s and ‘70s (Nejishiki, Oba’s Electro-Plating Company, Red Flowers, and other stories are available in English), and his great 1987 work Muno no hito (L’homme sans talent / The Useless Man(.  But did you know that Tsuge started out in the ‘50s, doing crazy crime comics in the early, Tezuka-influnce gekiga style, for the kashihon rental market (these scans are from a reprint collection called 四つの犯  Yottsu no hanzai I don’t know exactly what Tsuge’s relationship to the Matsumoro/Tatsumi/Saito gekiga group was; from what I can tell (from this article published in the great Swiss-German comics journal, Strapazin, for instance), he made his debut in 1954 “in the anthology “bukku Tsukai” (“Exciting Book”) published by the publisher Hobunsha.”

 One of my favorite anecdotes from comics history: after the collapse of the kashihon market in the early ‘60s, Tsuge disappeared from manga, and apparently fell into one of his long periods of depression; then, in 1965, in an the early issues of Garo, publisher Katsuichi Nagai ran a classified ad reading, “Yoshiharu Tsuge, please get in touch.”  Tsuge responded, and the great period of his work in Garo soon began… 

 (Read / see more about early gekiga at