Monday, May 14, 2012

Humor, Sex, Violence and Giant Robots

That really sums up the work of Go Nagai. He had a special gift for giving audiences what they really wanted. There hasn't been anyone quite equivalent to him in the US.

This is a continuation of the Super Robot history I started in my last post and I think I'm gonna' cut it short here because I don't want to get too bogged down with just one thing. Alot of this stuff is pretty firmly lodged in my head so I may touch on it from time to time.

Although Osamu Tezuka and Mitsuteru Yokoyama laid down the groundwork,  it was Go Nagai who really got the Super Robot genre going. In 1972 came the debut of Mazinger Z.
Go Nagai started as an artist for short humor manga and it shows in Mazinger Z. I love this bit where Mazinger is trashing the city.

Go Nagai's inspiration for Mazinger came from the ancient Greek legend of Bardos, which must be be one of the earliest instances of giant robots in fiction.

After Mazinger Z super robots really started to take off. Go Nagai came out with a number of follow up series, including Getter Robo in 1974 and Steel Jeeg in 1975.

Also in 1975 came UFO Robot Grendizer.
Go Nagai's robot stories were far more violent than their superherioc cousins in the US. It was a specialty of his that he would take even further in his later work. Here's a scene where the villain has trussed a bunch of civilians to Mazinger and forces it to fight with Grendizer.

Super Robots were just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a few examples of his work from my comic book library. I think these images speak for themselves.

So there you go- a little Go Nagai for ya'.

I think I'm gonna go now.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dare To Be Stupid

Here's a Transformers comic I did for fun. I occasionally have to get these things out of my system because I am an overgrown man-child. You can also find this comic at the IDW Transformers Mosaic Deviant Art page. This was done in the spirit of the old cartoon, complete with hokey dialogue.

For a long time (long, long after I became an artsy-fartsy comic dude) I held onto the dream of doing The Best Transformers Comic Book Ever. It's hard to say why such a thing would matter. I think it has something to do with seeing the icons of your childhood constantly being raped before your eyes and wanting to right that injustice somehow. But the whole thing is really a lost cause. I am totally, totally through with the dream of taking a franchise and "doing it right". So, no, there will be no Transformers graphic novel  from me at any point in the future. Sorry.  Doing this one page was enough for me. I'm not saying I won't do another comic with giant robots in it, but if I do it'll be some kind of weird thing that could only have come from my brain.

So what I'm gonna' do here is switch gears for the next few posts and talk about giant robots. That's right, the month of May is GIANT ROBOT month! This is a massive post so keep reading if you want to get into some hardcore nerd shit!