The kamisama of manga. The Japanese Disney. The godfather of anime. Tezuka-san has had many labels bestowed upon him both before and after his untimely death, but very few do justice to his contributions to a truly transatlantic medium, one which has dramatically surged in popularity in the last decade.
A doyen of over 500 individual print titles and scores of feature films, his creations – numbering amongst them the maverick doctor of Black Jack, the epic treatise on immortality Phoenix (Hi no Tori), and the all-conquering, sci-fi inflected Pinocchio retelling of Astro Boy (Mighty Atom) – are adventurous, topical, riotously funny and fundamentally human.
Part biography, part showcase of a lifetime spent in creative abandon, author Helen McCarthy traces his early inspiration drawn from Disney's wide-eyed characters – a look that would define manga's similarly neotenous bent – to a public, if officially unacknowledged repayment in the form of Kimba The White Lion re-imagining The Lion King. Packaged with a DVD of Tezuka at work, and a relief cover of the aforementioned Mighty Atom, Osamu Tezuka: The God Of Manga is a compelling and comprehensive work. – Nick Parton
The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga
by Helen McCarthy (author) and Osamu Tezuka (illustrator)
Harry N. Abrams
2009, 272 pages, 9 x 12.2 x 1 inches
$25 Buy a copy on Amazon
Renegade BB cartoonist Ed Piskor points us to this documentary about manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), the creator of Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Kimba the White Lion. Ed says, "I am, at the same time, inspired and heartbroken by this film. It's an amazing document about the Japanese God of Comics shot a short time before his death." A DVD of the film is included in the book "The Art of Osamu Tezuka."
"Numerous Japanese teens, it seems, are uploading photos of themselves doing the Kamehameha attack from popular manga and anime series Dragon Ball," writes Kotaku's Japan-based correspondent Brian Ashcraft. There's a photo gallery and it's awesome. Brian had an earlier post at Kotaku about the broader trend in Japan of young women staging photos with manga-style martial arts. Below, one such image found on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board, with the heading, "Schoolgirls Nowadays lol".
(Thanks, Brian Lam!)
Cartoonist Mark Crilley has made over 200 high-quality videos showing how to draw people and animals in a semi-manga style. My daughter Jane and I like to watch them and sometimes we draw along with him. Even if you don't draw along with Crilley, his videos are a joy to watch, because Crilley is a very talented illustrator. He has interesting things to say about drawing, too.
Mark has a book out, too, called Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley: 30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko.
Francesco sez, "In my blog on Wired.it I posted a new series of wonderful 'manga inspired' plates created by the Japanese designer Mika Tsutai. Positioning the food in the right way Geek Chefs can tell a story or almost make the food more fun! Each plate costs 2980 Yen and for now is available only in Japanese design stores."
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund backs traveller arrested at Canadian border for "pornographic" manga on his hard drive
The images at issue are all comics in the manga style. No photographic evidence of criminal behavior is at issue. Nevertheless, a warrant was issued and the laptop was turned over to police. Consequently, the American has been charged with both the possession of child pornography as well as its importation into Canada. As a result, if convicted at trial, the American faces a minimum of one year in prison. This case could have far reaching implications for comic books and manga in North America.CBLDF Forms Coalition to Defend American Comics Reader Facing Criminal Charges In Canada (Thanks, Charles!)
The CBLDF's Board of Directors voted unanimously to aid the case by raising funds to contribute to the defense and to help the defense with strategy and expert resources.
Brownstein says, "This is an important case that impacts the rights of everyone who reads, publishes, and makes comics and manga in North America. It underscores the dangers facing everyone traveling with comics, and it can establish important precedents regarding travelers rights. It also relates to the increasingly urgent issue of authorities prosecuting art as child pornography. While this case won't set a US precedent, it can inform whatever precedent is eventually set. This case is also important with respect to artistic merit in the Canadian courts, and a good decision could bring Canadian law closer to US law in that respect. With the help of our supporters, we hope to raise the funds to wage a fight that yields good decisions and to create tools to help prevent these sorts of cases from continuing to spread."