Drawing From MemoryBook - 2011
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Imagine that you are twelve, you have your own apartment (which your parents pay for), and you get to study comics with a master sensei. Sounds a little bit like heaven, no? Well welcome to Allen Say's world. As a boy growing up in WWII era Japan, cartoons were his life. Unfortunately they were not the kind of thing a serious young man was supposed to study. While living with his grandmother for a time, the older woman came up with a serious proposition. If he studied hard and got into the prestigious private Aoyama Middle School he would be given his own apartment and stipend for food. Young Allen leaped at the chance and before he knew it he had his own pad. Soon thereafter he read a newspaper article about a boy like himself who traveled hundreds of miles to become a cartoonist and was taken on by the great Noro Shinpei. Inspired, Allen also introduces himself to Shinpei and is taken on as well. Through this great man he learns what it truly means to make art, and when an opportunity to go to America comes up, he takes it, never forgetting the man who helped him all those years ago. The book is told through Say's own drawings, both from his past and from his memories today, as well as photographs, comic panels, sketches, and more. An Author's Note in the back explains what happened to his old sensei years and years later.
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