Wednesday, August 05, 2009

COMING SOON, TO A BLOG NEAR YOU...

Sorry for the lull in posts this week... Working on some stuff for the Electric Ant Zine Blog and other projects has been keeping me busy. But I do have a few things planned for Same Hat in the next week :)

NEXT UP:

+ 51 Reasons To Love Him - information about newly licensed Usamaru Furuya book and photos of my copies of his earlier manga, Lychee Hikari Club, Plastic Girl, and Palepoli.

+ All Hail, King Tezuka - addressing a perceived lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Osamu Tezuka by English-language manga fans. Gonna highlight my favorite Tezuka panels (Lemme know yours in the comments and I'll include them too!)

+ 10 Capsule Reviews - housekeeping and rounding up all the comics I've been reading in the past few weeks.


15 comments:

Holt said...

I've always wondered what was under that beret.

ryan said...

@Holt: That's what she said!

(wait, what?)

James said...

Thank you for posting that video. That was amazing.

Sadly a lot of western manga fans are not familiar with Tezuka's work or are not interested because the artwork is not as polished as today's comics. But a lot of his stories are as complex and intense as the stuff being created today and thanks to recent translations being put out there by Schodt and DMP and the recent art exhibitions popping up around the world, maybe we won't have to keep introducing him to our friends as "the guy who drew Astro Boy".

ryan said...

@James: Thanks for that comment, I couldn't have said it better myself. I totally agree.

I would also add that for serious fans of manga (whatever that means) or at least for folks that take the medium itself seriously and write about it, I personally think it's sorta shameful to have not read or thought much about Tezuka's influence and work. I think most folks really into Manga at least know that Tezuka is important, even if that haven't dived deep into his countless works. The more I read about Tezuka, and the more primary source interview clips, or original pages by him, etc, the more in awe I am of him as a dude and as a creator.

So yeah. I mean, eventhough I find many of his actual, individual comics to be entirely incredible and funny and lovely on their own merits (and yes also, sometimes offensive, stupid, etc, too), I don't need or want everyone to LOVE Tezuka's comics. But without understanding the roots, mentoring, genre creation/foundational work he laid in developing the entire form, what does one really know about manga?

My post will be a little about that, but I'm more interested in just showing off how freakin' fun and cool many of his comics are...

Do you have any favorite sequences or panels you'd like me to include? :)

Ryan!

Holt said...

The thing that usually comes to mind first when I think of Tezuka is a nightmare I had that followed about the same plot as Ode to Kirihito. Well, I guess it was that crossed with that movie Dog Soldiers.

ryan said...

@Holt: Good call :) I'll be scanning some of those experimental hallucination / anguish panels for Kirihito for sure!

Jacob Martin said...

I personally think Osamu Tezuka's rage against the machine in Astro Boy 1 and 2 Omnibus should be highlighted as an example of "I've had it with these mother****ing censors on this mother****ing PLANE". Poor Tezuka struggled against censorship on many occassions, but the sequence where he yells at Astro Boy about how the Americans don't like dogs being harmed in their children's cartoons is a classic.

I also like the panel in Apollo's Song where Shogo contemplates the tragedy of a lovers' suicide pact. Breaks my heart every time I see it.

ryan said...

@Jacob: great call on both panels, I need to go remind myself of the specific Apollo's Song panel you're referring to...

That one of Tezuka yelling at Astro Boy is super, and a good example of his relentless willingness to re-draw, re-do and re-visit his older works :)

thanks!

Matthew J. Brady said...

Any lack of respect for Tezuka should be punished severely. The guy was a genius. I'm trying to think of possible favorite panels of his, and there are quite a few that come to mind, like the main character trying to blow his own head off in Phoenix: Future, or all the clones of Shogo's lover being destroyed in Apollo's song. Christ carrying the cross in Kirihito. The crazy monsters in Dororo, like the moth lady or the weird accumulation of child ghosts exploding into a bunch of spirits. Some of the hallucinatory stuff in MW, like the panel that I think was inspired by Salome.

