Check it out! Here’s two illustrations from Fujio Akatsuka’s “Manga Nyūmon”, a 1971 kids’ book about being cartoonist. This a from a chapter about understanding different genres. The book is a great resource for vintage manga wonks and I will post more of it, but honestly, Vampire Iyami and Cool Space Dude Chibita are worth the price of admission on their own.
1. the horror/awe, longing/repulsion, striving/fleeing dichotymies
3. the almost meta-level of fluidity in shaping the context of the story. the pure unknown chaos-stuff of what life in space would be like means that creating any space story is like drawing noughts and crosses across the void. which is what any storytelling is like - the selection of what you show the reader is so arbitrary - so in your hands as a writer you are godlike over your own creation. and in space stories that is doubly true because you are fabricating twin planets and quantum star clusters and seventeen branches of government and shining steel circles in the sky and living organism hull parasites and cthulhu black holes out of the narrative plasmic matter that is space.
4. humanism humanism humanism HUMANISM. not in the sense of ‘all about humans no aliens allowed’ but in the sense of ‘look at us living creatures throwing ourselves out of our natural context into the most hostile and terrifying of outside spaces just to push ever outward in the uniting discordant hope of finding something more. how we sketch our understanding of the universe like toddlers with fingerpaint and build upwards from there like priests like poets like precise and pure mathematician-magicians. all just in the pure hope of maybe finding something new. how fucking dreamboat.
5. humanism on another level in that any space narrative has to address humanity as a whole. what are we now? how are we what have we become? what has become of our selfishness and cruelties towards one another and each other as species, as nations, as races, as people? in what ways have we grown and what ways have we curdled and curled inward and become corrupt and rotten in same old ways in new contexts? and how do we see the hope and poetry of science and human understanding grow in leaps and bounds like the blazing light without seeing in exacting clarity the bleak shadow of all the people left behind or crushed under the heel of that momentum? how do we look the abyss of the universe in the eye when we can’t even meet our own (as a species) in the mirror? how do we dare?
p.s. the visceral excitement of the physical/natural world, scientific endeavour as a spiritual experience, companionship and love in the face of utter oblivion, ridiculous outfits, being the setting melodrama was born for.
Tamiyo is not one to be denied. She will get to space if it’s the last thing she does. And if you didn’t really know what “space” was, you would probably try to fly there too. We’ll see how it goes in a future episode of Bad Draws!
If you’re enjoying this little Moon Trek Tamiyo is going on, don’t forget to give her your support! Like, reblog, comment, and message me with your continued support for Tamiyo!