Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Frederik L. Schodt on Newsarama

Today, Newsarama features an interview with Frederik L. Schodt about his new book, The Astro Boy Essays. In response to interviewer Chris Arrant's query about Schodt's personal memories of Tezuka-san, Schodt recalls Tezuka's astounding amount of energy:

"I also have many memories of his extraordinary energy. He was always working or doing something, and it was often hard for much younger people to keep up with him. Once, in Florida, we had been working on a documentary, adhering to a typically inhuman schedule. The TV crew, which had flown from Japan, was exhausted, and I actually remember seeing a young man in charge of lighting for an instant fall asleep on his feet on the shoot (I had heard this was possible, but never actually seen it before, so it made a big impression on me).

"When the work was all over and everyone stumbled back to their hotel rooms exhausted, I remember saying goodnight to Tezuka. In the morning, when I met him, he handed me the manga pages he had been working on. It was extraordinary. He hadn't slept, and had completed about fifteen or twenty pages, with panels and balloons with dialog indicated in pencil, main characters penciled and inked, and directions for his assistants back in Japan to fill in the backgrounds. Some people find it hard to believe that Tezuka could do so much of his own work, but I can attest to the fact that he did. In terms of his productivity, he was super-human."

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