Swallowing the Earth by Osamu TezukaPosted: March 10, 2012
Swallowing the Earth turned out to be the most difficult Tezuka book to lay my hands upon. First, I was waiting for it in Amazon, not falling for pre-order option. Then the book, produced not by Vertical, the usual Tezuka publisher in the US, but rather by DMP, a comic book company I never heard about, went out of stock in a matter of a few days, as quite few copies were published. All you could buy was a lousy used copy at least 5x the cover price. Hm, not for me.
A couple of years later Amazon advertised a kickstarter project by DMP, who were raising money to put out a new edition out – and, not unexpectedly, I subscribed to this funding initiative to get my new copy. Never tried kickstarter before – and, frankly, the idea is nice but I am sure at least half the projects are dead in water after funding. Oddly enough, the guys didn’t lie, and in half a year or so, the book finally came, along with half a dozen of lower quality manga I got hold of as well thanks to my (was it?) $60 funding.
Now, the book is Tezuka’s first serialized graphic novel, written and drawn in 1968, before Ode to Kirihito, MW, Adolf and the rest of his perennial classics. A strange story of women’s revenge against civilization – focused on destruction of money, law and love – and not too much of a happy ending. To my mind, the book lacks clear storyline – it goes away from the main character and back far too easy. Lotsa dead bodies, as usual – sex and violence reign. All in all, too bold and not too well baked for my taste – you can see the master’s touch, but it ain’t a mona-friggin-lisa story-wise. Oh well.
P.S. I realized I missed DMP’s second project for Tezuka’s Barbara. Dang.