200611200350There’s a huge Tezuka exhibit going on in Australia, and we couldn’t be more jealous. Luckily it means lot of press coverage of Tezuka like this one. :
Tezuka, who died in 1989, devised many of manga’s most distinctive forms and images, including the big eyes and long narratives, in the 1950s. Familiar yet strange, European yet Asian, kitsch yet elegant, his work affords the viewer an insight into the perplexing formal mutations and weird narrative contortions that typify post-war Japanese culture, says Philip Brophy, Melbourne-based film-maker, artist and author, and curator of both shows.

“His manga combines seemingly cute characters with powerful post-nuclear sentiments. Already the most frequent comment from the exhibition is: ‘My god, I didn’t realise that a comic could do that’, while Japan has known that a comic could do that for years and years.”
Once you get past the Gosh! Wow! Comics can do things! There’s a lot of solid information on tezuka’s career, including a reference to the opening pages of TREASURE ISLAND, probably the single most important sequence in the history of comics, and I’m not joking.
[Link via Dirk]


  1. If you’ll allow me to plagiarise myself, I posted this comment on Brigid’s site MangaBlog about a week ago: I had the opportunity to visit the Tezuka exhibition in Melbourne, and it’s well worth doing so. The show isn’t overly large, but it does cover the main periods and themes of Tezuka’s development by centering on discussion of his most well-known characters or titles – PRINCESS KNIGHT, PHOENIX, JUNGLE EMPEROR, MARVELLOUS MELMO, LUDWIG B. and so on. Some exhibits are in the form of blown-up page or panel reproductions, but most are Tezuka’s original artwork for his manga – very well chosen to showcase his artistry and increasing graphic experimentation. The paintings used for title pages and covers are often quite stunning: they work both as art and as the basis for commercial/public images. (Unfortunately the reproductions in the catalogue on sale don’t do them justice – the colour, originally bright and clear, comes through dull and muddy). Otaku in the US who can get to San Francisco when the exhibition visits next year should definitely try to do so!

  2. I just picked up the more adult-themed Ode To Kirihito this weekend. I never really dove into Tezuka’s work before – doing myself a terrible disservice, stunting my growth as an artist. He clearly invented an entire dialect of comic story-telling. Some of it’s bizarre and experimental but always premeditated. Ode To Kirihito’s style holds up really well, artistically, in context of the diverse graphic novels lining the shelves today. I realize I’m probably the last one on Earth to figure it out, but it frustrates me when non-comic folks toss off comics as incapable of being anything more than children’s books. It’s reassuring to see Tezuka’s legacy building steam with time.

  3. I’ll second JennyN’s comment, having also wandered through the expo in Melbourne last week. I think my major disappointment was that at most 2 pages at a time from any consecutive series were shown; a full story or episode would’ve been useful.

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