The Man Without Talent

Category: Book
Translated By: Holmberg, Ryan
Series: Man Without Talent
Subject:  COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Literary
  COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Manga / General
  COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Nonfiction / Biography & Memoir
  FICTION / Graphic Novels
Publisher: New York Review Books
Published: January 2020
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 8.27in x 5.89in x 0.81in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A Japanese manga legend's autobiographical graphic novel about a struggling artist and the first full-length work by the great Yoshiharu Tsuge available in the English language.

Yoshiharu Tsuge is one of comics' most celebrated and influential artists, but his work has been almost entirely unavailable to English-speaking audiences. The Man Without Talent, his first book ever to be translated into English, is an unforgiving self-portrait of frustration. Swearing off cartooning as a profession, Tsuge takes on a series of unconventional jobs -- used camera salesman, ferryman, and stone collector -- hoping to find success among the hucksters, speculators, and deadbeats he does business with.

Instead, he fails again and again, unable to provide for his family, earning only their contempt and his own. The result is a dryly funny look at the pitfalls of the creative life, and an off-kilter portrait of modern Japan. Accompanied by an essay from translator Ryan Holmberg that discusses Tsuge's importance in comics and Japanese literature, The Man Without Talent is one of the great works of comics literature.
Review Quote*"This fascinating collection presents a Japan of scruffy shops and quiet streets in which forgotten men tell strange stories."-James Smart, The Guardian

"Tsuge's quasi-autobiographical series of vignettes are a masterpiece of mundane struggle. . . . Every page feels lived and desperate, yet shot through with poetry." -Publishers Weekly

Biographical NoteYoshiharu Tsuge is a cartoonist and essayist known best for his surrealistic, avant-garde work. Tsuge began drawing comics in 1955, working primarily in the rental comics industry that was popular in impoverished post-war Japan. In the 1960s, Tsuge was discovered by the publishers of the avante garde comics magazine Garo and he gained increasing recognition for his surrealistic and introspective work. He withdrew from Garo in the 1970s and his work became more autobiographical. Tsuge has not published cartoons since the late 1980s, elevating him to cult status in Japan. He lives in Tokyo. Ryan Holmberg is an arts and comics historian. He has taught at the University of Chicago, CUNY, the University of Southern California, and Duke University, is a frequent contributor to Art in America, Artforum, Yishu, and The Comics Journal, and has edited and translated books by Seiichi Hayashi, Osamu Tezuka, Sasaki Maki, and others.