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The spirit of Japanese magazines GARO and AX can really be felt in this significant new venue for Indian, Japanese and international comics to meet and mingle. You need VÉRITÉ and that’s the truth!”          – Paul Gravett, comics journalist and historian

On New Year Day 2018, we announce VÉRITÉ, the new magazine from the people who did the Comix India volumes. As editor, I felt that the kind of comics we want to publish demanded a more specific name. ‘Vérité’, the French word for ‘truth’, seemed just about right since we want to encourage creating comics that express reality in a truthful and unflinching manner, comics that don’t shy away from difficult subjects, comics that don’t merely show off art styles, but those that confront reality head-on.

The first issue of Vérité features Indian, Japanese, an American and a French artist. Indian artists featured are Anpu Varkey, Biboswan Bose, Shaunak Samvatsar, Nandita Basu and Bharath Murthy. Mitsuhiro Asakawa, the Editorial Adviser for the Japanese section, has selected some amazing alternative manga artists: Tadao TsugeSusumu Katsumata, Youji Tsuneyama and Yukichi Yamamatsu. Tadao Tsuge is a critically acclaimed artist and one of the key contributors for the 1960s cult manga magazine Garo, who along with his brother Yoshiharu Tsuge revolutionised manga. Tadao’s work in English translation include Trash Market (Drawn & Quarterly) and soon to be released Slum Wolf (New York Review Comics), both translated by manga historian Ryan Holmberg. Ryan’s very perceptive essay on the origins of ‘gekiga’, a late 1950s-60s movement within manga that focussed on adult themes and created a new wave that resulted in magazines like Garo, is also published in this issue. Susumu Katsumata was also a key artist in Garo magazine. His works Red Snow (Drawn & Quarterly) and Fukushima Devil Fish: Anti-nuclear Manga (Breakdown Press) are available in English. Yukichi Yamamatsu’s work has already been published in India. The two-volume Stupid Guy Goes to India was published by Blaft Publications. French comics artist Simon Lamouret (whose award-winning reportage comic Bangalore was published recently) also features, as does American artist Nick Tobier.

– Bharath Murthy, Editor.

Nazuna Saito

Nazuna Saito (b. 1946). Born in Shizuoka prefecture, Nazuna worked as an illustrator after graduating from university and made her debut as a manga artist in 1986 with Dahlia in Big Comic (Shogakukan). Six collections of her work had been published in book form by 1998. However, she had to leave manga for ten years to care for her family. She started to write manga again in 2012 and won the Excellence Award in the Manga Division of Japan Media Arts Festival in 2019 with Yuugure-e (Seirinkogeisha). The present work Inko no Kami (God of the Parakeets) was first published in Hanashi no Tokushu (Nihonsha) in February 1992.

Nazuna Saito

Saito’s works are, in a way, the most “progressed” gekiga at present in my opinion, both philosophically and technically. Just like the originators of gekiga like Masahiko Matsumoto, Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Yoshiharu Tsuge, Saito depicts the daily life of the common people. However, her stories always end with that rare but important thing in life – mutual understanding. In her works she shows love for humanity in a surprisingly modest way 🙂 Her story will be in Vérité 02 soon for the first time in overseas 😉

Vérité Editorial Adviser Mitsuhiro Asakawa

Vérité in Japan!

Vérité 01 is now available at Taco Che in Nakano Bradway, Tokyo! Here is the link – http://tacoche.com/?p=16551&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Facebook post by Mitsuhiro Asakawa, Editorial Adviser for Vérité : 

クールジャパン機構、税金投入してエライ損失出てるらしいですねー。当然ですよ、日本の文化にクールなものがあってもシステムがクールじゃないですから! いや、そのシステムを選んだのは国民の多数派だと考えると…思考が危険な方向に進みそうなので自粛。

