A blank canvas, just waiting for the genius to come…
The Story of a Miracle Forest (1949) is notable for two reasons. One the one hand, many of the themes and devices Tezuka would more fully implement later on in Princess Knight [Shojo] (1953-56) have their origins in this tale.
However, on the other, it is also the first instance of Osamu Tezuka breaking into the “fourth wall” and inserting himself into one of his stories. Even though, he simply makes an appearance as the humble narrator, it’s a sign of more to come.
“Cactus” Sam is just your regular, ordinary cowboy, but give him a glass of milk and he transforms from a calm, congenial, fellow into the rootin-est, tootin-est, six-gun shootin-est cowpoke you ever did see…
This public service message for healthy living comes from Osamu Tezuka’s “Popeye-esque” cowboy adventure, Mr. Cactus (1951-54).
"Why the figure of the Phoenix exactly? Well, because I found the spirit of Stravinsky’s Firebird so enigmatic and cosmic.
For it is my intention to publish the finale of Phoenix after my death, and not before.”
This somewhat prophetic statement comes from Osamu Tezuka’s little-known Phoenix (1967-88) Chapter called ‘Intermission’. First published as a short, 6-page “graphic essay” in the November 1971 issue of COM, Tezuka takes time out to explain his reasons for publishing the series that will become known as his life’s work.
"How to Draw Manga… The Osamu Tezuka Way!"
Follow along and take a step in the right direction…
"How to Draw Manga… The Osamu Tezuka
What can I say? You’ve gotta… hand it to Tezuka, he knew how to come through in the clutch… or point… or… fist.
"How to Draw Manga… the Osamu Tezuka Way!"
Classic Japanese anime/manga noses are probably not as iconic as the big round eyes Osamu Tezuka invented, but he certainly knew how to draw a schnoz or two as well…
"How to Draw Manga… the Osamu Tezuka way!"
Tezuka is famously credited with creating the classic large Japanese “anime eyes” by adapting early Disney animation styles into his manga works.
However, those aren’t the ONLY eyes he knew how to draw…
It’s good to have a robot horse…
Among other things, they can wake you up with a well-timed lick to the face when a no-good, rootin’, tootin’, one-eyed space cowpoke like Lamp shows up.
This highly detailed schematic of Arrow, the robot-horse is brought to you courtesy of Osamu Tezuka’s Cowboys n’ Martians adventure tale, Captain Ken (1960-61).
Oh, and if you’d like to read this story in English, head over to Kickstarter to support DMP’s efforts to get it published in English. You can even get an Arrow decal in the process!