Black Jack, Volume 13
By Osamu Tezuka
(Vertical, Paperback, 9781934287897, 296pp.)
Publication Date: January 25, 2011
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Black Jack is a mysterious and charismatic genius surgeon who travels the world performing amazing and impossible medical feats. Through highly trained, he freelances without a license because he distains the medical establishment. This leads to run-ins with the authorities and unscrupulous, sometimes criminal, individuals. Because Black Jack keeps his true motives secret, his ethics are perceived as questionable and he is considered a selfish, uncaring devil.
An Animator Suffering from Cancer: In a chapter devoted to Pinoko, we follow her to the pool where she is starting to take swimming lessons. The nineteen-year-old in a tween's body is struggling with her slow development and is anxious to learn to do what most everyone else her age takes for granted. So after finding herself in a bit of a verbal bind, she decides to take the plunge only to quickly sink like a rock. Her body made of prostetics, she had little chance of floating let alone swimming very far. But a proud teen came to her aide. The boy is a genius. A budding animator he is working on the animated adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Jungle Emperor Leo but there is something lurking within him that might take his dreams away...cancer. Pinoko knows too much about the disease, and she knows that there is someone in her life that can treat it like no one else ever.
Death of an Actress: Marilyn Swanson, the top female actor of the 40's, is suddenly seeing a revival among the cinema inteligentia. Her films are being broadcast on TV through almost every channel in prime time and every major film festival is devoting screenings to her performances. She was a rare beauty that captivated a generation on and off the screen. But age has caught up to her. Because of her pride she cannot make any appearances at these events, and worst of all she cannot perform again without regret. So she asks a medic with god-like skills to reverse time, if only briefly so she can dazzle audiences one last time.
Osamu Tezuka was born on November 3, 1928, in Osaka. He grew up in an open-minded family exposed to comics and Walt Disney. As a boy he also had a love for insects, which he would later as a grown-up incorporate into pen name. Having developed an intense understanding of the preciousness of life from his wartime experience, Osamu Tezuka aimed to become a physician and later earned his degree in medicine, but ultimately chose the profession he loved best: manga artist and animated film writer.
Tezuka's manga and animated films had a tremendous impact on the shaping of the psychology of Japan's postwar youth. His work changed the concept of Japanese comics, transforming it into an art form and incorporating a variety of new styles in creating the "story cartoon." Osamu Tezuka lived out his entire life tirelessly pursuing his efforts, passing away at the age of 60 on February 8, 1989.
In all, Tezuka produced more than 150,000 pages of graphic storytelling before his death. Posthumously Tezuka's work have won a number of awards in the U.S., including the 2009 Eisner Award given to his series Dororo.