税金は投入してませんので、クール方面に気を使いまして日本国内の作品はNot Coolで貧乏くさいものばかりセレクトしております。そもそもマンガ関係で私がお願いできそうな作家さんってそういう劇画方面にしかいませんので。劇画──といっても国内の一般的な意味合いでの「劇画」を想定すると違ってきてしまうのでここでは辰巳ヨシヒロさんが生み出した本来の意味での劇画──は徹底して「Raw Japan」というか「Bottom Japan」を追求してきたのでクールとは対極ですしねw

案の定国内ではメディアにもマンガ関係の偉い方々にもまったく無視されていましたが、いつものことなので気にしてませんでした。しかし! なんとタコシェさんでの扱いが始まったようです。これで国内でも買いやすくなりました。全編英語ですから英語の勉強にもなります!

ちなみに一号には常山陽二(常山プロ)作品「みずえの街」が翻訳掲載されてます。この作品、発行時期からすると「アックス」の再録よりもベリテの方が早い! 常山の紙の本での掲載を国内より海外で先に出したかったんです。海外での紹介自体、当然「ベリテ」が初!

と…ボーっと感慨にふけってる場合じゃない! 第二号の準備もいい加減始めないといけない時期でした!

AX manga magazine on VÉRITÉ

The editor of alternative manga magazine AX tweeted about VÉRITÉ!

Correction: Yoshihiro Tatsumi is not published in the magazine. (I hope we will someday!)


Editorial Adviser Mitsuhiro Asakawa on VÉRITÉ

In February 2017, Indian cartoonist/animation director Bharath Murthy contacted me through FB, and he wrote that he wants to publish an alternative comics magazine in India. He once made a similar attempt with Comix India, but it failed, unfortunately. Maybe it was slightly too early to publish comics for adults at that time, since according to what he wrote, to read or create comics/manga was not yet embedded in Indian culture.

He wanted to publish a Gekiga type magazine like Garo – the earliest alternative manga magazine in Japan, and I was an editor of the magazine in 1990s.

Personally I knew him when he started Comix India. Also I was quite in sympathy with him since he tried to start something new which no one had tried or perhaps never thought about in the past.

He asked me how to launch the new magazine in India, but I felt a bit of confusion about his request, since I didn’t know much about Indian society or reading habits of Indian people. I thought maybe this guy is something like a reckless type of person, but anyway, seems he was totally different from others. He wrote that he became a cartoonist because of Yoshihiro Tatsumi. He found a collection of Tatsumi at a bookstore, and that book Abandon the Old in Tokyo greatly impacted him. Abandon the Old in Tokyo – published in 2006 from Drawn & Quarterly was actually one of my earliest works as an editor to introduce Gekiga overseas. I compiled the stories and worked as an agent of Tatsumi at that time, so, at least I have some responsibility for him to open his eyes to something different – an alternative way of artistic expression. OK, I couldn’t deny what I’d done and there was no reason for me to refuse his request.

I decided to help him as an editorial adviser.

Bharath wanted to discover new talents in India. However, to begin with, if most Indian readers don’t have any reading habits for manga/comics, then we must show examples first. I selected the stories of Japanese gekiga artists – Tadao Tsuge, Susumu Katsumata, Yukichi Yamamatsu and Youji Tsuneyama. Other artists in Vérité are from India, US and France. Also one of the most, or maybe I should say one and only (except me) gekiga historian Ryan Holmberg wrote an article about the history of gekiga.

Vérité is quite a unique and unprecedented magazine and I hope this magazine will be a “explosion point” of Indian alternatives. Otherwise Vérité is small, non-profit magazine which is managed with one guy – Bharath Murthy. So your support to order the magazine will be really appreciated. Or if you are a journalist, coverage or interview for Bharath (or me, or artists) will be welcomed.

Gekiga itself is an artistic expression, but why are you just reading it?
I mean, Gekiga is at the same time an artistic tool to express yourself.
Use the tool, and express your own stories in your own way!