Osamu Tezuka – Manga God.

Visit and support My Guest Post on Comparative Geeks. It shows, in part, the progression of art style by Osamu Tezuka from his earliest to later days. Also I tried to show and speak of lesser known works of his.

Comparative Geeks

Mild mannered desk jockey.

drawing-tezuka-desk-Ronovan

Glasses.

drawing-tezuka-glasses-ronovan

Possessed abilities no one else had. Saved lives in ways we may never know. When people saw his name there was a strange symbol indicating something was different about him. He could be found in comics, on TV, and on the big screen. He was the hero of his nation. He was a god.

Who was this hero in disguise–this very gifted man?

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Sands of Our Lives

 

poem-sands-of-our-lives

 

Think to yourself, do you know what I’m asking
Do I give you your dreams, through your rose colored eyes
Clearing your mind, with each breath that you’re taking
Can you break with a smile, through the sands of our lives

 
Hearts are breaking, in distant worlds of wonder
Why does it have to be, though for years it has been
Shaking the hold, with a moment of thunder
Can you see the days, know you always will win

 
Temporary moments of silence and solo
Does it matter if quiet rules over the day
What does it matter as long as we both know
We’re going together in the same along way

 
I want the minutes to pass like lightning
With seconds non-existent in time of the realm
Reality breaks me into pieces somewhat frightening
But I pull myself up nothing to me overwhelm

 
You may miss the every second of every moment
When I fall down and cannot get up to stand
But don’t worry about me breaking I’m only gently bent
I’m fine as long as there is a glimmer, a hint, a strand

 
Hope is the future of a wasted past’s happenings
Future is the hope of a today’s receding sands of the shore
Never give up on me as I ramble in blatherings
I’ll be here and there through the music of our hearts’ beat score

 

Much Love, Much Respect

Ronovan

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X is the loneliest letter. Bad Girl.

Three days left of the A to Z Blogging Challenge and my theme of Comic Book Creators around the World has been fun, and at times frustrating. Each time I find a way to pull something out of the hat. Then we come to the letter X. Now, if you don’t know about the A to Z Challenge, the idea is during the month of April to write, in order, a post about something beginning with a letter of the alphabet. You get Sunday’s off.

I’ve used countries, and provinces. Then I come to the letter X. Do you know how many places of any kind in the world begin with the letter X?

Meet Song Yang from the Province of Xinjiang in China, born in 1981. Magic Box was his first big hit and he was only 17 at the time. He is hugely popular in China. Often called the most popular artist going these days. He’s into fashion, music, everything. How did he get to be so big? One site notes how China attempts to keep Japanese manga out as much as possible and promotes Song Yang at the same time. This gives him a major push. True or not, he’s a big gun in China.

Below are examples of his character, manhua art as well as his gallery pieces. I like the varying styles he displays, and I was fortunate he was the one I stumbled upon.

His series and illustrated pieces include Bad Girl and Wild Animals. And yes, I did share the less bad girl of the Bad Girl. Yang is like a rock star it seems.

song-yang

bg-beetles

sy

another-sy

wild_animal_01wild-animals

And that is it for today. Short and to the point. Several people went through some X places, but not a lot I could find were born in those places.

Two days left. Not a lot of Y and Z places either. Wish me luck searching. And next time, suggest I just go with the letter being like included in the theme somehow.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Apartheid and Publishers: The bane of South African Comic Creators.

Researching South African Graphic Literature history has been an interesting adventure. A big think I discovered is a great deal of the comics were photo comics early on. Actors would be in the positions of what Americans and Europeans would normally see as drawn panels. Text balloons would then be inserted.

There are rare examples of illustrated comics, and I’ll mention those as I discover them. Yes, I write as I discover as opposed to research then writing. You get to ride along with me as I get excited or disappointed, depending on what I find.

For instance, here is the first illustrated book I found.

mm1Mighty Man. This was Soweto’s version of Superman. Sounds like a good idea, right? The book was about a black policeman who is shot, then healed by some beings from beneath the earth and given powers. All good so far. But the point of the book was to have the blacks during apartheid basically subliminally, from an early age, given the thoughts that going against the rules of the white government was wrong, they should stay in their place, there should be no guns owned by blacks, and it just keeps going.

