(Blue Fighter, Jirō Taniguchi, written by Garon Tsuchiya, c. 1982)
I would sell my soul to the highest bidder just to be able to draw like Jiro Taniguchi
WHY DOES THIS MAKE ME SO HAPPY EVERYTIME I SEE IT
here is a super old comic i did in college. it was part of this bigger power rangers/sentai type story i wanted to tell. it’s really important to me coz it was the first comic i did where i was like “OH! this is sorta how i wanna draw and what i wanna draw about!”
i remember this from lj :0
Ikeda Riyoko — Oniisama e
ETV Special Program “The Legacy of Tezuka Osamu” Conversation with Otomo Katsuhiro
An excerpt from NHK ETV’s Special Program, “The Legacy of Tezuka Osamu”, with mangaka Otomo Katsuhiro interviewing Fujiko F Fujio about Tezuka Osama.
“Tezuka Osamu was an existence that towered above the clouds”
Fujiko: As for being a mangaka, this world that I set foot upon all began from Tezuka-sensei’s influence. It just so happened that Abiko-kun (Fujiko Fujio A), came flying into my house, out of breath, saying that he found this really interesting manga. That was “Shin Takarajima” [New Treasure Island]. And I was like, “Wow, this really is good.” I’m not really sure what was so interesting about it, but anyways, it was coming from a bit of a different place in concept from any other children’s manga that had been drawn up to that point. At any rate, it was because of that, that I wanted to read more and more of Tezuka-sensei’s manga.
Otomo: Ah, so it began with, “Shin Takarajima.” So were you reading it all in realtime then?
Fujiko: That’s right. Tezuka-sensei wrote up to 13 volumes of manga In Showa 23 (1948).
Otomo: I wonder how many pages that would be.
Fujiko: If you converted it to pages using the standards of today, I don’t think it’s actually that much. But still, they were about 100 pages from front to back. The SF works that first truly displayed Tezuka-sensei’s real abilities, such as “Chiteikoku no Kaijin” [The Mysterious Underground Men] or “Mahou Yashiki,” [Magic Manor] and the epic märchen tale “Lost World” volume 1 and 2, which are all now classic masterworks, came out in the same year too.
Then in Showa 26 (1951), the first and second volume of “Kurubeki Sekai” [Next World] came out, which would become the apex of manga that he came up with for publishers. After that it was one after another. SF was the genre that Tezuka-sensei was most known for. And his SF works had time machines and aliens. From there, stories about entering the human body and exploring the micro world, and horror, the occult, period drama. There were even great literary works like “Faust” and “Crime and Punishment”. Anyways, it was like you couldn’t keep your eyes off any of them.
Otomo: So he started in the ‘20s, and in the ‘30s and ‘40s he was continuing to challenge and draw all sorts of different things every time. When it comes to that power, compared to the impact that he had on us at the start, the impact that we get when we look back might be even greater.
Fujiko: Yes, that might be the case.
Otomo: I wasn’t reading it in real time, but even when I go back and look through the body of Tezuka’s works, I think it’s really amazing. What I want to know is, he spent all this time drawing manga, and he drew so much of it, but what kind of person was Tezuka-sensei really?
Fujiko: When someone new that would catch everyone’s attention appeared, Tezuka-sensei would always regard them as a rival. Usually, when you see something like that, you think, like, “You’ve already made it big, you don’t need to do that,” (Laugh) but it wasn’t something he’d get over if you gave him a pat on the back and told him he did a good job. He always felt like he should be at the top of the active ranks, and that was a matter of fact for him, that’s the kind of intensity he had to him. So in the long haul it wasn’t always smooth sailing around Tezuka-sensei. There were times where he himself would be aware of the slump he was in and would be getting depressed and worrying about it.
At that time, my drawings were influenced even more by Tezuka-sensei than they are now. In Showa 29 (1954) when we left for Tokyo and they started to bring us in for work, there was an editor at a certain magazine who said that drawings like that were dated. (Laugh)
Otomo: In Showa 29?
Fujiko: Yes. He was basically saying that Tezuka-sensei was someone in the past. And then he was saying that these types of drawing would become popular, and gave me this side publication that was drawn by Fukui Eiichi-san or someone and told me to study that. So he had to continue gunning for that spot at the top while fighting against the the never ending voices of that sort of sentiment.
