Monday, June 24, 2013

Black Blizzard

Yoshihiro Tatsumi's 1956 thriller Black Blizzard provides us a look into his past, when he was still a raw and inexperienced writer and mangaka.

Tatsumi, in several interviews, never hides the fact that he has 'conflicting' feelings about Black Blizzard to which he described it as "nostalgic for the past, for the days of my youth" but it's also "like exposing something shameful and private" that he would rather bury and have "hidden from sight."

But the work in itself is not bad for a twenty- one year old aspiring and struggling writer- cum- cartoonist. On the contrary it probably revolutionized the alternative comic scene in Japan in those days that eventually made him a gekiga pioneer.

Tatsumi's unorthodox visual narrative is like a study in contradiction; it was simple but is actually ahead of his time. The focus and angles are like those that can be seen from the eyes of a master filmmaker; the drawings speak for themselves.

The plot and storytelling are light and direct to the point. Even the dramatic moments were handled and told in a straightforward manner and avoided the melodramatic traps.

 In Black Blizzard, the protagonists, Susumu Yamada, a depressed pianist, and Shinpei Konta, a hardened criminal, are both accused of murder although under different circumstances but were forced to work together when fate suddenly gave them a chance to be free.

What turns out next was both ordinary and extraordinary. The choices that they have to make are grim and the struggle that goes with them can make one cringe. But the twist in the end will make us heave a sigh of relief.

The story was simple, short and sweet.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I bought this book for a sonnet--err song ($3) during one of my forays at a local flea market. Not bad for an 1878 illustrated edition of The Complete Works of the Bard, eh? 

William Shakespeare would have been 449 today.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Never Surrender

Last Song Syndrome: Corey Hart's Sunglasses at Night, a song I never heard for more than 2 decades. Damn Detroit FM radio; now I got these lines stuck in my head-

"Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh no! Don't masquerade with the guy in shades, oh no!

Although I hate the said song, I used to like his other power ballad and hit, Never Surrender, which won him the 1985 Juno Award for "Single of the Year" in Canada.

Cheesy and all, I still love the 80s!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This Old Guitar

my old acoustic guitar, 
the sole witness 
during those rare 
times where i can 
my heart on 
my sleeve.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In Solitude...

I found a long-sought
soft self-comforting freedom
a heart-rousing understanding
governed not by the common reason
but by untamed emotions.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dead Shot

Behind the steady finger that pulls the trigger and the sharp eye that peeks through the crosshairs are men like Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Swanson and the enigmatic Juba, two snipers on different sides of the spectrum but with one common mission- to exterminate anybody on their path with 'one shot, one kill."

Add Baghdad, Black Ops, Al Qaeda, Chemical weapons and the Iranian connection make Dead Shot a good read; a novel that is just all right but still manages to intrigue.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


...early Sunday morning, driving on a deserted Southfield Freeway. the sun's rays are trying to break through the grey clouds' spell. Michigan in winter; beautiful and lonely.

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