Drawn & Quarterly Adds The Box Man, Red Snow Manga

posted on by Egan Loo
Alternative gekiga titles from Imiri Sakabashira, Susumu Katsumata

Drawn and Quarterly Creative Director Tom Devlin has revealed in a Tuesday blog entry that he is working on his company's release of Imiri Sakabashira's The Box Man book. Sakabashira is part of the gekiga (literally, "dramatic pictures") art movement that also includes Yoshihiro Tatsumi (A Drifting Life). The English-language version of The Box Man is slated to ship on September 29. Top Shelf will publish Sakabashira's "Kara no Makigai" ("Empty Shell") short story in its upcoming AX anthology. Vice Magazine also published his drawings. According to Amazon retail website, the publisher describes the story as follows:

Enter the strange world of Imiri Sakabashira, whose denizens are zoomorphic creatures that emerge from one another as well as their equally bizarre environs. The Box Man follows its protagonists along a scooter trip through a complex landscape that oscillates between a dense city, a countryside simplified to near abstraction, and hybrids of the two; the theme of hybridity permeates throughout. One is unsurprised to encounter a creature that is half elderly man, half crab, or a flying frog in this world where our guide apparent is an anthropomorphic, mollusk-like cat. Sakabashira weaves this absurdist tale into a seamless tapestry constructed of elements as seemingly disparate as Japanese folklore, pop culture, and surrealism.Within these panels, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the animate and the inanimate, the real and the imagined—a tension that adds a layer of complexity to this near-wordless psychedelic travelogue.

Drawn and Quarterly is also publishing another gekiga work, Red Snow (Akai Tsuki - Katsumata Susumu Sakuhinshū, pictured at left) by the late Susumu Katsumata, on September 29. The publisher gives the following description:

Continuing D+Q's groundbreaking exploration of the fascinating world of Gekiga, this collection of short stories is drawn with great delicacy and told with subtle nuance by the legendary Japanese artist Susumu Katsumata. The setting is the premodern Japanese countryside of the author's youth, a slightlymagical world where ancestral traditions hold sway over a people in the full vigor of life, struggling to survive the harsh seasons and the difficult life of manual laborers and farmers. While the world they inhabit has faded into memory and myth, the universal fundamental emotions of the human heart prevail at the center of these tender stories.

Katsumata passed away in December of 2007, but not before he won the Grand Prize of the 35th Japanese Cartoonists' Association Awards in 2006 for Red Snow.

Source: Same Hat! Same Hat! blog

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