Monday, March 22, 2010

Garo #29

Jan., 1967, issue #29. 202 pages, cover by Sanpei Shirato. This was the other issue lost when the laptop stopped working. Fortunately, I was able to locate a copy of this one for 500 yen ($5) as well, and the condition of it was better, too. (I was going to run this entry yesterday, but I forgot.)

カムイ伝 (Kamui-den) #25

Sanpei Shirato (白土三平) is back at the front of the magazine with another 130 pager. A volcano wipes out a village, which in turn becomes an opportunity for those merchants buying up lumber for reconstruction. Shichibe has cornered the market, and is putting pressure on certain merchants to pony up cash before he'll sell to them, which causes those merchants to demand their loans to be paid back by the commoners as well as by the samurai classes. Some of the commoners can't make the payments and commit suicide instead. A situation that Shichibe wasn't expecting. But, ya gotta expect some casualties in the war against the upper classes.

Two children orphaned by the volcano make their way to Edo, and are befriended by an old man pretending to be a wizard (Red Eye in disguise). Unfortunately, a fire that starts out at one part of the city kills the children before Red Eye can reach them. Ryounoshin and his partner, Ikkaku, are preparing to assassinate their fief's lord when the fire breaks out, but Kamui steps in and cuts them down before they can get close enough to become a threat.

Ukon Mikunazuki is finding out the hard way that having a wooden leg makes being a master swordsman a difficult profession. He has second thoughts about his purpose in life, and starts picking fights to see what'll happen.

(To Explain Political Morality, Mass Media Morality) #22
Koshi Ueno (上野昂志). 2 page article.

日本忍法伝 (Japan Ninja Arts Legend) #15

(Subtitled: 鐸、鳴りわたる (Bell, Ringing))
Mamoru Sasaki & Satsuko Okamoto (佐々木 守 and 岡本 颯子) 6 page story.

青空太郎の絵日記 (Aozora Tarou's Picture Diary) #9

Mitsuo Fujizawa (藤沢光男) has another 4-page gag. This time, a kid meets up with his friends to show off a new watch that his relative gave him as a souvenir of his travels. It's a magic watch that makes food show up at meal times. The kids gorge themselves, then it looks like the watch has stopped working. Actually, it's just preparing to catch up on all the school work that the kids have to complete, crushing them under a mountain of textbooks.

殿さまとざらざらした味 (Tono-sama and the rough flavor)

A local lord is suffering from a wound to the stomach and is ordered to not drink liquids for a couple days. His retainers have to protect him for his own good. When he finally can drink, the water tastes amazing. Later, he tries to recapture that taste, but can't. He tries different sources of water, drinking while lying down, and so on. Finally, he goes so far to reconstruct the previous situation and cuts his stomach open. He pushes his luck one too many times and ends up killing himself. By Shouhei Kusunoki (楠勝平), 19 pages.

大空と雑草の詩 (Poem of heaven and weeds) #8

The pain is almost over. In this second-to-the-last chapter, the hero dedicates himself to school during the day, and his part-time job as a reporter at night. A classmate asks him to talk to the nightclub girl to get her to start coming back to class again. He finds her, and they get into an argument. She challenges him to show that she's attractive by kissing her, and he can't do it. Note that Kamui and a Mizuki-inspired character show up in a newspaper story at one point.
Akira Ogawa (おがわあきら). 20 pages.

砂かけ婆 (Sand Throwing Hag)

Shigeru Mizuki (水木しげる) has another two 8-page stories again. In the first one, an unattractive man tracks down Sunakake Baba (Sand-throwing Old Hag) to ask her to make him handsome. She gives him a foul potion that does the trick and says that the price is for him to return to her in 1 year. A year later, the man is a famous film actor, and when the old woman shows up at his dressing room he has his bouncer throw her out. However, while filming a love scene soon after, the actor's head disappears. In desperation, he returns to her hovel, only to be given an uglier face than before.

紙魚 (Silverfish)

A salaryman finds himself out in the boonies with a weird old co-worker. The co-worker collects insects, one of which is a silverfish that can make people more suave. The guy swallows it and with his new-found power works his way to the top of the corporate ladder. But, the insect eventually works its way out of the guy's body and he returns to normal. He takes over the office that the other guy had, and tries talking a new arrival into eating the insect himself.


Mr Alchemy said...

Thank yo so much for another wonderful write up. It was a joy to read.

I may have overlooked you saying this, but where exactly are you getting your Garo issues from? Have you been borrowing some and returning them after scanning?

And how come you don't directly upload images onto Blogspot? The service is certainly capable of hosting image files at the resolution you're uploading, just as well as mediafire (sorry again, if you've already mentioned this).

The political and student movements of this era in Japanese history has always fascinated me. It seems like some of the greatest works produced by the country, be they manga or literary or cinematic, were born of this era.

That morality essay by Koshi Ueno really makes me wish magazines like Garo still existed today (well, they do, but less people care, and they don't include such great manga titles). There's a really good video of black and white footage I can't seem to find right now, of students holding a building under siege as riot police try to storm it. Here's another similar video though:

TSOTE said...

Mr. Alchemy, thanks for the comments. I work in Akihabara, about 3 minutes from Mandarake. They've got a fairly complete set of used magazines for sale. I pick up 2 issues a week, on average. For the issues that are missing, I'll try going over to the Nagano Mandarake (which is much bigger) and see what they have there. I'm buying the ones that are in the 500 yen range (about $5 USD), which have little return value. And most of them are so brittle that they self-destruct into piles of dust during scanning so I have sweep them up to toss them out afterwards.

I did upload directly to blogspot at one point, but their free account service has only a 1 meg upper limit.

Yes, protest drives creativity. ;-) If life turns too complacent, even the creative become lazy.

Thanks for the link to the video. There was equal creativity in the U.S. during that time for the same reasons, but a lot of that has been played down as certain groups today try to discredit the members of the 60's generation to "pull their teeth". You're seeing that happen in Japan now, too. Give me "Easy Rider" over "American Idol", and "Laugh-In" over "Saturday Night Live" any day.

Nakore said...

Thank you for your posts on Garo thus far. You've opened my eyes to a new side of sophisticated, graphic manga, and for that I am truly grateful.

I've mentioned your efforts on Showa OK!, a blog of mine devoted to all things Shōwa.

Looking forward to more scans in the future!

TSOTE said...

Nakore, thanks for dropping by, and for mentioning me on Showa, OK! I appreciate the attention. I'm planning on following an every-Monday schedule at this point, but if I get enough of a backlog of scanned issues built up I may do a special "All Garo Week" release.

Regarding the content of the magazine, I think that the more significant artists during the 66-67 time frame were (obviously) Shurato (Kamui) and Mizuki (Kitaro), followed by the Edo-period stuff of Kusunoki, the black humored comedy of Yuu Takita, and the feminist viewpoint from Kuniko Tsurita. These are the ones I'll consider scanning right up front (if the page counts are manageable). Yoshiharu Tsuge has something of an inflated reputation, in my opinion. I do like his works, but they don't grab me like the others do. On the other hand, if Drawn and Quarterly would consider doing a Garo anthology release, I'd want Tsuge included in with the others above as part of a 300-page 10-volume collection.