Journalist Paul Gravett announced in an article
that the "sensei of gekiga
," Yoshihiro Tatsumi
, died due to malignant lymphoma on Saturday, March 7. He was 79 years old. Gravett was notified of the influential mangaka's death via an email from Erik Khoo, Tatsumi's close friend and student.
Yoshihiro Tatsumi, who first started drawing manga in 1957, is famous for pioneering the gekiga
alternative manga style. "Gekiga" translates to "dramatic pictures" and was allegedly coined by Tatsumi to differentiate darker titles aimed at older audiences from standard manga of the time (predominantly targeted at pre-teens). With time, the underground manga style gained momentum and even Osamu Tezuka
was influenced by Tatsumi's work, as is apparent in his manga Hi no Tori
) and Adolf
. This sparked an important change in the manga industry and led to the acceptance of more experimental manga works.
(A Drifting Life
), Tatsumi's two-volume autobiography published in 2008, is regarded as one of his best works. The manga series won the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2009 and went on to win two Eisner Awards
in 2010. This work, along with many other gekiga
manga by Tatsumi, have been licensed and translated into multiple languages worldwide.
Gravett writes of Yoshihiro Tatsumi: "His innovations were vitally important for Japanese comics and his lifetime's work stands as some of the most psychologically powerful and humane narratives, not only in manga but in global comics culture."
Source: Paul Garvett's official site