Yusaku Hanakuma is a Japanese illustrator and cartoonist, and was born in 1967 in Tokyo. He studied art at Chiyoda Art Technical College and the premier Setsu Mode Seminar in Tokyo. He is the winner of numerous manga awards, including the GARO Magazine Nagai Katsuichi Award and the 13th Annual Award for Excellence. Hanakuma is famous as a practioner of the heta uma style (literally, "Bad, but Good") of kinetic and grotesque illustration. He has released numerous hit titles in Japan, most of which feature his hapless characters AFRO and HAGE (baldie). He is also a skilled martial artist.
Hanakuma Yusaku is second-generation heta-uma -- "bad good" -- an aesthetic of de-skilled art, insane storylines, and toilet humor that was born in and around Garo circa 1980. In 1994, he received the Nagai Katsuichi prize for his work in Garo. His drawing is stiff and scratchy, and his subjects range from man-eating hamsters and zombie death matches to human recycling plants. Tokyo Zombie (1999), Hanakuma's best-known work, was originally serialized in the first nine issues of AX. It was made into a movie in 2005 and translated into English in 2008 (Last Gasp). He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and his enthusiasm for martial arts manifests as a penchant for manga featuring gory blood sports.