Garo was once Japan's most famous alternative comics magazine, willing to publish stories others would never touch. Even so, few Garo artists were quite like Murasaki Yamada, whose elegantly drawn tales of family life are collected in Talk to My Back. Yamada's comics capture the joy and frustration of parenting, the ways in which men take women for granted, and the liberation offered by financial independence from the family unit. Japan has a long history of comics artists drawing stories about girls and women, but few in Yamada's time were as willing to demand more on the page.
In this poignant and harrowing account of Lee Ok-Sun--a former WWII "comfort woman"--Gendry-Kim protests and rolls back decades of efforts by the Japanese government to obscure the role these women played as sexual slaves to the Japanese military. With her delicate brushstrokes, the artist transports us from Ok-Sun's fraught youth to her post-war fight for justice and recognition, and her art is in constant conversation with her material--both rendered more powerful by her eschewing graphic depictions of wartime horror in favor of simple distillations of larger emotions and moments. The author inserts herself in the story as well, providing insight via reflections on her work that illuminate both individual traumas and one of the darkest parts of recent history. What results is a moving, important piece of work that will stay with you for a long time.
Putting his signature grotesque craftsmanship in the service of themes of faith, UFOs, and the seductive lure of cults, Ito takes readers into a hidden cult of Edo-period Christianity devotees who believe that mysterious angel hair falling from the sky will grant them views far into the cosmos.While marking a departure from the master artist's usual short-story--though each chapter feels as if it could stand on its own--and ending on an uncharacteristic hopeful note, this unpredictable work, first published in Japan as Travelogue of the Succubus, is still very Ito in tone and style, and shows that he still has more than a few tricks up his sleeve.