Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
by Tadao Tsuge, edited, translated from the Japanese, and with an afterword by Ryan Holmberg
Tadao Tsuge is one of the pioneers of alternative manga, and one of the world’s great artists of the down-and-out. Slum Wolf is a new selection of his stories from the late Sixties and Seventies, never before available in English: a vision of Japan as a world of bleary bars and rundown flophouses, vicious street fights and strange late-night visions. In assured, elegantly gritty art, Tsuge depicts a legendary, aging brawler, a slowly unraveling businessman, a group of damaged veterans uniting to form a shantytown, and an array of punks, pimps, and drunks, all struggling for freedom, meaning, or just survival.
With an extensive introduction by translator and comics historian Ryan Holmberg, this collection brings together some of Tsuge’s most powerful work—raucous, lyrical, and unforgettable.
As a collection of stories, Slum Wolf presents a fully realized view of the persistence of defeat and occupation on the Japanese culture. As readers follow the disaffected and maladjusted characters through their worlds, Tsuge consistently prompts the reader to consider the feelings and circumstances by invoking the reader's empathy and fears.
—Gregory Smith, Pop Matters
Tsuge’s art veers wildly from cartoon abstraction to painstakingly detailed drawings of shadowy figures and looming city streets, rendered in harsh, energetic linework that propels the eye from panel to panel. The stoic attitude of these excellent pieces is summed up in one character’s reflection: "Without receiving a dose of pain once in a while, it was hard to remember the point of staying alive." This period piece holds lasting resonance.