Yesterday’s beer: Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout.
Yesterday’s book: Good-Bye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Notes: By 1970 and 1971, Tatsumi’s short stories had gotten longer, the level of detail had grown more assured in his art, and the terrors weren’t just existential but now also political. In Good-Bye, which collects the best of those years, his wimps, murderers, perverts, and nailbiters engage directly with the aftermath of World War II and the atomic bomb. Joblessness is rampant, as is the idea of prostitution being one of the few open lines of work for single or desperate women. Politics sharpens Tatsumi’s comics—they still move at breakneck speed, with dark panels that pace the suspense perfectly, but the protagonists’ actions now radiate outward into the world, or they soak in the world’s horrors. The nightmares and quick fixes no longer take place just in their heads or their tiny apartments. Oh, the beer: It’s everything a stout should be—so deeply brown that it’s almost black, with a dark/baking chocolate afterbite, and a creamy smoothness going down.