by Chris MaGee
I have to say that one of the highlights of 2009 for me was meeting gekiga artist Yohishiro Tatsumi. Not only was he down to earth and so happy to be in Toronto to promote his engrossing 800-page plus autobiographical gekiga/ manga "A Drifting Life", translated and published by Montreal comic publisher Drawn & Quarterly, but he was so generous with his time during the book signing that took place at Toronto's Japan Foundation office. You can read my full report here, but suffice to say that I couldn't stop smiling as Tatsumi not only signed but illustrated the inside cover of my copy of "A Drifting Life" - plus everyone else's copies as well! What a class act!
It's because of this meeting, and the wonderful experience of letting myself be engulfed in the story Tatsumi brings to life in his book, that I got pretty darn excited by the news that "A Drifting Life" is going to be brought to the screen in a live-action adaptation.
As reported at Japanator Singapore production companies Inifinite Frame Works and Zhao Wei Films will be teaming up to bring the story of Tatsumi's manga alter ego Hiroshi Katsumi and his rise from impoverished post-war teenager to successful gekiga/ manga artist to the screen. No cast, director or release date has been announced yet, but apparently this live-action take on Tastumi's manga, budgeted at approximately $2 million, won't stray that far from its source materials original aesthetic. "A Drifting Life" the film will be "shot all in black-and-white, and done in Japanese".
Exciting news. We'll definitely keep you updated as more details come out.