An Autobiographical Fable: Shigeru Mizuki’s ‘Nonnonba’ Reviewed

Shigeru Mizuki is a one of Japan’s golden age Manga artists known for popularizing the Yokai genre (ghost stories) with his tales of Kitaro. His works have inspired artists like Junji Ito and Scott McCloud. In his autobiographical fable Nonnonba we learn about the early childhood experiences that led Mizuki to become a manga artist. His first exposure to the world of the supernatural were the stories told by a grandmotherly figure whom is parents called Nonnonba.

The story blends personal stories with light supernatural encounters where the reader is left to determine how much is real. All of the characters (human or yokai) are brought to life with deft caricature. It’s a testament that an artist can communicate heavy emotions with a light cartoony style. Deeply personal and yet wildly imaginative, Nonnonba, redefined what autobio comics can be.

Shigeru Mizuki is a one of Japan’s golden age Manga artists known for popularizing the Yokai genre (ghost stories) withCOMICONRead More

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