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Friday October 23, 2009 3:43 am

Osamu Tezuka & Astro Boy

Astro BoyIt’s here! After a long and seemingly painful production process, the new Astro Boy CGI feature is in theaters. You can find clips and cool stuff over on the official Astro Boy website. If you want to find out about all things Astro Boy, my favorite go-to place is Astro Boy World. They’re dedicated to “everything Astro Boy, the works of Osamu Tezuka, and other related anime & manga.” They’ve got video, news, factoids, lots of great graphics, and more.

Astro Boy was created by Osamu Tezuka (the “God of Manga” and “The Walt Disney of Japan”) and debuted back in the early 1950s under the title Tetsuwan Atomu (The Mighty Atom). It later became an animated TV series in Japan in 1963. Since then, Astro Boy’s made a lot of comic book appearances here in the US, as recently as right now. Let’s take a look.

IDW: The gang over at IDW released two brand-new Astro Boy comic book series this year. One was a 4-part prequel to the Astro Boy movie and the other was an adaptation of the movie. You can probably still grab individual copies. Better still, they’ve already collected both of them in trade paperbacks that came out last month: Astro Boy: Movie Prequel and Astro Boy: Movie Adaptation.

Read More | Astroboy Movie Official Site

Manga: Dark Horse has published Tezuka’s original Astro Boy manga (translated) in very nice book form, 200 pages at a time. It’s a 23-volume set, but the Dark Horsians have put out a special omnibus edition combining volumes 1 and 2 which would be your starting point. Amazon sells it new for around $10 for over 400 pages of boy robot action which pretty much makes it the deal of the year.

Ken Steacy: If the original manga is not your thing, don’t panic (even though you’d be foolish not to read the original stuff). Back in the go-go eighties, comic book publisher NOW Comics released 20 issues of new Americanized Astro Boy adventures, many of them with story and art by Ken Steacy. Sadly they are out of print, but you can still pick up individual issues at Amazon and multi-issue lots on eBay.

New School: Publisher Chuang Yi published a three-part manga Astro Boy by Akira Himekawa that’s loosely based on the 2003 anime version of the character. New editions of the three books were released just this year.

Old School: Way back in 1964, Gold Key Comics published a one-shot Astro Boy comic book. Magic Carpet Burn posted the whole issue this year in multi-parts. The first part, Gangor The Monster, is here.

If I’ve forgotten any, please be sure to let me know and I’ll update.

[Artwork: the Astro Boy himself]

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