Stop the muthafukkin' presses!!!
Vaulties, if you read this blog regularly you know I always strive to alert you to stuff worth your time, and with the upcoming Astro Boy movie opening in less than a month — which, for the record, I do not support for a number of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" reasons (yet I will see it just so I can legitimately comment on it, so I'm a two-faced douche) — the book I'm about to recommend could not possibly have rolled around at a better time. Y'see, I just read an advance copy of Abrams Comicarts's THE ART OF OSAMA TEZUKA: GOD OF MANGA and loved it so much I would have tender, loving sex with it if it were equipped with compatible genitalia.
My lifelong fascination with and deep love of superheroes began in my very early youth with exposure to the animated versions thereof, and among the first heroes to have a massive impact upon me was Astro Boy, without question the most internationally famous of tezuka's scores of creations. He's the adorable little robot guy seen above and to those unfamiiar with him he may look a typical Japanese "kawai" character, meaning all cuteness and little or no substance, but that could not be further from the truth. By my estimation Astro Boy is one of the great superheroes in the entire genre, regardless of what country and culture spawned him, bearing as he does a tragic origin, a powerful allegorical point to his existence, and his status as perhaps the cutest hero ever to be such a complete and total indomitable badass.
Astro Boy aside, Tezuka's impact on manga and anime is impossible to overestimate, and there's a reason that the guy was called the "God of Manga." I'll give this book a proper and well-deserved review when my schedule allows, but take my word that this is one of the indispensable comics history tomes that absolutely belongs on the enthusiast's shelf. A ten out of ten across the board, this is the finest book ever done on Tezuka in English and would be virtually impossible to improve upon. The damned thing even comes with a DVD documentary showing Tezuka's creative process. Did you know the guy produced twenty pages per day? Yes, you read that right: twenty pages per day!!! They just don't make 'em like Tezuka anymore, bwah... HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION.