Influential Japanese manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto’s five volume graphic novel series Ping Pong (1996-2001), published by Shogakukan, explores the relationship between two teenage friends and ping pong players. The coming of age story told in the series was the inspiration for the 2002 movie Ping Pong..
His drawing style has a kinetic energy which captures the nature of ping pong and moves the reader through the pages of this graphic novel at a dramatic rate, with a few moments of quiet contemplation.
"American comics are powerful and cool. European comics seem very intellectual. And Japanese comics are very light-hearted. If you could combine the best of all three, you could create some really tremendous work. That's my goal."
Ping Pong Volume 1
Publisher: Shogakukan, June 1996
English Availability: Scanlations, http://www.kefi.org/
Ping Pong Volume 2
Publisher: Shogakukan, November 1996
Ping Pong Volume 3
Publisher: Shogakukan, February 1997
Ping Pong Volume 4
Publisher: Shogakukan, June 1997
Ping Pong Volume 5
Publisher: Shogakukan, August 1997
To hear a rare interview in English of Taiyo Matsumoto, click here.
For English versions of Taiyo Matsumot's Ping Pong, click here.