The first-ever second-interviewee of Animation Insider, author and translator Fred Schodt has always had the unique ability to write for large audiences with a technical and creative expertise that reveals his detailed knowledge about the subject matter, and Schodt's latest book on Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) and the artistic/cultural phenomenon that is Astro Boy is no different. Through intense, well-targeted research and analysis, author Fred Schodt uses the late Tezuka's most recognized creation--"Atom" of Tetsuwon Atomu (or "Astro" of Astro Boy)--in order to perceive and understand the revolutionary impact this one man had on what has evolved into an ¥800+ billion industry worldwide.
Tezuka's status as the "God of Manga" and thereby the creative father of Japan's circulated comic and moving picture industries are the result of one man's uninterrupted desire to chronicle the complexity of human nature. Through forty years of developing, designing and producing manga chapters and anime stories; from his early years of studying the modern arts, through his experience with the Second World War, to his continued success in experimental manga/anime productions in style and genre; Osamu Tezuka is more than just the "God of Manga," he transcended genius in his love, care and innovation for the manga/anime culture.
The recently published book The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution (Stone Bridge Press, 2007) by Frederik L. Schodt confirms this. In his book, Schodt puts the artist into detailed perspective. A perspective that benefits novice otaku who are as of yet unsure of how/why Tezuka came to be the creative legend he is; a perspective that benefits veteran animation enthusiasts seeking to deepen their scholarly awareness of manga/anime; and a perspective that benefits the entire western arts culture and how they regard the rise of manga and anime.
In short, as a publication that views the greatest and most influential Japanese comics artist and animator, The Astro Boy Essays by Fred Schodt articulates the creative reverberations the manga and anime industry has experienced time and time again since the birth of Tezuka's little robot boy. A must-read, the book is about one man's progressive imagination and his desire to change comics and animation forever.