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Print Graphic Novel July 25, 2000
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Henry (Yoshitaka) Kiyama
The Four Immigrants Manga
1998

Imagine a humorous comic in which the hero immigrates to America, survives the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, serves in World War I, and avoids an influenza epidemic. These are just a few of the events of this autobiographical graphic novel, drawn in the 1920s. Many of the gags fizzle, due to the translation perhaps, but the history and the drama overshadow the punchlines. Kiyama attempted to interest a Japanese-American newspaper in printing his work, but the effort proved to be well ahead of its time. He finally self-published The Four Immigrants as a book, mostly in Japanese, in 1931 -- several years before the first comic book was published.


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