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Buddha #08: Jetavanaby Osmau Tezuka
Synopses & Reviews
Osamu Tezukas vaunted storytelling genius, consummate skill at visual expression, and warm humanity blossom fully in his eight-volume epic of Siddharthas life and times. Tezuka evidences his profound grasp of the subject by contextualizing the Buddhas ideas; the emphasis is on movement, action, emotion, and conflict as the prince Siddhartha runs away from home, travels across India, and questions Hindu practices such as ascetic self-mutilation and caste oppression. Rather than recommend resignation and impassivity, Tezukas Buddha predicates enlightenment upon recognizing the interconnectedness of life, having compassion for the suffering, and ordering ones life sensibly. Philosophical segments are threaded into interpersonal situations with ground-breaking visual dynamism by an artist who makes sure never to lose his readers attention.
Tezuka himself was a humanist rather than a Buddhist, and his magnum opus is not an attempt at propaganda. Hermann Hesses novel or Bertoluccis film is comparable in this regard; in fact, Tezukas approach is slightly irreverent in that it incorporates something that Western commentators often eschew, namely, humor.
"Tezuka?manages to cover all manner of emotion and story with wit and pulp instincts that make these mammoth volumes page-turners." Washington Post
"Buddha is one of Tezuka's true masterpieces. We're lucky to have this excellent new edition in English." Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics
"Osamu Tezuka invented a whole new grammar of comics storytelling and his place in the history of Japanese comics is about as central as Siddhartha's place in the history of Buddhism." Art Spiegelman, author of Maus
This is one of the great achievements of the comics medium, a masterpiece by the great ones. Artbomb.net
About the Author
Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. A genuine intellectual, deeply familiar with Western culture from the Bible to Goethe to Hollywood, Tezuka originally intended to become a doctor and received an M.D. Had he not turned to the belittled art of manga storytelling, the medium may never have acquired its capacity for seriousness and depth. Though many have followed his example, it is still Tezuka who draws the deepest awe with his sweeping vision, deftly intertwined plots, persuasive characters, feel for the workings of power, and above all, an indefatigable commitment to human dignity and the sanctity of life.
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