The Man Without Talent – New York Review Books

Yoshiharu Tsuge is one of the most celebrated and influential comics artists, but his work has been almost entirely unavailable to English-speaking audiences. The Man Without Talent, his first book to be translated into English, is an unforgiving self-portrait of frustration. Swearing off cartooning as a profession, Tsuge takes on a series of unconventional jobs—used-camera salesman, ferryman, stone collector—hoping to find success among the hucksters, speculators, and deadbeats he does business with.

Instead, he fails again and again, unable to provide for his family, earning only their contempt and his own. The result is a dryly funny look at the pitfalls of the creative life, and an off-kilter portrait of modern Japan. Accompanied by an essay from the translator Ryan Holmberg which discusses Tsuge’s importance in comics and Japanese literature, The Man Without Talent is one of the great works of comics literature.
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