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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Out Today: Trash Market!


Trash Market, a collection of classic gegika (dramatic pictures) created by Tadao Tsuge, edited and translated by Ryan Holmberg, comes out today from Drawn and Quarterly! Tsuge was a regular contributor to Garo, the legendary avant garde comics magazine, during its heyday and an important figure in the evolution of Japanese comics. Trash Market collects six of his stories created between 1968-1972 capturing the malaise of everyday life in Post World War II Japan.

In Trash Market, the realities of mundane jobs alongside specters of war, alienation, social phenomena such as the "disappearing man", and political unrest are counterpointed with the stifling heat and delirium lurking just beneath the surface.

In two essays closing the volume, the self authored Tadao Tsuge Revue and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man written by Ryan Holmberg, we get a sense of Tsuge's background and his formative years growing up in Katshushika - the "low city" - and working at a for profit blood bank from a very young age.

Nihilism pervades the gritty settings and characters that comprise the Trash Market universe. Faces, ubiquitous, suspended in angst charge each panel with intensity to form a dark, riveting portrait of the times. An essential collection!

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