Thursday, 19 June 2008

Tezuka Osamu "Shizuku" (Drop)

To be labelled as the inventor of manga is a suitable epitaph to lay at the feet of any animator. The late Tezuka Osamu (1928 -1989) has a work output that reads like an encyclopedia. Creator of the immortal Astroboy as well as the first X-rated animated film he was known in his native Japan as manganokamisama, literally God of Comics. Today's offering is a simply drawn piece from 1965 and made in one week. Shizuku (Drop) is a marvellous traditional cartoon in which the proverbial man adrift on a raft is tempted and thwarted by three drops of precious water suspended from the mast. It is not a major piece at all but the ingenious manner in which the best laid plans of man on raft go astray will make you laugh aloud. Reaching out to acquire drop number one with an oar, fighting a travelling and equally thirsty albatross to the death and being lost in a heat induced fever, the short is a minor classic of comic timing.

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