Additional Book Information
Series: New York Review Comics
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
The Man Without Talent
by Yoshiharu Tsuge, translated from the Japanese and with an essay by Ryan Holmberg
"Tsuge's work represents a groundbreaking apotheosis of comics fiction at its most humane, literary, and poetic. I am thrilled that it is finally reaching the Western audience which has longed to read it for so many decades." —Chris Ware
Yoshiharu Tsuge is one of the most celebrated and influential comics artists, but his work has been almost entirely unavailable to English-speaking audiences. The Man Without Talent, his first book 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, 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 the translator Ryan Holmberg which discusses Tsuge’s importance in comics and Japanese literature, The Man Without Talent is one of the great works of comics literature.
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Tsuge’s quasi-autobiographical series of vignettes are a masterpiece of mundane struggle. . . . Every page feels lived and desperate, yet shot through with poetry.
This fascinating collection presents a Japan of scruffy shops and quiet streets in which forgotten men tell strange stories.
—James Smart, The Guardian