• Kyodo


A cartoonist has acquired nine unpublished comic strip sheets created by the late artist Osamu Tezuka, who gained fame for his “Astro Boy” and “Black Jack” series.

The sheets were created for four works, including “Metropolis” and “Yubijin” (“Man with a Tail”), which were both published in 1949, said Leiji Matsumoto, 75, who had obtained the works.

Tezuka (1928-1989) apparently did not need the sheets after reworking the cartoons. “These are interesting as they show the young Tezuka during his trial and error process,” said Matsumoto, widely known for his “Galaxy Express 999” series.

According to Tezuka Productions Co., the two other works are “Issennengo no Sekai” (“The World 1,000 Years Later”) published in 1948, and “Fuhyojima” (“Buoy Island”), which was never published. All of the nine sheets are B6-size and some include two-color printing, the company said.

The science fiction “Metropolis” depicts a futuristic world and includes a character named Micchi. The sheet includes a drawing titled “Feature-length Adventure Cartoon Superman Micchi,” indicating Tezuka had considered the title before changing it to “Metropolis.”

The sheet from “Fuhyojima” is apparently the only one for the cartoon, whose synopsis and title were found in a notebook at Tezuka’s home in 1993.

The nine manuscripts will be included in a book on Tezuka’s early works to be published next month, and will be shown at a special exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo starting on June 29.

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