Thursday, September 28, 2017

Reader's Diary #1675- Gengoroh Tagame, translated by Anne Ishii: My Brother's Husband

My Brother's Husband, by Gengoroh Tagame, is one of the more unexpected treasures I've discovered so far this year. It's a poignant and touching story of a Japanese single father named Yaichi, who is visited by the husband of his deceased and estranged identical twin brother, a Canadian named Mike.

I was surprised at first by the addition of a Canadian character in a Japanese comic, but an even better surprise was how well Tagame handled such an issue heavy book. Themes of homophobia and mourning run large and yet the issues do not compete with one another, nor does it ever feel didactic. Instead it feels like an organic, quietly beautiful story.

Holding it all together is the daughter, Yaichi's young and irrepressibly cheerful Kana who is too young yet to have learned prejudice.

Finally, Tagame's artwork completely complements the story perfectly. At first glance it's simple, yet it's also tightly focused and the character expressions are rich and realistic.

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