That's all off the top of my head, but I know there are a ton more, and even more waiting in the stuff that I haven't read. I have a whole stack of Tezuka books that I need to read, including most of Buddha and a couple volumes each of Phoenix and Black Jack; I know there's a ton of great stuff in there, but I feel like I need to be able to take the time to process it. But just out of what I've read, there's almost too much greatness to even comprehend.

Matthew J. Brady said...

I couldn't stop thinking about Tezuka moments, so here are some more.

From Dororo:
The guy riding on a shark.
The nine-tailed fox nailed to the wall.
Silly bits of comedy in the midst of a huge battle.

MW:
Mr. Mustachio being attacked by a vicious dog.

Buddha:
The amazing visuals of nature, full of trees, landscapes, and animal life.
The destruction left by an army who slaughtered a village.

Apollo's Song:
That opening page, with the sperm getting ready to race to the egg.

From several sources: The cool "low-light" silhouettes, with people's features being defined only by some simple white-on-black shapes to make a vague outline.

Crap, that's a lot of stuff. I can provide some panels if you want, since I scanned a bunch of them for reviews on my blog. Also, I just watched the recent collection of Tezuka's animated shorts, and they're pretty amazing too. Man, the guy was just a fire hose of creativity.

ryan said...

@Matthew Brady: Haha, Matt you couldn't help yourself!!

Thanks for the excellent suggestions and posts. I definitely agree with you that it can take a long time to process Tezuka's works. Mentally and visually. I usually find that his layouts are so natural and smartly composed that I read them way too fast the first time through (the main exceptions being Lost World, Metropolis, and even Swallowing the Earth, since his earlier stuff has a more dense and expository flow with dialogue and characters). The good news, of course, is that each of his books are immensely re-readable. Even Tezuka's lesser books hold up to re-reading and inspection insanely well.

At this point, the only English releases I still have to tackle are the bulk of Astro Boy, (volumes 4 to the end?) and finishing up Swallowing The Earth... I'll always have a soft spot for Adolf and Phoenix, but the reminders to revisit Buddha and Dororo are well-received.

If you happen to already have stuff scanned, definitely send along plz. I'm gonna try to scan some stuff this weekend too.

A tiny few that pop into my head (away from my books on a bus right now) are:
Adolf v.4: The execution of that girl during the march to the concentration camp
Buddha v.3(?): The baby elephant scene
Phoenix: Robita rising up from the rubble and walking to the distance, with crazy background effects.

It's nerdy but, I feel like fully understanding Tezuka's influence and awesomeness is really important to be able to talk about post-Tezuka manga properly. there are a lot of amazing artists who worked in opposition to Tezuka's influence (often understandably so, he was the major/mainstay commercial and style influence for a few decades, right?), and it's hard to talk about what the downsides/secondary effects/problems with Tezuka are unless you first realize he's a genius and visionary... if that makes sense?

Okay, enough rambling from me! My focus for the post is gonna be on visuals/art/panels, since one anime/manga fanboy criticism I keep hearing is that even accepting he's important, his are is too Disney and dated looking. MUST. QUASH. INACCURATE. NERD. WHINING.

ryan!

If anyone else has favorite panels, which

ryan said...

whoops, comment was cut off:

If anyone else has favorite panels, share them in this thread and I'll round-em up for the post next week.

ill iterate said...

So many awesome Tezuka frames but for starters: Last frame on Page 615, Ode to Kirihito (Vertical edition). Amazing because it's so different from anything else he's done, and I'm fairly convinced the photo he collages into the background is of him.

Otherwise, some of the real gems in Tezuka's canon are his depictions of "love making" (as opposed to sex tout court), most especially in his anime. This is most probably stuff done by other artists, but all directed/produced by Tezuka.

...and I too wonder what's under his beret...

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