Back up stories were about local folklore and sports figures. Any efforts by the Americans involved in the creation were slapped down. They worked for the company and did the book. Even when not agreeing with what the books overall message was.1In truth the book was more a propaganda and advertising scheme.

fairest-tb-2I also found a great writer in Lauren Beukes.2 A writer of novels and and TV scripts. Her selection to write Fairest3 for Vertigo4, and imprint of DC Comics says a lot. Fairest is a spinoff of Fables, a highly acclaimed series. Fairest is about the women of fairy tales set in different situations and with actual lives. These aren’t fairy tales.

Beukes arc in the series, The Hidden Kingdom, deals with Rapunzel traveling to Tokyo to take care of a mystery from her past.

Next I stumbled upon a piece by Nobhongo Gxolo who speaks with a couple of South African creators.5 First there was Moray Rhoda, illustrator, designer, and writer. One piece comic fans may have heard of is Velocity, a Graphic Novel anthology with contributing creators. He shares a frustration with another up and coming creator, Loyiso Mkize, illustrator and writer of Kwezi, about a 19 year old cocky guy who suddenly has powers and how he handles it.

velocitykwezi

The frustration they have is distribution. Local publishers don’t want to invest, not seeing the potential local home grown comics have. Most books are Indie Books in South Africa with any mass published being from the US or Europe. Local creators have more interest from places like US who get what is being done and see the talent of the artists.

“The artwork is definitely international level, but the storytelling is not there”~Rhoda

The artwork gains attention across the ocean, much like many other countries, but the writing is the problem.

“There’s also the fact that as I got older I learned to appreciate the role of superheroes in young people’s minds: positive, encouraging and inspiring.”~Mkize

Comic strips, humorous and adventure were ongoing from the early 20th Century onward. I don’t mention the names here because I honestly am not certain how appropriate some might be considering the way the government segregated society so harshly.

When I begin a more comprehensive series I will include all that I find, but for now enjoy what we have here today. Talent. A lot of it, but with no local publisher support.

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References

Return To Mighty Man
1 http://southafricancomicbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/sowetos-super-man-mighty-man-and-mid.html

Return To Lauren Beukes
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Beukes
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairest_%28comics%29
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28DC_Comics%29

Return To Rhoda and Mkize
5 http://mg.co.za/article/2015-02-27-return-of-the-african-superhero
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The Saint to the Honeymooners to Northguard. Quebec gives birth to creators.

Qatar is not the place to really go looking from Graphic Literature in the vein in which I am interested in at this time. I therefore headed to Quebec. I thought about provinces in China, but I thought a little closer to home would be easier. Have I ever told you how foolish my ideas can be?

Did I tell you I tried creators from Queens, New York? Not so easy either.

Canada went through some interesting things during WWII much like other parts of the world. Oddly US books were banned from being imported for economic reasons, but could be reprinted. This allowed for a  Golden Age of comic books in Canada. Canada also went through the 1950s censorship issues much as the rest of the various Western Hemisphere.

Golden Roy

I want to start today with a man named Joseph Michel Roy (1921-1996), better known as Mike Roy or Michael Roy. Researching about artists born in Quebec had been tough until the wee hours and I found this man. And did I find a creator or what?

Born in Quebec he headed south where he ended up in New York at the School of Industrial Art, also known as the High School of Art and Design. For those outside of the United States, think ages 14 or 15 up to around 18. The school produced several comic artists from this time period. During Roy’s particular time he was the first to get the break.1

In 1940, while still in school, Roy writes, pencils (draws), and inks the short story Tigerman2 in the comic book Daring Mystery Comics3.  Daring Mystery Comics was produced by Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics.4

tigerman
The only image of Tigerman I could find. May or may not be Mike Roy’s.
daring6
Daring Mystery Comics #6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to a high school friend of Roy’s, another Timely Comics artist Allen Bellman, he recalls Roy working on a Sub Mariner comic will still in high school, although it is not mentioned in a list of his works. The incident sticks in Bellman’s mind because Roy was then a big shot and hero because he had actually done what they all wanted to do.5 One thing to keep in mind is, Roy went to work for Bill Everett as his assistant and that may be why we don’t see Roy’s name on work for that particular issue. Or it could be that issue has slipped through the cracks.6

cap60

Roy did a lot of Timely books, Captain America #60 being of course being of interest to me where he had the lead story. But there were later books I found insanely amazing to find he worked on. Jackie Gleason and the Honeymooners from the 1950s. The Twilight Zone from the 1960s.  Buck Rogers and the 25th Century in 1980.

gleasonAll of these are interesting and great but then we have a few things where Roy stands out.

