Manga Zombie - Preface To The Japanese Edition


By Udagawa Takeo
Translated by John Gallagher

Burn manga. Especially Eighties manga on.
Burn these pre-programmed comics that have been churned out ever since manga turned into a business. Burn these bastard things conceived in boardrooms and born as products.

For example, love stories that go on...and oon... and ooon...and oooon.
Burn them. Stories about heroes beating the odds through sheer grit and friendship. Burn them.
'Interactive' stories swinging any way the reader surveys tell them:
Burn. Them. All.

Come out of the grave, manga!
Screaming and streaming blood and sweat, pages spattered with artist's crazed flesh, manga that grab and throw you deep into the warped and fucked-up pit of the artist's mind itself. And leave you there.
To live it. And manga, staggering on their very last legs, drawn so the artists could eat one more day.
Come back. All is forgiven.

For me, the manga in this collection are all greats - giants of incredible kitsch and camp. They anesthetized my mind and took me to another world. They need a bigger audience. They come from another age, when manga was on a par with street performance, not part of any recognized scene. The conditions were extreme. Some of these manga were drawn by people who'd have literally starved if they hadn't been paid for them that day. Just the fact that they exist is a miracle. Others were made by artists doing their stuff in nameless pulp magazines, and had their series dropped by whatever grubby suits they were dealing with. Maybe the howls of outrage you hear in their work were there long before they put pen to paper. Anyway, their manga are steeped in outrage on every page. Some of these people were even working for fairly respectable outfits, driven by some blind creative urge. The moment they let these urges really rip, they found themselves kicked out far beyond the pale.

Whatever. They've all gone to untimely graves. In Japan, you'll find them buried on the bargain shelves at used bookstores. Or abandoned in the farther reaches of rural attics. Their resale value is: zero. The number of interested buyers is: zero.

In this book, I want to hit back at any idea that these manga are trash, lowbrow fare. I want to defend them from the scorn they've been heaped with. And along with the manga themselves, I want to see these artists get the acceptance they richly deserve. It's my way of trying to put these tortured souls to rest:


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this is amazing and I can't

this is amazing and I can't wait to read the rest!