The Art of Osamu Tezuka
God of Manga
by Helen McCarthy
The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga is the first authorized biography celebrating his work and life and featuring over 300 images—many of which have never been seen outside of Japan. With text by respected manga expert Helen McCarthy, The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga pays tribute to the work of an artist, writer, animator, doctor, entrepreneur, and traveler whose curious mind spawned dozens of animated films, and over 170,000 pages of comics art in one astonishingly creative lifetime.
The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga also includes an exclusive 45-minute DVD documentary covering Tezuka’s prolific career, from his early manga characters to his later animation work. The package is out of the ordinary as well. It is a hardcover with an inlay and a vinyl jacket.
Helen McCarthy's book is a detailed introduction which traces Tezuka's life and works in parallel, concentrating on his biography and the development of his themes and style over the course of his life. It is a very approachable work for beginners but also a useful reference for those more familiar, providing concise summaries of numerous series, many obscure and unavailable outside Japan. It is not an academic, literary or philosophical analysis, nor is it trying to be, but a gateway for readers interested in learning more about the "God of Manga" to get real information about more than just Astro Boy.
Heavily based on Japanese sources and drafted in close collaboration with Tezuka Productions, it also gives a somewhat more Japanese perspective than most treatments of Tezuka, reflecting the relative importance different Tezuka works are given in Japan, which is quite different from the international attitude which focuses so exclusively on a few famous selections. Its treatment of the beginnings of Tezuka's career and the atmosphere of the early postwar manga publishing industry is also not to be missed.
McCarthy, Helen. 2009. The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga. Abrams ComicArts.