Sunday 18 May 2008

Hideo Azuma - Disappearance Diary
Fanfare were on the table next to me at Bristol so I went and bought this book off them. I've been looking out for it for a year or so now and wasn't disappointed. It's the story of 2 episodes of homelessness and one of alcoholism in the life of the manga artist Azuma. It's all drawn in his usual super cute style in which he must draw childrens manga which makes it really interesting. On the first page he says 'This manga has a positive outlook on life, and so has been made with as much realism removed as possible - it's harder to draw stuff realistically and it makes things gloomy!' A lot of the interest in the book is all the stuff he leaves out. He abandoned his wife and kids all these times but luckily he mentions them occasionally in the interviews and things, otherwise he could come out seeming very mean. A lot of the book is him looking for food in bins, fag ends on the floor and then working as a gas pipe fitter for a good long time.

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