This is a very short excerpt from Barefoot Gen, an autobiographical story of a boy growing up in Japan during World War II and surviving the bombing of Hiroshima. Gen (pronounced with a hard “G”) is the son of pacifist parents, and he and his family endure many hardships as a result of their unpopular beliefs. Hadashi No Gen was originally serialized in the ’70s in a popular manga for boys. It was Nakazawa’s desire that it serve not simply as entertainment but as a warning to generations against war and the atrocity of nuclear weapons. Collected into volumes, Barefoot Gen has been compared to Art Spiegelman’s Maus in its power and breadth — there are nearly 2,000 pages in the entire story. Last Gasp Publishing brought volumes 1–4 to the U.S. and plans to print the remaining volumes (up to number 10) in the near future. (Volume 2 will be re-released this winter with a new translation.) Find them at your local comic store or go to www.lastgasp.com for more information.
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