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Barefoot Gen


UPDATE: Volumes 7 and 8 out now

Many comics have used the events of World War II as a hook around which to weave some magical storytelling, but most come from the perspective of the combatants. It’s arguable that some of the best and most memorable comics of the last century, however, focus on the victims. The first is Art Spiegelman’s Maus. The second, Keiji Nakazawa’s Barefoot Gen.

Nakazawa was a seven-year-old boy, living in Hiroshima in 1945, when an atomic bomb was dropped on the city. Although Barefoot Gen is a fictional account of what happened before, during and after the explosion, Nakazawa’s own experiences feed directly into the narrative.

Starting on the day the bomb dropped, the books follow the events from the perspective of Gen, a young boy surviving in the face of insurmountable suffering. While his mother and her baby also survive the attack, life during and after the bomb is hard for the family. Through the course of the series they face black-market gangs, radiation sickness and the horror of the wholesale destruction of the town. But it isn’t all bleak – Gen’s character grows into a caring young man, eager to learn and grow from his experiences, despite the hardships he’s suffered and the price he’s had to pay for the actions of others.

Barefoot Gen Volume 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima Barefoot Gen Volume 2: The Day After Barefoot Gen Volume 3: Life After the Bomb Barefoot Gen Volume 4: Out of the Ashes Barefoot Gen Volume 5: The Never-Ending War
Volume 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima Volume 2: The Day After Volume 3: Life After the Bomb Volume 4: Out of the Ashes Volume 5: The Never-Ending War
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Barefoot Gen Volume 6: Writing the Truth Barefoot Gen Volume 7: Bones into Dust Barefoot Gen Volume 8: Merchants of Death
Volume 6: Writing the Truth Volume 7: Bones into Dust Volume 8: Merchants of Death
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Andy Shaw

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