Osamu Tezuka, for those who do not know, is Japan's most famous manga artist. His long list of creations include Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, and Black Jack. The man is widely revered as an artistic genius, and crayon pictures from when he was apparently in fifth grade seem to indicate that he was always one.
Included in the Osamu Tezuka Creative Note and Early Works: New Discoveries (手塚治虫 創作ノートと初期作品 新発見編) released by Shogakukan Creative this month is the thirty-seven page picture book titled, "Martians Arrive!!" (火星人来（きた）る！！).
Completely without dialog or narration, Tezuka Pro archive director Haruji Mori, theorizes the story is about "Martians coming to Earth and attacking humans. There are also scenes of Martian cities." He also added, "Looking at the depiction of light through windows and the vivid use of color in the Martian cities, you can see [Tezuka possessed] outstanding artistic potential even from such a young age."
Internet commenters seem to be in agreement. Said one commenter on the website Direction Zero: "Good artists are amazingly good, even from childhood."
Another added: "He's the only man I admire. Some say he had jealous tendencies, but Osamu Tezuka was a God."
Remarked another: "It's not like now where fifth graders are surrounded by manga and anime."
True. But it's thanks to him that they are now.
Very few crayon works from Tezuka's elementary-school days exist, and this is the only complete sequential story work from that era ever to be found. Originally discovered in 1994, a few pages were put on display at a museum shortly after, but this is the first time that the entire story has been publicly released.
Osamu Tezuka Creative Note and Early Works: New Discoveries is on sale in Japan for ￥14,700 (US$149.88).
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