What is ‘gekiga’?

Manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi (1935-2015) coined the term ‘gekiga’ in the late 1950s. In an obituary and detailed appraisal of his career in The Comics Journal, Ryan Holmberg says,

Tatsumi is famous as the artist who helped fashion a new style of manga known as “gekiga” (dramatic pictures), a term he coined in 1957. He played a major role in broadening the possibilities of the medium to accommodate mature-reader genres like mystery, action, and horror, oftentimes in 100-plus-page, single-story books that predate the advent of the “graphic novel” by many decades.

The article also contains a discussion of Tatsumi’s vision of gekiga.

Ryan Holmberg is a manga historian, critic and translator who writes a regular column about alternative manga in The Comics Journal. For a historical overview of the development of gekiga, read his article ‘Charting the Beginnings.’ 

He also interviewed the founders of Comix India for his column, HERE and HERE.

HERE is another interview with Tatsumi.

Another master mangaka, Takao Saito, has his own take on what is gekiga.