The Art of Osamu: Japan’s Walt Disney
The image you see above is certainly a familiar one. It goes without saying that Astro Boy is an icon just as Mickey Mouse is to Disney, and as Mario is to Nintendo. The deceptively cute character is by far the most popular creation of one Osamu Tezuka, referred to by many as the “God of Manga.” Although I’m not really in to apotheosis of any kind, unless of course we’re talking about Michael Jackson :), the epithet certainly isn’t unwarranted considering Mr. Tezuka’s role in creating what has now become an explosive industry.
Recently, while enjoying the Fashion Week downtime, I stopped at Japanese book/media store Kinokuniya. The store is awesome – filled with all types of art supplies, books, magazines, gifts, toys and movies. Anyway, my eye immediately fell on a giant (this book is huge) red block of a book sitting on a shelf. I grew up watching Astro Boy and it’s influence on me and others is why Osamu Tezuka also earned the nickname the “Walt Disney of Japan.” So I picked up the book to see what it its all about and found it a pretty extensive and an interesting read. So if you’re into this kind of this, I definitely recommend it.