Mike Roy’s Comic Strips

Roy has a tie to one of the most famous detectives in literary fiction, Mike Hammer. No, you won’t see Roy given credit for Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, but you will find his name with the comic Mike Danger in 1947, the first go round of Mike Hammer. It failed and Spillane, in three weeks, turned out I, the Jury.7

mikedanger
Crime Busters story.

 

We then find Roy on The Saint comic strip which began it’s run on Septemeber 27, 1948, written by Leslie Charteris. Yes, The Saint as in Simon Templar with George Sanders in the old movies and Roger Moore in the TV series.8

Saint Comic-Strip 1948[6]

Then we see him once again, in the detective genre with the Nero Wolfe comic strip from 1956 to 1958.9

Nero Wolfe 19570415-17

Mike Roy’s Native American Interests


Mike Roy was very interested in Native American culture. His strip Akwas from the 1960s showed this. It was set historically pre Columbus. He attempted to keep the strip in print by giving her super powers toward the end but it didn’t save it.10

akwas

Screaming Eagle, a graphic novel was Roy’s final work, published in 1998 after his passing.

“SCREAMING EAGLE tells a mythical version of Native history—from the early pioneering days to the end of the Indian wars. Not coincidentally, that period coincides with the life of the story’s fictional hero.

At the onset, white trappers shoot a bald eagle, then the boy Screaming Eagle. The eagle’s and boy’s spirits merge and Screaming Eagle comes back to life. He now has the power to turn into his namesake guardian spirit.

Screaming Eagle becomes the focal point for this simplified version of events. He’s there to counsel people in war and peace. He’s the embodiment of all the great Indian leaders, from Tecumseh to Geronimo.”~Robert Schmidt.11

screamingeagle

Mike Roy also co-founded a museum of Native American and Eskimo art.

Today

To end I will mention a creative duo specifically for Canadian Graphic Literature. writer Mark Shainblum and artist Gabriel Morrissette.  They are at least close to today but their work on specifically and obviously Canadian superheros is why I want to mention them.

The two created Northguard, an almost accidental hero in the fact he was really just doing his job and ended up being a costumed hero. The book was a serious effort during the 1980s to have home grown superhero comics with heroes having Canadian identity throughout, not just in name only. He also had a partner called Fleur de Lys from the emblem on the Quebec flag. The two appeared on Canadian postage stamps.12

ng1fleur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are successful Canadian comics but rare. With the amount of American comics and with a population that cannot support so many comics it’s difficult to create and maintain a publishing system. There are efforts and I may talk about them another time. But that’ all for today.
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Click the link below to learn about comics in the Philippines. Did WWII help or hinder their comic book culture? How about the rule of Marcos?

Can a part of Filipino culture come back to life?

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References

Return to Golden Roy
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Roy_%28comics%29
2 http://comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=106465
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daring_Mystery_Comics
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timely_Comics

Return to Timely Comics
5 http://www.comicartville.com/bellmanpg2.htm
6 http://beachbumcomics.blogspot.com/2014/07/comic-strip-artist-mike-roy-mark-on.html

Return to Comic Strips
7 http://cgcforum.gpanalysis.com/cgcforum_thread.asp?pagenumber=55&ThreadID=690754&threadName=A+Month+in+the+Life+of+the+Comics
8 The Roger Moore Handbook-Everything you need to know about Roger Moore. By Emily Smith Page 418. Tebbo Publishing Feb. 28th 2013
9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero_Wolfe

Return to Roy’s Native American Interest
10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akwas
11 http://www.bluecorncomics.com/scrmeagl.htm

Return to Today
12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northguard

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