Another day, another incredible Drawn & Quarterly release, dear readers:
This Tuesday, with a very special Remembrance Day/Veterans' Day publication date, marked the release of Volume 3 in Shigeru Mizuki's epic and outstanding Showa: A History of Japan series! The English editions of Showa are published by Drawn & Quarterly and translated from the Japanese by Zack Davisson. Showa: 1944-1953 continues the saga of Japan's Showa period (1926-1989), recounting the events of the final years of the Pacific War, and the consequences of the war's devastation for Mizuki and the Japanese populace at large.
Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan goes through the final years in the Pacific War, and the long-lasting, devastating effects on the Japanese population after its end. On a micro level, the book deals with the life choices Mizuki must face after the life-changing injury he sustains during the war, and his turmoil over where his life will lead him next. In this volume we also begin to see the beginning of what will become Mizuki's enduring mark in the comics world.
As this incredible story sweeps forward towards its final instalment, Mizuki continues to emphasize his powerful anti-war message. His condemnation of war not only in his personal history but on a global scope is admirable, and deeply poignant. A story like Shigeru Mizuki's is so unbelievable, so full of cliffhangers and unimaginable situations that it is simply impossible not to become attached to him as a character as well as a creator.
To anyone who is unfamiliar with the Showa series and wants to know more about the series as a whole, I highly recommend this glowing L.A. Times review of the series and its impact as "literature, illustrated or not, at its finest: a story that sweeps you off your feet only to find, when you return to Earth, that nothing looks quite the same."
And for those of you who are already on the bandwagon, come on down and get the third volume already!