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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Keiji Nakazawa, R.I.P.

Keiji Nakazawa has passed away last week at age 73. He was the creator of the comics BAREFOOT GEN and I SAW IT, based on his first hand experiences as a child in Hiroshima during World War II and as a survivor of the atomic bomb dropped on that city on August 6, 1945, killing much of his family and having repercussions going on for years, often as a result of inexcusable negligence by both Japanese and American authorities. GEN is a fictionalized account, with the title character being a composite experiencing both things Nakazawa himself did and stories he heard of other survivors and victims. I SAW IT is a shorter work, more strictly autobiographical.

I don't really have much to add right now beyond what I've previously posted on this weblog. In fact, one minor reason for the lack of posting on this site over the last little while was my complete inability to adequately write about Nakazawa's work, with three different unfinished posts still sitting in my drafts folder. It's been over two decades since I first read his work, and it still has some of the most touching and heartbreaking scenes I've ever encountered in any work of art.

Here's a collection of covers from Nakazawa's work as translated into English. If you've never read his work, find some of these and read them.








In addition, artist Raina (SMILE, DRAMA) Telgemeier has a short comic about reading GEN at age 9, which everyone should read if they're curious about the power of Nakazawa's work and the importance of comics.

1 comment:

  1. Bob, I could not agree more strongly. One of the all time greats. His characters really stay with you. He's one of my kids favorites as well, and I often see them rereading the various books.

    Patrick Ford


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