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Tezuka Osamu

(1928-1989). Manga artist; heralded by many as the "God of Manga." Tezuka Osamu was one of Japan's most cherished and prolific manga and anime artists. He has been described as the "Japanese Walt Disney." He, perhaps more than any other artist, was responsible for the very characteristic "puppy-dog eyes" which has become a trademark of Japanese animation, though he later admitted being heavily influenced by the works of Walt Disney -- in particular, Bambi. Dr. Tezuka received his medical degree from Osaka University in 1946, though he concentrated on his career of choice: the art of manga and animation. His most famous creation is probably Tetsuwan Atom, which has a large following internationally as AstroBoy. NBC later aired three of his TV series: AstroBoy, Kimba the White Lion (which many have claimed as Disney's inspiration for The Lion King), and Princess Knight. Dr. Tezuka won several international animation awards, including the Grand Prix for Jumping at the 1984 Zagreb International Festival, the Grand Prix for Broken Down Film at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, and the CIFEJ award for Legend of the Forest at the 1988 Zagreb International Film Festival. The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo held a public exhibit of Dr. Tezuka's works in 1990 -- the first ever for a "commercial manga artist." (from the Anime Cafe, copyright 1997-2000 Anime Cafe,

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