A new T.E. Lawrence book came in the mail today! It’s a short French comic, Portrait inconnu de John Hume Ross by Philippe Squarzoni. It’s about 38 pages and draws from situations and conversations in The Mint. In fact, the first few pages illustrate Lawrence’s experience in the recruiting office. It’s a really neat little book and one I’m glad to add to my collection!
Hello everyone - there’s a few things I would like to post about today.
First of all, THANK YOU. This blog now has over 100 followers! I’m thrilled that so many others share my passion for T.E. Lawrence. It’s been a lot of fun sifting through my collection of books to find photos, quotes, and other tidbits to share with you here.
Secondly, I just returned from Japan with three copies of T.E. Lawrence manga that I’ve put on E-bay. Manga is the name given to Japanese comic books. I know many of you were surprised that a T.E. Lawrence manga exists, so I will share what information I have.
The T.E. Lawrence manga was written and drawn by the (female) artist Tomoko Kosaka and originally released from 1984 to 1988 by Wings comics. It was released in a series of seven books. This is the series that I personally own. It was then condensed and published in a series of three books in 1993 and then again in a series of four books in 1998. All of these comics have been increasingly difficult to track down. I lived in Japan for two years and I would come across a book every now and then. Now (four years later), after checking six different shops all over Japan, I only found three. Two (the same volume) from the 1998 reprint and one from the 1993 reprint.
As for the story, it loosely follows the life of T.E. Lawrence, but with numerous male love interests encountered along the way. In Japanese comic terms, it is considered a shounen-ai comic which translates to “boys love.” Think of it as a fan fiction version of his life. The men in the comic are drawn in the bishonin style of manga art - a word which loosely translates to “pretty boy” in English. It is a sexualized interpretation of T.E. Lawrence’s story, but still interesting and I find the art beautiful.
More information about Japanese comics, and the T.E. Lawrence manga specifically (including a rough outline of the story), can be found at this website: http://freewebs.com/ouphrontis/manga.html
The auctions can be found here:
Please keep in mind that these two comics are NOT from the same series of reprints! One is from the 1993 reprint and one is from the 1998 reprint. They actually contain overlapping (but not identical) material.
To S.A. from the T.E. Lawrence manga. The quote is from the dedication of Lawrence’s book Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
From the T.E. Lawrence manga (Japanese comic book). It’s pretty silly, but some of the art is really beautiful.