Slum Wolf

Tadao Tsuge (Translated by Ryan Holmberg)
Published by: New York Review of Books, 2018

A gritty collection of graphic short stories by Tadao Tsuge, a Japanese manga master, depicting life on the streets among punks, gangsters, and vagrants.

Tadao Tsuge is one of the pioneers of alternative manga, and one of the world’s great artists of the down-and-out. Slum Wolf is a new selection of his stories from the late Sixties and Seventies, never before available in English: a vision of Japan as a world of bleary bars and rundown flophouses, vicious street fights and strange late-night visions. In assured, elegantly gritty art, Tsuge depicts a legendary, aging brawler, a slowly unraveling businessman, a group of damaged veterans uniting to form a shantytown, and an array of punks, pimps, and drunks, all struggling for freedom, meaning, or just survival.

With an extensive introduction by translator and comics historian Ryan Holmberg, this collection brings together some of Tsuge’s most powerful work–raucous, lyrical, and unforgettable.

ISBN: 978-1681371740 | Published by New York Review of Books; Main edition (17 May 2018) | Language: English

About the Author and Translator

Tadao Tsuge
Born in 1941 in the working-class Katsushika Ward neighbourhood, Tsuge spent his youth living and working among the bottom crust in labour markets and “ooze for booze” blood banks. He entered the comic field with kashihon rental manga, before making his debut in the monthly manga magazine Garo in 1968. Garo is the fountainhead of experimental and literary comics in Japan, known for championing artists such as the legendary Yoshihiro Tatsumi and Yoshiharu Tsuge, Tadao’s older brother. The younger Tsuge never garnered the same kind of acclaim. However, Tsuge’s first English collection, Trash Market (published by Drawn and Quarterly) led to an international reevaluation of his oeuvre. Slum Wolf is sure to continue the conversation.


Ryan Holmberg is an art and comics historian. After receiving his PhD in Japanese Art History from Yale University in 2007, he taught at the University of Chicago, City University of New York, and the University of Southern California. He is a frequent contributor to Art in AmericaArtforumYishu, and The Comics Journal. He has edited and translated a number of historically important Japanese comics, amongst them Tezuka Osamu’s The Mysterious Underground Men (PictureBox 2014), winner of the 2014 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Asia.

To buy a copy, please visit:

Amazon.co.uk