Comics Alternative, Manga: Reviews of Red Red Rock and The Osamu Tezuka Story

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“Oozy, goopy liquid”

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On the July manga episode, Shea and Derek discuss two recent publications that highlight, in different ways, the history of the Japanese medium. They begin with Seiichi Hayashi’s Red Red Rock and Other Stories 1967-1970 (Breakdown Press). All but two stories that compose this collection were originally published in Garo, examples of the avant-garde coming from that publication in its heyday. Although not nearly as abstract and non-linear, Hayashi’s manga reminds the guys of Sasaki Maki’s Ding Dong Circus, which they discussed in December’s manga episode (and also a Breakdown Press publication). As both Derek and Shea point out, the stories collected in Red Red Rock represent some of the earliest of Hayashi’s efforts, and they’re noticeably more experimental, or at least less linear, than his other work available in English, such as Red Colored Elegy and the stories in Gold Pollen and Other Stories. Adding to this collection is an astute contextualizing essay by Ryan Holmberg, also the book’s translator.

After their trip down Garo-inspired memory lane, the Two Guys turn to a work that delineates a much earlier chapter in manga history. The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime is a graphic biography of a man often called “the god of manga” and published by Stone Bridge Press. Created by Toshio Ban (who served as Tezuka’s “sub-chief” assistant) and Tezuka Productions, and translated by Frederik L. Schodt, the book appears to be a collaborative, or even corporate, effort to tease out the dynamism and the many facets of its subject’s life. In fact, both Shea and Derek feel that there are too many details embedded in the narrative and that the book’s 869 pages of story (not counting the substantive Appendixes) could have been paired down significantly. What’s more, the tone of the the biography is blatantly reverential and becomes almost too much at times. Readers are presented with example after example of the seemingly superhuman nature of Tezuka, and with little insight into the contradictions and complications that would define any artist’s life. Still, The Osamu Tezuka Story is a recommended read and a useful, albeit lengthy, introduction to this manga legend.

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Comics Alternative for Young Readers: The Best of 2015

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Perfect Gifts for Hanukkah!

As the end of 2015 draws near and the holiday shopping season is in full swing, Andy and Gwen have drawn up their lists of their favorite comics for young readers released during the last year. Although their choices run the gamut from texts for early readers up through to texts for teens, every text mentioned creates a fine balance between serious subject matter and engaging artwork and writing. Many of these comics would be great choices for parents and kids to read together.

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Andy’s List:

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Gwen’s List:

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Books that both Gwen and Andy Selected:

Andy and Gwen alternate leading discussion for each book and finish up by discussing two books that made both of their lists.

Zone 4 Xtra: Of a Mature Nature

Get ready for a Zone 4 episode like you’ve never heard before! It’s the originals (more or less), Brant, Chuck K., Cary and John talking about the Top 5 Creepiest Sex Scenes in Comics. No joke, that’s what this episode is about! (It was all Chuck K.’s idea!)

So sit back and be prepared to bask in the awkwardness and hilarity that is this New Years special episode of Zone 4!

This episode is for MATURE LISTENERS ONLY!

www.ZONE4PODCAST.com

Links Mentioned During the Show

Superheroes Who Completely Lost Their $#!T

The 5 Creepiest Sex Scenes in Comics

F BombCast 91: Thieves and Robbers

Episode 91
While one bomber suffered a horrible tragedy, his anger is amplified from the misinterpretation of Beezus and Ramona, thus a debate begins over who is the better children’s author, In one corner you have Margaret and Fudge from the Mind of Judy Blume and in the other is the Shithead dad and Henry Huggins from the Head of Beverly Cleary. Then we break into comics, lots of comics. Death of Dracula and X Men 1, Pluto Volume 1 & 2, Secret Avengers 2, Hellblazer 267 & 268, Action Comics 690, Sandman, GI Joe Cobra 5, Atlas, Secret Six, Thunderbolts, Brightest day, Titans, Blade, And i actually think we talked about more. There is a nice debate about the integration of DCU Characters into vertigo and vice versa. I am slightly tired cause i was balls deep last night, (is that TMI).

Download it here:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/fbombcast/fbc91.mp3, or get it from iTunes or at http://www.fbombcast.com, or you can listen right here: