Documentary about Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka

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." Read the rest

Japanese teen trend: "Dragon Ball attack" selfies

"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!)

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Steve Jobs Manga

Posted online is a preview of the first installment of Manga Taishō and Mari Yamazaki's manga bio of Steve Jobs. Read the rest

Mark Crilley's how-to-draw videos

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.

The above video is called "How to Draw a Chibi: Winking, Peace Sign." To see all his videos, visit his YouTube channel.

Mark has a book out, too, called Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley: 30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko. Read the rest

Manga plates turn your food into comics

Francesco sez, "In my blog on 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."

La cucina invasa dai manga!! (Thanks, Francesco!)

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Westerfeld's Uglies continues in manga form: Shay's Story

I've written several times here about Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, a collection of outstanding dystopian YA science fiction novels about a world where everyone is forced to undergo cosmetic surgery at the age of 16. Westerfeld concluded the series in 2007, but now he is revisiting the world in manga form, co-creating a series of graphic novels with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings.

The first of these volumes, Uglies: Shay's Story came out this week, and it's a fantastic, fast-paced addition to the Uglies canon. As the title implies, Shay's Story retells some of the key events in the series from the point-of-view of one of the minor characters from the novel, Shay, giving her her due (she was always one of my favorites). In so doing, Westerfeld and co illuminate more of the Uglies world -- and bring to it a set of visuals that flesh out and enhance the original novels.

You can certainly enjoy Shay's Story without reading the Uglies novels first, though each series (Shay's Story is the first of several volumes) contains a few spoilers for the other.

Uglies: Shay's Story


Uglies: young adult sf that perfectly captures adolescent anxiety ... Conclusion of Westerfeld's Uglies and Pretties trilogy is out - Boing ... Scott Westerfeld's Extras - a superb volume in the Uglies series ... Scott Westerfeld's ass-kicking, bestselling YA novel UGLIES as a free

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Comic Book Legal Defense Fund backs traveller arrested at Canadian border for "pornographic" manga on his hard drive

Charles from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund sez, "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has formed a coalition to assist the defense of an American facing criminal charges in Canada for having manga comics on his laptop that Customs authorities allege are child pornography. He faces a minimum of one year in prison if convicted. CBLDF has also published an advisory about traveling through international borders with comics and a list of comics seized in Canada since 2002."

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.

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.

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Final Scott Pilgrim volume: every bit as funny, but with a bunch of good emotional stuff and a satisfying wrapup

After a long, long, long wait, Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour, the concluding volume in Bryan Lee O'Malley's hilarious, ultra-geeky, manga-inflected, game-obsessed comic about a slacker who can only have his dream girl after fighting her seven evil exes, has finally come out.

I snuck out of the office today and got my copy at Forbidden Planet in London, where they were flying off the shelves. I've been sneaking peeks at it all day, and having just put the baby to bed, I was able to finish it.


Finest Hour is everything you'd hope for in a concluding volume: more geeky, more funny, but with enormous heart and a really lovely emotional center that is brought out without being schmaltzy or obvious. Every loose end is tied up, closure occurs, things aren't perfect, but they are eminently satisfying.

If you've been waiting for the series to run its course before starting it, go. And if you've read books 1-5 and have been waiting on tenterhooks to find out how it ends, run.

Scott Pilgrim Volume 6: Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour

Scott Pilgrim trailer Gallery: First images, details of Ubisoft's Scott Pilgrim game ... Scott Pilgrim: genius comic about a slacker who has to fight his ... Photo-documenting the real Toronto backgrounds from Scott Pilgrim ... Recently on Offworld: Scott Pilgrim the game, Netflix streaming ... Read the rest

Old manga used to grow vegetables

Japanese artist Koshi Kawachi uses old manga collections to plant and grow vegetables. [via Pink Tentacle] Read the rest