Barbara (Tome 02)
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Barbara (Tome 02)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Paperback, 228 pages
Published June 2005 by Delcourt (first published February 1973)
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Alex Scales
I could be wrong about this, but I'm fairly certain this is Tezuka's first attempt at Gekiga (literally, "Dramatic Pictures," a movement to create serious comics similar to the graphic novel movement we have today stateside). So, in 1974, Tezuka set out to create a manga that would rival the stuff Garo was publishing-- something perverse, dramatic, and bit more literary. The result was.. well, Barbara, a comic informed by the opera Tales of Hoffmann, and what must be the weirdest thing Tezuka ev...more
Sarah
If your first thought when you hear 'Doctor Osamu Tezuka' is children's manga and Astro Boy, cheerful robots and visual gags and colorful fantasy worlds fit to explore through, you would do best to set all those thoughts aside. Once you open up Barbara, it's obvious that there are two Doctor Tezukas - the man best known for his creations like Astro Boy and Kimba who appeals to all age groups especially kids, while there is also the man who wrote Barbara, the man who explores the depths of human...more
Ian Carey
I was just reading an article somewhere where the author mentioned "what a deeply weird time the 70s were." This book is a great illustration of that. Hippies, writers, witches, hallucinations, sex, booze--this has got them all. And of course Tezuka's great artwork.
Aaron
Experimental surrealism in 1970s eastern comics probably isn't for everyone. But that's the only real hurdle in enjoying this work. Tezuka experimented like crazy. In this title in particular, he uses the story of a nearly middle-aged novelist (and his relationship with a hobo woman who quotes poetry) to articulate the hunger, confusion, audacity, and brilliance of the arts. Characters regularly succumb to debauchery, filling in the gaps of their lives with drugs, violence, alcohol, and plenty o...more
Lana
Weird. Difficult.
Chibineko
I have to say that the story behind the production of this volume is fairly interesting. Digital Manga Publishing had originally wanted to publish Osamu Tezuka's Barbara, but lacked the funds to do so. The company had also lacked the funds to re-publish another of Tezuka's works, Swallowing the Earth, but utilized Kickstarter as a way of funding the manga, also doing so for Barbara. The end result is that now Barbara is available in English, albeit in limited quantity. Hopefully the current run...more
Alice
"Barbara" is a good read. I'm grateful for DGM for bringing it over, especially since the translation here is really organic. The front cover's graphic is amazing, and the softcover format/white pages really adds to the reading experience.

The book on it's own is very strong -- I'm always amazed by the versatility of Tezuka's art, in his backgrounds, the action scenes (I'm especially impressed by a chase scene that takes place towards the end of the book), how he switches between different art st...more
Monique
May 09, 2014 Monique rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only hardcore Tezuka fans
I'll just state right away that unless you are a big fan of either Tezuka or old comics, this is probably not recommended for you.

The art isn't as polished as some of his other titles, and the story itself is all over the place. Barbara as a character, changes personalities with no warning or explanation, but each personality ends up feeling flat. She never really gets a chance to be shown any deep feelings or thoughts. If only Tezuka had spent a little less time with all the random characters...more
Russell Grant
I typically enjoy Tezuka's work and find his more adult oriented stuff particularly satisfying. This one might be his most adult work, and a surprisingly complex one at that. The basic plot is that of a writer discovering the woman of the title drunk at a train station and takes her home. The writer is both inspired and repulsed by the woman, and what transpires is almost a meditation on art and muse, myth and reality and how they blur for creators.

It's not completely successful in execution, an...more
Anthony
It was fun to read from the perspective of this successful artist, who eventually gets pushed 2 the edge b/c of his muse, Barbara. Tezuka's mangas 4 older audiences are always fun 2 read b/c of all the crazy plot twists & how his main characters are driven 2 insanity due 2 another antagonist, in this case, Barbara. Pretty crazy 2 see the artist suddenly fall in love w/ ie. a dog & a bunch of other inanimate objects. Still a fun read.
Lissibith
Not sure paranormal is the right place to put this, but this is a hard book to categorize. It's an exploration of creativity and its relationship to various aspects of real life. It hops around a bit, dramatic but not always cohesive. After reading all of it, I'm not exactly sure what I think of the story it was trying to tell.

Tezuka's style seems artistically a little looser than normal, but the story was wilder, violent and depressive and euphoric by turns. It went down every dark alley it pas...more
Jason
This is an odd one...I like everything Tezuka does, so I definitely enjoyed it...but I started it three months ago, read half of it and have never gotten around to finishing it. I hate to admit it, but some of Tezuka's stuff doesn't stick with me. Maybe because he's so prolific? But as good as some of these stories were, the overall impact was less than some of his other work, like Buddha (Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastu) or the total masterpiece of Phoenix.
Fernando Ojeda
La belleza del libro sólo se puede apreciar al final. Los temas son densos y no siempre se aterrizan, el tratamiento raya en lo trivial y no son pocos los lugares comunes, pero es al final cuando las piezas caen en su lugar y la intención del autor puede apreciarse mejor. Impacta la descripción de la violencia hacia las mujeres y algunos temas oscuros. Un producto de su tiempo. Muchos apreciarán las referencias a poemas y a autores clásicos.
En general creo que es una fallida pero interesante le...more
Badr Al Ghamlasi
After reading a lot of his works, I thought that Osamu Tezuka can't surprise me anymore. Fortunately, I was wrong "Barbara" is much weirder & crazier than even my imagination.
Unfortunately, the ending suffered from Tezuka's too many ideas syndrome but still
I really enjoyed the experience of reading about all of those wild stuffs about Greek muses & witches.
Ravenhats
This is one of the most experimental and complex stylistic Tezuka works. The idea of surrealism combined with an unreliable and mad narrator, and a odd frame narrative involving witchcraft, intellectual culture in the 1960's and Greek myth combined. This definite a work worth reading for those who enjoy tezuka.
Brandon Telg
a weird, wonderful and though-provoking addition to the adult Tezuka canon published in English.
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From Wikipedia:
Dr. Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫) was a Japanese manga artist, animator, producer and medical doctor, although he never practiced medicine. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. He is often credited as the "Father of Anime", and is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during his f...more
More about Osamu Tezuka...
Buddha, Vol. 1: Kapilavastu (Buddha #1) Buddha, Vol. 2: The Four Encounters  (Buddha #2) Buddha, Vol. 3: Devadatta Buddha, Vol. 4: The Forest of Uruvela Buddha, Vol. 5: Deer Park

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