Manga Zombie

Manga Zombie cover
By Udagawa Takeo
Translated by John Gallagher

Manga Zombie, written by Udagawa Takeo, was published in Japanese in 1997 by Ohta Shuppan. The book covers a range of thirty-one Japanese manga artists active primarily in the 1960s and 70s. Some of the artists are relatively well-known in the English-speaking world, while others are famous or cult figures only in Japan. However, they are all, in some sense or other, "outsider" artists and figures of the sixties and seventies cultural underground. Most of them spent the bulk of their careers in short-lived magazines oriented towards graphic sex and violence, like Manga Erotopia. Some, however, saw success in more prestigious publications like Garo and mass-circulation mags like Shonen Jump.

The selection of artists was made by Udagawa Takeo on the basis that they represent the most authentic and exciting work being done in the medium before market forces (in Udagawa-san's point of view) squeezed the artists' freedom of expression to an absolute minimum in the late seventies.

Udagawa Takeo is a commentator on 60s/70s Japanese fringe culture, concentrating mainly on the manga scene. He is the co-author of Manga Jigoku-hen (Suiseisha, 1997) and J.A. Cesar no Sekai (Byakuya Shobo, 2002). He's also the author of Fringe Culture (Suiseisha, 1998) among other works. He's an informed, passionate and critical advocate of the artists he chooses to champion.

ComiPress has teamed up with Udagawa Takeo and translator John Gallagher to publish an online version of the English-language translation of Manga Zombie. This project's goal is to open up a wide range of lesser-known but valuable artists to the attention of the English-speaking world. It will help inform opinion and debate on manga and manga history in general, and will do so from an insider's perspective, while adding the background information and context necessary for the English-language reader.