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Barbara Paperback – October 9, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Barbara
  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569702829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569702826
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,016,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. He originally intended to become a doctor and earned his degree before turning to what was then a medium for children. His many early masterpieces include the series known in the U.S. as Astro Boy. With his sweeping vision, deftly interwined plots, feel for the workings of power, and indefatigable commitment to human dignity, Tezuka elevated manga to an art form. The later Tezuka, who authored Buddha, often had in mind the mature readership that manga gained in the sixties and that had only grown ever since. The Kurosawa of Japanese pop culture, Osamu Tezuka is a twentieth century classic.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ChibiNeko VINE VOICE on October 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have to say that the story behind the production of this volume is fairly interesting. Digital Manga Publishing had originally wanted to publish Osamu Tezuka's Barbara, but lacked the funds to do so. The company had also lacked the funds to re-publish another of Tezuka's works, Swallowing the Earth, but utilized Kickstarter as a way of funding the manga, also doing so for Barbara. The end result is that now Barbara is available in English, albeit in limited quantity. Hopefully the current run will sell well enough to warrant another printing, as this really is an interesting look into Tezuka.

As far as the artwork goes, I was struck by how different parts of this felt from some of his other work. This was drawn at the same time as Black Jack and many of his other works, and while you can definitely identify it as Tezuka's style it differs in several ways. He seems to have experimented with the artwork in this volume, which is at times bizarre and at other times a little disconcerting. There are elements of playfulness in this volume, but the tone here is fairly somber for the most part. This is ultimately a tragic tale to tell of love, obsession, and loss.

I think what makes this so interesting is that the titular Barbara isn't really that likable of a character. She's an unapologetic drunk and while she does seem to care for Mikura, she's ultimately in it for herself, fully aware that whatever she has with him will more than likely be as fleeting as any of her interactions with her previous men. This is fairly different from some of Tezuka's other works, which usually have the lead female character being a positive character or at least a likeable one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter Q on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading Tezuka's book "The book of human insects" and couldn't understand why one of the reviewers disliked it so vehemently. We can't have things are way all the time, can we?

This book Barbara really caught my attention. The sequence of events from beginning to end were unpredictable, you never knew what would be next. Barbara "not what she seems to be" works great.
The characters all have a degree of mystery to them, they have there secrets. In Mikura's case hallucinations, etc..and who knows what else? I like how some of these "secrets" are never fully discussed or discovered..think about it. This book is interesting and brilliantly done.
I hope the publisher continues to release quality like this. I'm glad I read it.. you will be too! A+
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By a.b. on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
So here's the thing. Tezuka's BARBARA is by far one of the manga legend's most bizarre, surreal, evocative, and subjective works ever published. The title is an at times chaotic swirling of social ills -- characters dally in the black arts, drugs and alcohol enable the common man, artists thrive on just being adequate, and politicians (and their daughters) only have eyes for the camera. BARBARA may focus its narrative on one Yousuke Mikura and the "drunken, foul-smelling hippie chick" named Barbara, but the greater scope of this manga story encompasses what it means to suffer as an artist, how/why this suffering manifests itself in self-destructive ways, and whether it is ever possible (necessary?) to alleviate this suffering at all.

Mikura is a brilliant novelist, but he is a man of many vices: substance abuse and debauchery chief among them. Whenever the man is in a rut (or, interestingly enough, whenever he convinces himself that his works-in-progress just don't fly), he descends into a surreal madness whereby sex and violence dutifully ameliorate his creative "block." Barbara is an unknown. She drinks constantly, never bathes, speaks and behaves with a masculine capriciousness (here, the cultural context is important), and yet.... she can quote French poetry from memory, can recognize almost any work of fine art or literary art of centuries past, and is more honest with herself, sitting beneath a dirty pillar in the Shinjuku train station than the thousands of drones middling about her put together.

Why do the lives of these characters intersect? That's difficult to say.
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