Buddha

 BUDD   (Vertical, 2003)

™ and © Osamu Tezuka

In addition to rendering robot boys and lost worlds, Osamu Tezuka tackled the life of Buddha himself. Now the latest entrant into the competitive English field of manga, Vertical, has dipped into the canon of the godfather of Japanese comics, who created this series near the end of his career in 1987.

Tezuka introduces the reader to the cycle of life (and death) with a tale about a female slave and her ambitious son Chapra who struggle for their freedom in the Indian Himalayas. In their travels, they meet a monk who believes that the nature boy Tatta is a holy child. Halfway through this first installment, the prince Siddhartha is born, destined to become the Buddha after pondering life’s eternal questions.

American comics readers may not be ideal targets for the story, but Tezuka spices up the historical record with his trademark fistcuffs, interpersonal drama, and illustrative whimsy. This dense and challenging eight-volume set is ambitious in scope and storyline and will even test the resolve of fans of epic narratives.

— Oliver Chin

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First edition; Hardcover; B&W; ca. 2005Osamu TezukaOsamu Tezuka

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Hardcover; B&W; ca. 2005Osamu TezukaOsamu Tezuka