In the fifth installment of manga-godfather Osamu Tezuka's Buddha,
engagement with death imparts the lesson of life's sancity. In a
Machiavellian rise to power, Devadatta, a rogue aristrocrat, incites
war between two kingdoms that will leave thousands dead. King Bimisara
of Magadha, fearing death his son's own hand, withdraws fatherly love.
The true measure of the Buddha's divinity will turn out to be a test of
diplomacy - the power of words.
Japanese comics godfather Osamu Tezuka tells the story of Buddha's life like it's never been told before. Entertaining, visually spectacular, and warm, Buddha (an 8-volume work to be published in gorgeous hardcovers and paperbacks designed by Chip Kidd) is the ultimate example of Tezuka's artistic mastery. His consummate skill at visual expression and warm humanity blossom fully in this epic of Siddhartha's life and times. The masterpiece is one that all ages and persuasions can enjoy.
Buddha, Volume 5: Deer Park, Osamu Tezuka, Vertical, Paperback, 370 pp., $14.95
Osamu Tezuka (1928-89) is the godfather of Japanese manga comics. A genuine intellectual, deeply familiar with Western culture from the Bible to Goethe to Hollywood, Tezuka originally intended to become a doctor and received an M.D. Had he not turned to the belittled art of manga storytelling, the medium may never have acquired its capacity for seriousness and depth. Though many have followed his example, it is still Tezuka who draws the deepest awe with his sweeping vision, deftly intertwined plots, persuasive characters, feel for the workings of power, and above all, an indefatigable commitment to human dignity and the sanctity of life.