Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Battle Chasers + Osamu Tezuka

This week's challenge...

During the Lobdell/Madureira run on Uncanny X-Men in the 90's, Joe Mad acquired an enormous and enthusiastic fan-base, including yours truly. Oh, I was wrapped around his little finger. So naturally, after Madureira left the series and started his own, I was enthralled. Battle Chasers is something of a wonder. It only made it to issue #9, and even at that it was a bumpy road. Still, I think if issue #10 came out tomorrow, it would sell out in seconds. The characters and story were dark and emotional, and they were part of an even bigger, more intricate world. In other words, for a girl who was (at the time) very much into dramatic fantasy anime like Record Of Lodoss War, Battle Chasers was candy. Still it's sad we never got to see any of it develop further.

Osamu Tezuka is known affectionately as the "Father of Anime". His beloved creation Astro Boy (originally "Mighty Atom") has won the hearts of fans for over 40 years. A master of both comic and animation, Tezuka paired mature, thought provoking storytelling with beautiful, childlike characters. His work has gone on to inspire generations upon generations of artists.

If Tezuka had ever produced a Battle Chasers story, I imagine we would have seen something a little purer, something stripped down from the "bigger is better" mentality of 90's American comics; maybe even a little closer to what Madureira had envisioned himself?

A special thanks to friend and super-talent, Zack Giallongo for suggesting Tezuka to me, and for having late night philosophical conversations about comic books.

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