Vive Delivers Prime VR
If the FMX conference gave us anything this year, it was a true understanding that VR is here to stay and that we are only just entering the virtual Wild West. By Rob Redman.
Although he is still celebrated in Japan as the “God of Manga,” Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is less well-known in America than his work merits. This mammoth biographical manga, skillfully translated by Frederick Schodt (who has written extensively about Tezuka), offers a detailed if somewhat ponderous look at a key figure in the history of print comics and world animation.
Toshio Ban, Tezuka’s “sub-chief assistant,” created A Life in Manga and Anime for serialization in the popular magazine Asahi Graph shortly after the artist’s death. A combination of original drawings, photographs, elementary-school drawings and new artwork — narrated by Tezuka’s popular character, Shunsaku Ban (also known as Higeoyaji or “Mustachio”) — it ran for nearly three years. As Schodt notes, the book “is probably as close to a posthumous autobiography as is possible.”
Tezuka’s life and work have been chronicled in several English language books, notably Schodt’s The Astro Boy Essays and Helen McCarthy’s large-format The Art of Osamu Tezuka. As a child, he was fascinated by insects and collected them enthusiastically. His bushy, unruly hair earned him the nickname of “Gaja-boy” (“Tousle-haired boy”) and influenced the look of Astro Boy’s signature hairdo decades later. Although he studied medicine and eventually became a doctor, from an early age, his true passions were manga and animation.
Tezuka’s output is staggering: He drew an estimated 150,000 manga pages and worked on more than 60 animated projects, including TV series, features and shorts. His subject matter ranged from period adventures and science-fiction stories to nature tales, a life of the Buddha and adaptations of Western literature. Although they’re all listed in the encyclopedic appendix, so few have been published in the U.S. that it’s hard to get a sense of his greater
al-powered dirigibles and cyborg rat spies.
GKIDS’ English-language voice cast also features Paul Giamatti, Tony Hale, Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons. Also available in a Blu-ray combo pack ($34.98), the release includes trailers from GKIDS and “The Origin of The Extraordinary World” featurette. This 2D adventure will definitely put some starch in your petticoats!
[Release date: Aug. 2] with voice star Paige O’Hara, “Walt, Fairy Tales & Beauty and the Beast,” recording sessions footage, 25 Fun Facts, a sneak peek at next year’s live-action reimagining, and hours of previously released bonus material.
An exclusive set available at Target comes with a 32-page storybook.
Put your napkin round your neck, and Disney will provide the rest.
[Release date: Sept. 20] quest to save the kingdom and return home.
The voice cast is lead by Jane Curtin, Ron Perlman, Christopher Plummer, Doug Bradley, Kiefer O’Reilly and Alison Wandzura. The film is also available as a Blu-ray combo set ($24.97) — and if you preorder through Shout!’s website, you can get an exclusive poster while supplies last.
[Release date: Sept. 27] ant’s Dream. The very tempting Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($74.99) piles on a hardcover art book of the film, collectible Mondo art cards, a four-inch articulated Iron Giant statue and a letter from Bird. Both sets come with original version commentary from Bird, additional scenes and alternate opening, mini documentary segments, “Teddy Newton – The X Factor,” “Duck and Cover” sequence, The Voice of the Giant, motion gallery and more.
[Release date: Sept. 6]