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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Manhua, the original Manga. The ladies of Taiwan-A Creative Force.

I thought we would go to Taiwan today. One of the great things about this project of around the world in Graphic Literature is discovering the terms used for the medium. I call it Graphic Literature and comic books at times. I use Graphic Literature to explain what comic books mean to me. They aren’t simply funny books or superhero books. With award winning authors scripting the books, there is more to them than many, most people think.

In Taiwan comics are called manhua, meaning impromptu sketches. The term began in 18th century China and later was called manga in early 19th century Japan.

One thing I’ve discovered while researching for this is that the art is not always the stereotypical art we in America think of as manga. To me, I think what makes manhua or manga or books that is, fit into those two words is the life the art takes on. You can look at a picture and see movement even in a person standing still. No, it’s not evident in every picture but that’s what I see in most.

Another thing is that unlike American comics, manhua and even manga isn’t all about superhero antics. Most are about life, about normal people put in extraordinary situations or even basically a TV show in Graphic Literature form.  If it happens in life, it happens in manhua. That’s one thing about manhua and manga and even many European countries, the comic is an art form, not a children’s entertainment. The adults realize the importance of creativity and art.

Today won’t have a lot of background content of the authors and creators as there is a language barrier that I don’t have the time at the moment to work on. But I do have plans for detailed articles around the world and a site to go with them. When that time comes, it will have more to share.

But let’s look at the industry itself now. Big problem. Japan. It’s easier to bring in Japanese manga. For years Manga was pirated in with language changed and some extra art over nude areas added. Then pirating was made illegal in Taiwan and enforced. There is still the problem of creating a strong local industry when it is so easy to import. This forced the king of pirating, Tongli Comics to go legit and create original work as well as obtaining legal rights to import and distribute Japanese manga.

I’ll give a quick list of some Tongli artists/creators.

Beginning with some female creators:

Lai Ann.

lai ann

 

Nicky Lee/Li Chung Ping

Nicky Lee is what one would call the Fashion Manhua queen I suppose. Her books tend toward that look and are done quite well. She has a huge following.

nickylee

nicky lee The One
Nicky and a young fan.
theone
The One. Or at least a panel of an issue.

 

Jo Chen

I’m putting a few more images here because, well, AWESOME. Why? American connections to some geekdom moments for me. You’ve got Buffy the Vampire Slayer cover art, Robotech, to me the best ever. Yes, I’ve got all threes series on DVD. Don’t hate me because I get my geek on. And Racer X of Speed Racer fame.

You really have to have the desire to be a storyteller to be a comic book artist. The desire to draw cartoons or superheroes isn’t enough. In fact, the skill to draw is almost secondary. You must first want to tell stories. Once I started down that path, there was no looking back. I was hooked.”~Jo Chen

jochen2jobuffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robotech
Robotech
Racer X
Racer X

I-Huan

rfp

Some of the artwork and titles.

knight-princess
Knight Princess
enchanted
AKRU-Enchanted Tale of Formosa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll leave it at that for today. I  have obviously missed out on the very important manhua in Taiwan’s history but like I said, I will be devoting more time to it.

 

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1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhua

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tong_Li_Publishing

3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lai_Ann

4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicky_Lee

5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Chen

6 http://jo-chen.com/engpage/interview_fandom.htm

7  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yi_Huan

#Japan #Manga from #AstroBoy to #FullMetalAlchemist Awesome! #AtoZChallenge

 

JThere was no way I could do a series about comics and not head to Japan. For some Japan is comic books in a true art form and engrained in culture unlike anywhere else in the world. Where many and most societies look at the art form as a child’s funny book, in Japan the books are graphic art presentations of literary art forms for all ages with the books being anything from childlike humor to corporate room cutthroat business. If it happens in society it can happen in comics, but kicked up to a sensational level, just as you would find in the best novels on the market.

atoz-map-flags-j

Many of you have heard of the word Manga, but do you know what it means?

Katsushika Hokusai1

Hokusai was an artist during late 18th and early 19th century Japan with the use of would block carvings to use for printing, coined the term during one of his many name changes. He changed his name as he changed his style. In 1811 he began what would be known as the Hokusai Manga, with manga meaning “playful sketches” to describe his humorous images. The forms were created with simple lines and made for increased production. This new form brought him even more fame and a great many students.

The most famous of his Manga work would be his 36 Views of Mt. Fuji. As you look at the art below, think of how this was first cut into a wood book in order to be used to make prints.

The_Apparition_of_Mt_Fuji_on_the_5th_year_of_Korei.

This was not the first instance of what might be  called comic books for Japan. In the  mid 18th Century you would find what were called Kibyoshi or yellow books. These were satirizing of politicians and society in general. They were eventually banned and the edge taken off of the wit.


Following Hokusai the West came to Japan with Commodore Perry in 1853. With him came Western art forms and influences that found their way into Japan’s own art culture.2

By the 20th Century a new art form was beginning to take shape.

