Monday, August 2, 2010

Tezuka Practice Number One

This is my copy of page 59 from the Astro Boy story "Robot Land." I tried to mimic everything as best I could, though I was a little slipshod on the lettering. The scene here is Astro punching a dragon robot to pieces, then facing off against Lord Satan and his Supernipples (which sometimes shoot lightning and sometimes shoot laser beams). The point of this exercise was to see not only how Tezuka drew but to maybe come to understand how he drew so fast. As anyone familiar with his work knows, he was incredibly prolific over his lifetime, producing 150,000 pages of comics while also juggling the needs of his animation studio.

Manga artists from the 40's, 50's, and 60's survived by drawing fast and printing cheap, a philosophy that seems lost in most mainstream American comics today. Just because a comic is drawn quickly does not mean it can't be lively and entertaining, which I tried to preserve in the copy above. Actually, that copy took me all day to draw, but that's because I'm unfamiliar with a lot of the inking techniques Tezuka used. A lot of tinkering was needed for me to finish the page.

I don't feel comfortable scanning and posting a page from a licensed comic without permission, but I highly advise anyone interested in fun, funny, and adventurous comics to go hunt down the original. (I got my copy from Amazon for less than $2) The print that I have is Dark Horses' collected Astro Boy volume #4.

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