Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Honoring the father of manga

We're now up to the 20th installment of Erica's and my drama/mystery series, Best Mann For The Job. Those with a keen eye may have noticed our subtle tribute to the legendary Osamu Tezuka (1929-1989), the first cartoonist to apply cinematographic techniques to Japanese comics.

In our original outline for this first arc of "Best Mann For The Job," our plan for the bank robbers was to simply have them jump in the car, get shot, and then lose their pursuers. But -- given what's coming up when they reach Hope Falls and cross paths with Grace Mann (who is, after all, the star of our series) -- we realized how much it would raise the stakes if these guys really caused some damage ... and, in the process, were more desperate themselves.

Once we hit upon the idea of stretching out the car chase, bringing in the gas truck* and all, it brought to mind that Mr. Tezuka's artistic breakthrough is said to have occurred when he expanded a dramatic racing sequence in 1947's New Treasure Island. As such, it seemed appropriate to tip our hat to the man who went on to create Astro Boy, Black Jack, and Kimba the White Lion -- and transformed Japanese comics and animation. (Which, in turn, rampantly influenced so much here in the West, as well.)

Best Mann For The Job stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. (Or if you prefer, T.J. Hooker and Northern Exposure.)

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*(Since this is my "giant monsters" blog, I should mention that the sequence is also mildly inspired by the scene in 1955's Godzilla Raids Again when the prisoners escape and steal the gas truck.)

Related links:
ROBOT-13: Tech Vs. Myth
Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot: An Introduction
ICONIC: The Life and Death of Talos the Bronze
KAIJU comic!
Free Comics Online

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This blog is for fans of classic giant monsters and monster-fighters from the movies, TV, and comics -- including King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Dogora, Johnny Sokko and Giant Robot, Ultraman, Fin Fang Foom, Titano, The Host, and more. We also salute the classic genre and special effects films of Toho Studios Universal Studios, Hammer Films, not to mention the Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, giant robots, sci-fi, manga, and anime.