The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime

Osamu Tezuka, who died in 1989, was the bespectacled, smiling and beret-wearing gentleman dubbed the "God of Manga": he brought the form into the mainstream with Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Buddha and elevated it into a serious art form. "Tezuka was the main force in the creation of the long-arc, story manga format that today rivals novels and films in its powers of expression," writes Frederik L. Schodt in his introduction to Toshio Ban's 928-page homage to his former employer.

During his life, Tezuka drew more than 160,000 pages of manga and created 60 animated movies. He was a gifted storyteller at a young age and grew up to become a postwar Renaissance man--a medical doctor with a love of theater, a skilled piano player and amateur entomologist. These multi-faceted interests helped imbue his works with the imaginative and deeply layered narratives that would become Tezuka hallmarks. He was also a demanding perfectionist boss who nonetheless reserved time from his hectic schedule to mentor younger animators.

The Osamu Tezuka Story offers a reverent and candid review of Tezuka, in a style that memorializes and mirrors his artistic sensibilities--conceptually rich landscapes, clean, complex lines and extreme attention to movement and expression. This book is a necessary reference for Tezuka fans and an historical document providing insight into the philosophy, creation and manufacture of manga in what Schodt calls "as close to a posthumous autobiography as possible." According to Tezuka: "As long as manga can make people weep, or feel anger, manga will continue to expand their expressive possibilities." --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

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