GOODBYE reviewed by Booklist

“Booklist Review - Good-Bye” / Booklist / Gordon Flagg / June 1, 2008

The 1971-72 stories in Tomine's third collection of vintage works by revolutionary manga artist Tatsumi portray a society haunted by loss and mired in resignation in the quarter-century following World War II. Although Tatsumi typically depicts malaise-entrapped protagonists without spelling out the social causes of their despondency, several tales here are uncharacteristically political, set just after the war and addressing its actual effect or, more precisely, that of Japan's face-losing defeat on the characters rather than only suggesting it. In the harrowing "Good-Bye," a woman turns to prostitution with American soldiers, while her father heedlessly exploits her situation. In "Hell," a photographer finds his life's meaning in a photo he took in A-bombed Hiroshima but learns the harsh truth behind the image decades later. In other stories, a henpecked man decides to squander his squirreled-away savings on a prostitute, a bar hostess remains faithful to her imprisoned boyfriend, and a retired salaryman suffers a mysterious rash. Tatsumi's mastery of the visual simplicity of classic manga gives a stark power to these devastating, uncompromising pieces.
-Gordon Flagg

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