Rakuten Kitazawa

Yasuji (1876-1955, maybe), his real first name, is considered by many as one of, if not the father of modern Manga due to his influence on those who came later.3  His early career was influenced by Australia artist and cartoonist, Frank Arthur Nankivell4, who would leave Japan for the US and fame in his own right working for the first successful American humor magazine, Puck5.

Kitazawa created the satirical magazine Tokyo Puck. You can see the influence Nankivell had in the name. The artwork here, especially in the panel on the right is beautiful. I might at some point devote an article per creator some day.

tokyo-puck-art

Following Kitazawa we have another “father” of Manga. One that may be closer to what the West knows of as Manga.

Osamu Tezuka

Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) was a cartoonist, animator and more. When you think of Tezuka, think Japan’s Walt Disney6. That literally is what people have called him, and rightfully so. All I really need to say is Astro Boy.

newtreasureisland-cover.s600x600In 1944, at the age of 16, still in high school, Tezuka was drafted into WWII and work in a military factory where he would spend as much time as possible drawing, often on toilet paper. He witnessed first hand the results of the Osaka fire bombing. This would stay with him for the remainder of his life.7

Inspite of the military, he graduated and went on to medical school, but didn’t give up Manga. His first published work was The Diary of Ma-chan (1946). But then it happened. 1947 and we see New Treasure Island8 sell over 600,000 copies. Think about that. Just after WWII, devastated, and along comes something to give the people excitement. Tezuka introduces a cinematicastroboy-cover story telling style of Manga that is what we know of today.

Then it really happened. 1952 and a minor character in his Ambassador Atom series was given his own series due to young fans love of him. Astro Boy9 ran from 1952-1968. It’s doubtful many people realize what the book is about. I mean as far as those in the west. Prejudice. The rights of robots, now a sentient class, and how they are treated.

pk-shojoclubAlthough Astro Boy may be his most famous work, one work I was very interested in was Princess Knight10 (1953-1956) and its various sequels. Why? The book is recognized as perhaps the first fully realized Manga for girls, as in theme and starring, although not the actual first one. But it was the first to really make an impact on society. Truthfully, I would love to get my hands on these stories. Even more than I would the original Astro Boy.

Eventually, Tezuka turned to animation and developed the first weekly animated show in Japan, Astro Boy. All financed by him in a studio builttezuka-blackjack next to his home.

Tezuka lost his animation studio and his rights to Astro Boy. Those with the company didn’t like scraping by and thought others could do better. Years later the company closed. After it did, oddly offers came to Tezuka. And a rebirth began for him. in Blackjack11.

Now you may understand why some call Tezuka the father of, the god of Manga as well as the godfather of anime.

Now to someone working these days and thus a little shorter in biography.

Hiromu Arakawa12

Hiromu Arakawa is a manga artist responsible for what has now become a classic, Fullmetal123Fullmetal Alchemist. As the daughter of a dairy and potato farmer, Arakawa dreamt of life other than cows. But she agreed upon graduation from high school to stay and help with the farm for seven years.

Seven years later, Tokyo. She eventually became the assistant of HiroyukSilver_spoon_mangai Etō of Mahōjin Guru Guru13. Her first paid solo professional work was the award winning Stray Dog in 1999. She’s had several hits, but Fullmetal Alchemist14 is the one most noted for and the last I could find she is working on is a non-fantasy manga called Silver Spoon15. Manga is usually in the vein of fantasy, at least these days I suppose, so there was so hesitant acceptance of Silver Spoon but now it’s another hit. And that is why she’s included today. That stepping out, taking a chance, and changing the expectations of what manga can be.

 

Go back to Ireland by clicking the letter below or the link.

Ireland from Paddy to Ennis, this country has it all.

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References

Return to Hokusai 1
1 http://www.katsushikahokusai.org/biography.html
 
Return to Hokusai 2
2 http://manga.about.com/od/historyofmanga/a/mangahistory1.htm
 
Return to Kitazawa
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakuten_Kitazawa
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Arthur_Nankivell
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puck_%28magazine%29
 
Return to Tezuka 6-8
6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Tezuka
7 http://tezukainenglish.com/wp/about-tezuka/about-tezukas-life/tezukas-life-1928-1957/
8 http://tezukainenglish.com/wp/osamu-tezuka-manga/manga-m-s/new-treasure-island-manga/
 
Return to Tezuka 9-11
9 http://tezukainenglish.com/wp/osamu-tezuka-manga/manga-a-h/astro-boy-manga/
10 http://tezukainenglish.com/wp/osamu-tezuka-manga/manga-m-s/princess-knight-shojo-club-manga/
11 http://tezukainenglish.com/wp/osamu-tezuka-manga/manga-a-h/black-jack-manga/
 
Return to Hirimu Arakawa
12  http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/Hiromu_Arakawa
13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mah%C5%8Djin_Guru_Guru
14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fullmetal_Alchemist
15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Spoon_%28manga%29

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