That Old East Wind
Dash Shaw has a fascinating take on the new Tezuka book from Abrams and the DVD it contains. His thoughts on “the God of Manga’s” superhuman work-ethic are sobering. (I’m looking forward to getting the book myself, but it’s the Christmas/Chanukah season, so I’m not allowed to buy it just in case).
Coincidentally, over at HU, Stephanie Folse is re-reading the original Elfquest series, reminding me of a time in the early ’80s when the Tezuka fan club among working American comics professionals numbered in the single digits—and most definitely included both Wendy Pini and myself.
Tezuka was, for many years, my favorite cartoonist. I had a bookcase filled with untranslated Tezuka that I studied like the Torah for hours on end. Sometimes I’d close my eyes, reach for a random volume, flip to a random page, and open my eyes again to find a beautiful, inventive, and unique page waiting for me.
Tezuka famously drew well over a hundred thousand pages of comics over the course of forty years. I mentioned this in a little tribute to Tezuka in Zot! in the mid-’80s. Later, one of my readers visited Japan and showed the God of Manga my little comic. His only message back to me was to emphasize “quality over quantity.”
Watching younger cartoonists discover Tezuka for the first time over the last couple of decades has been quietly satisfying. In some ways, I feel like Shaw’s generation of innovators is ready to consider the whole man in a way mine was rarely ready or willing to.