“Do people who make contemporary comics read this guy [Osamu Tezuka]? (This has nothing to do with that “make Morrison read Powr Mastrs” meme from a few irritating interviews back.) Or is Tezuka like Fugazi sort of became, an example that people are more comfortable envying than imitating. It’s not that Message to Adolf is some mind-blistering perfect thing–although it is very, very good in parts–but that it, like so many other Tezukian examples, does so much. There are so many different sorts of things covered within, not just the long string of genre mash-ups and contemporary movie references that predate today’s culture, but visual weirdness, moments where the guy fills the page with intricate, breath-caught-in-chest cartooning, drunken pages full of detail and line, pages where you start to wonder if he had something to prove or just plenty of extra time or maybe, and this is my preference, he just got lost in the build phase and woke up hours into going too far. Comics is such a stupidly overheated kind of art: there’s so little money, an infinitesimal audience, everything is a dead zone–but that’s why it’s so alluring, there’s nothing but freedom, there’s no rules whatsoever. And yet so few people goes as far afield as this guy did, and he went this far afield as a general rule … and yet, after reading his work, even something as (so far, sorry) hideous and misstep-filled as Barbara is turning out to be, it’s impossible not to feel a bit renewed, a bit more excited, a bit more open. These comics are medicinal.”
- Tucker Stone, The Comics Journal
Oh man, I love You.