Otomo: That makes me think that must’ve meant that Tezuka-sensei believed in the kind of manga he was drawing, and in drawing manga, huh?
Fujiko: Yeah, that’s right.
Otomo: Manga’s such a strange field, isn’t it? It’s sorta close to folk songs, like, as long as you have a guitar you can say what you want to say. With manga, it’s not about whether or not you have a sketch, but if you can draw your own pictures, and if there are things that you want to say in your own style, then you come into being as a mangaka in that way.
Fujiko: Putting aside whether that holds true for Tezuka-sensei, he had said before that his own drawings weren’t that good, but that he hoped those drawings would be a “means” in which he could communicate the fanciful world that he had come up with.
Though I wonder if the way of thinking in which you believe that you can express any and everything using manga is not in some ways a little dangerous. When you explain things that are extraordinarily difficult to approach, such as the world of really hard to comprehend physics, or the world of philosophy, through manga, at the very least, it becomes an entrance way that makes it extraordinarily easy to approach. Since it has that kind of effect, it really is something that one must be aware of.
Otomo: Right now I feel like manga is in a bit of a dangerous place. There’s so much coming out and within that, of the people who really have a strong grasp of their outlook on the world, or something to that effect, you can spot them in the minors, but there really aren’t any in the majors. There are a lot of them concerned with what a publisher might want or how they can sell well. There aren’t too many works coming out that are trying to express their own ideas or worldview through their stories, or rather it feels to me like, “What, did they exhaust their supply of that sort of thing and they’re completely out of material or something?”
Fujiko: Well, the summit of progress being a dead end for said progress is one of the ways of thinking of it. It’s said that of the living creatures up to now, though they come from all sorts of different species, not one of them has previously gone extinct. If you take a wide stance and a long term point of view, it’s possible that there may be an expiratory date for manga as well… But I think we’re still all right for now. Though I might be thinking of things a bit too optimistically. (Laugh)
How should I put it, there’s just such an big mix of the good and the bad coming out now, isn’t there? And from the energy that’s going into that, the next new thing is bound to be in there, right? In the twilight years, if we’re getting to the point where we have to make it work, and everything that everyone begins drawing is just a hit on the very first try, that’s when I think we’ll really be in trouble.
Image source: http://yaranaioblog.blog14.fc2.com/blog-entry-7047.html
Excerpt source: http://www.mlexp.com/fujiko/interview/main.html#a2
(The Walking Man, Jirō Taniguchi)
(Tank Tankuro, Gajo Sakamoto, c.1935)
Excerpts from Skim (written by Mariko Tamaki, Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki)
This is the graphic novel that got me into graphic novels.
I read it for the first time when I was 17; I’m 22 now and still re-reading it over and over with the same undeniably strong sense of association I felt when I was younger.
Everyone needs to read this piece of magic.
skim is a story i feel like ive seen a lot, yet it still did it the best ive ever seen it done & it blew me away
A lot of Western comics readers are familiar with Yoshiharu Tsuge’s dark, ambiguous stories from the ‘60s and ‘70s (Nejishiki, Oba’s Electro-Plating Company, Red Flowers, and other stories are available in English), and his great 1987 work Muno no hito (L’homme sans talent / The Useless Man(. But did you know that Tsuge started out in the ‘50s, doing crazy crime comics in the early, Tezuka-influnce gekiga style, for the kashihon rental market (these scans are from a reprint collection called 四つの犯罪 Yottsu no hanzai. I don’t know exactly what Tsuge’s relationship to the Matsumoro/Tatsumi/Saito gekiga group was; from what I can tell (from this article published in the great Swiss-German comics journal, Strapazin, for instance), he made his debut in 1954 “in the anthology “bukku Tsukai” (“Exciting Book”) published by the publisher Hobunsha.”
One of my favorite anecdotes from comics history: after the collapse of the kashihon market in the early ‘60s, Tsuge disappeared from manga, and apparently fell into one of his long periods of depression; then, in 1965, in an the early issues of Garo, publisher Katsuichi Nagai ran a classified ad reading, “Yoshiharu Tsuge, please get in touch.” Tsuge responded, and the great period of his work in Garo soon began…