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The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Har/DVD edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810982498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810982499
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 9.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helen McCarthy is the author of eight books about Japanese animation and comics, including the first book in the English language devoted to anime: Anime! A Beginners Guide To Japanese Animation (1993). She is also the curator of the Osamu Tezuka Film Festival at London’s Barbican Centre.

More About the Author

Helen McCarthy (1951- ) has been researching and writing about Japanese popular culture since 1981. After a decade hearing that there was "no interest in that sort of thing" she founded a magazine, Anime UK, to disprove the claim. Her first book was published just over a year later, and she's been writing about anime, manga and Japan ever since. Her work has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian and Korean.

In 2010 she won a Harvey Award - the Oscars of the comics world - for her tenth book, 'The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga'. The book was also nominated for an Eisner Award. Helen's other awards include a Japan Foundation Award for furthering understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom, and a Society of Authors/Sasakawa Foundation award.

She designs needlework, which led to the creation of "Manga Cross-Stitch", a book for those who want to use the energy of Japanese popular culture in their own embroidery. Combining a basic cross stitch course and a potted history of manga with a toolkit for designers and a wealth of fresh, enjoyable, easy-to-stitch charts, it has been welcomed by a host of stitchers.

She also writes poetry and tweets haiku and random nonsense daily. In her spare time, she studies and re-creates historic clothing and costume. She lives in London with an artist and a universe of toys.

Customer Reviews

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Still a great buy for fans of the "God of Manga."
M. Nastos
The book is very comprehensive, detailing Osamu's childhood, his primary sketches, and all the details about the influences on creating his comics.
Thao Trinh
I bought this book after seeing the excellent Astro Boy movie, and I have to say that it's worth every dollar.
Laughing Dragon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Length: 0:27 Mins
It comes with cardboard onlay of Astro Boy pasted on top the hardcover, a 45 minute documentary DVD and a soft transparent vinyl dust jacket. There are two publishers for the book, Ilex and Abrams ComicArt, with Ilex distributing for the UK market.

The author Helen McCarthy has compiled a rather in depth biography of Osamu Tezuka. The content is presented chronologically detailing the different characters, book titles and animation he has created. Over his career, he has created a staggering amount of over 170,000 pages of comic in over 700 titles. He's a prolific artist at the start who became even more so after using comic assistants, a system currently used today to create comics and animation.

In addition to the manga and anime art, there are also a lot of great photos of Osamu Tezuka, even from when he was a kid born in 1928, thanks to his father who's a photographer. The biography looks at his life of creating comics from when he was a kid, to studying medicine and to the post war period when he rose to fame with the numerous creation to his name.

Since he created so many titles, the book only list his key works and characters. But even so, there are quite a lot ranging from his 4-panel strips to Black Jack and later on animation titles. It's interesting to find out that many characters he created actually cross over to other titles making cameo appearances, sometimes even including Osamu Tezuka himself. Many themes in his comics are from his philosophy and influences from life.

On the DVD, the documentary shows us how he works when camera men are allowed, for the first time, into his personal studio. There's a section showing him rushing for a publication deadline while chasing a flight overseas at the same time.
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Format: Hardcover
Let's just suppose, for the sake of argument, that you wanted to persuade the skeptical of the artistic merit of either manga or anime. There are plenty of accomplished series in both media you could introduce them to, perhaps pointing out the compelling themes and striking imagery in a helpful, over-the-shoulder kind of way. But here's another option: You could simply have them flip through the pages of Helen McCarthy's The Art of Osamu Tezuka for 10 or 15 seconds. If they still don't get it, chances are they're operating under a different conception of what constitutes art in the first place.

Those of a certain age might recall the splash that Christopher Finch's The Art of Walt Disney made back when it first appeared in the 1970s. Here was a comprehensive volume bursting not only with rich colors and impeccable design, but that gathered a wealth of material that otherwise was difficult to access. Moreover, Finch's book hit readers like a cultural ton of bricks: You could really see, firsthand, the impact that Disney had on imagination itself. Well, The Art of Osamu Tezuka does the same thing--times 10. And the nice thing is that it's lacking the hagiographical elements of The Art of Walt Disney--McCarthy's measured prose clearly reflects an admiration for its subject, but it never strays into fannish idolatry.

At risk of wearing out this analogy's welcome, I should point out that this book, unlike Finch's, actually showcases the art of, well, you know, the subject himself, not his production teams or staff animators. Indeed, the argument might be advanced that while Disney and Tezuka's status as pop-culture titans are frequently equated, Disney was a businessman with an artistic sensibility--and Tezuka was the opposite.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laughing Dragon on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing the excellent Astro Boy movie, and I have to say that it's worth every dollar. It's exhaustively researched and richly illustrated, and gives a reader curious about the life and work of Japan's "God of Manga", Osamu Tezuka, plenty to chew on. My only caveat is that the comics included in the book are often untranslated, even the ones pertaining to Astro Boy, and that was bit disappointing. But that's a small quibble; overall I really enjoyed this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Grant on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazon had this book on sale for $2.66! An amazing steal! A friend told me about the sale and while I have never been into Manga and don't really know much at all about Osamu Tezuka, I figured for two dollars and sixty six cents, I could afford to learn. It's a lovely book with a heavy duty clear plastic protective cover. The book's contents are also interesting. Focusing on Tezuka's childhood and then moving on to his early work with things like Kimba and then to his more contemporary work with plenty of art and photos befitting a coffe table art book of this sort. I was surprised to find that the book comes with a DVD documentary on Tezuka. It's a fascinating look at his artistic process, how he holds up in a small apartment tenemant in a room with an old record player(on which he plays different records depending on what style of manga he's drawing) and a small television set. No one is allowed to come into his workspace but he allowed remote cameras to be set up to watch him in action. Even though I'm only two thirds of the way finished with the book, I have to say that I am really enjoying it. I can't say I would have been motivated to buy this book had it not been on sale at such a crazy low price. Not knowing anything about Tezuka, I also can't speak to whether or not the author gets is right although it seems like a well written and researched book. However, I can say that this is a quality book and definitely worth the regular asking price of 20 to 30 dollars.
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