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Red SnowReview - Red Snow
by Susumu Katsumata
Drawn and Quarterly, 2009
Review by Christian Perring
Jul 13th 2010 (Volume 14, Issue 28)

This collection of ten manga stories by Susumu Katsumata is unusual in its poetic quality showing tales from pre-industrial Japan.  These are strange stories that highlight bizarre behavior, loneliness and tragedy.  The artwork is distinctive -- some of it is cartoony and a little crude but much of it is sophisticated and unusual.  The stories show peasants, monks, women and girls in their foibles and weaknesses.  Some use figures from myth or tradition who have magical powers with which most readers will be unfamiliar.  Many include depictions of sex.  The stories are hard to summarize because they convey a lot of information about identity and mood through the images rather than the words.  Sometimes they are also hard to follow because it is not clear what the relationship is between different characters or what their role is.  So these stories are appealing mainly because of the quirkiness of the art and the dark mood of the stories.  It is their very resistance to easy summary which makes these stories distinctive.  Fans of alternative manga will enjoy this award winning work.

 

 

Link: Drawn & Quarterly

 

© 2010 Christian Perring        

 

 

Christian Perring, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York


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