The Swamp collects key pieces from the early years of Tsuge Yoshiharu's career and simultaneously provides an up close and personal look at post-war Japan. These stories hint at the beginnings of the key themes that would occupy Tsuge throughout his three decade long career, and also show a key stage in the development of the formal approach with which he would capture and present it. As readers of the perceptive, informative introduction by Mitsuhiro Asakawa will learn, the stories collected in the pages of The Swamp begin with his very first works for Garo, which mark the place where he really came into his own and began forging his unique comics voice. Best of all, this 256 page hardcover is just the first book in a series collecting, "The Complete Mature Works of Yoshiharu Tsuge" that Drawn and Quarterly will be publishing over the coming years!
Translated from the Japanese by Ryan Holmberg – natch' – who is also serving as co-editor beside series editor, Mitsuhiro Asakawa.
It took a minute to finally get here, but Red Flowers has at last arrived! The dozen works that comprise this 278 page hardcover volume – the second in Drawn & Quarterly's ongoing series collectiing Tsuge's work – were all originally published between April 1967 and June 1968. So, while R. Crumb & Co. were pioneering a new, "underground" form of comics in the USA, Tsuge Yoshiharu & Co. were blazing a comparably important and influential new, "literary" way of manga in Japan. As Mitsuhiro Asakawa and Ryan Holmberg state in the opening lines of their 28 page, in-depth essay that accompanies this volume, "It is no exaggeration to say that (this) volume... contains some of the most important works in Japanese comics history – nay, in Japanese cultural history. It represents the beginnings of what we might call 'literary manga'."
Get ready to dig in! (Can't wait? Read a nice high-resolution excerpt, HERE.)