The Dark Side

Angsty much?
Sometimes it's easy to forget the awesomeness of adulthood. Yeah, I said it, but it's true. When you're an old lady, a singleton with few real obligations, you get to get to manage your own life. You define your own obstacles. You decide what's important, when to have fun, and when to be a total stick in the mud. Of course, it also means things like, you have to go to work to support yourself; you really should be available to the people that you care about and the people that care about you; you have to get groceries, pay bills, grumble about politics, and shake your fist at young pimple faced skateboarders in the park.

The last few months, I've been letting myself fall into the "being an adult sucks" version of being an adult, you know the: This commute sucks! I can't do this alone! Get off my lawn! side of being an adult. This is not awesome. I also feel like I'm always scowling and wearing black and listening to sad power music with great lyrics. I spend a lot of time goal setting and goal failing, riding trains and making up narratives about my fellow passengers while wondering if I'll ever pay off my student loans. Yuck! The fact is, I'm in a messy space. And my tastes have followed suit.

It's not surprising that I'm not reading much Yaoi lately or even just regular ol' run of the mill adorable Shonen and Shojo manga. I'm reading the French Films of manga, the dark stuff, the unhappy, tortured, arty stuff, and I LOVE IT!

My favorite manga artist right now is Yoshihro Tatsumi, and if you haven't read his collections of manga published mostly by Drawn and Quarterly, I highly recommend you do. I think my last post was about  The Push Man and Other Stories, and while this remains my favorite, I've picked up a few other great volumes since then.

Abandon the Old in Tokyo is an excellent collection. The centerpiece story resonated with me. It's about young man who grows up with an abusive mother who falls ill later in life. Forced to care for her in a way he was never cared for, the son consistently sacrifices himself for her. When he falls in love, he finally decides to abandon his mother in the most cruel way, so he can marry his girlfriend, but guilt pulls him back. Good-Bye contains some longer, darker stories. I loved "Sky Burial," a particularly well illustrated story about death and nature.

I'm also working on Osamu Tezuka's Book of Human Insects, which also seems suitably dark to match my mood. I'd love some recommendations for some great, deep, dark, angsty, arty manga! Anyone?


Anonymous said...

You might be in the mood for Usamaru Furuya's manga adaptation of No Longer Human. It's plenty bleak and hopeless. But also very good.

William Shakespeare said...

Thanks, anonymous! I will check it out!