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It’s the first warm night in Portland, so I’m celebrating by working late at the office. For company, I set up some videos that would stimulate without negating my fighting chance at writing/editing words goodly, and I thought I’d share it before YouTube deletes the videos:

Turns out they’re all Katsuhiro Otomo-related cartoons. You got a problem with that?


The closest we may ever get to Otomo doing Indiana Jones. [Me gusta.]


Otomo’s first [only?] live-action movie.


And finally, a long, made-for-the-DVD-esque interview with the man himself.

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As nominally animated adaptations of classic comics go, America has The Marvel Superheroes …

… while Japan has Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy

and Yoshiharu Tsuge’s “Nejishiki.”

Japan wins.

Do Europe or South America have some similar productions? Not a recent, fan-made video; something that was clearly made with film and by hand, which seems to demand that the finished result has a beginning, middle and an end. I’m too old to watch fanboy trailers for books I’ve already read.

This Tac Au Tac segment featuring Moebius and Jijé drawing cowboys & injuns somewhat scratches my itch for a limited-animation bande dessinée cartoon, but I’d love to see more.

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From 1964 comes an apparent theatrical repackaging of a quickly canceled Japanese sci-fi TV show that’s so dumb and funny that you might have caught yourself shushing Mike and the bots if you saw the film on Mystery Science Theater 3000 or perhaps you’ve wanted to see more than the few clips that were used in It Came From Hollywood — it’s the cinematic craptasm of the ages, the film that that autodidactic nerds call Yusei Oji — ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the glory of Prince Of Space!

If you haven’t seen it, you should; it’s the closest thing to a Jimmy Olsen movie as we will ever get or probably deserve. Superman isn’t quite as super, Clark Kent is a bootblack instead of a reporter, Lois is his adopted daughter, and Jimmy’s role is split between two Japanese boys — one of whom speaks with Damon Runyon’s syntax, onna ‘count of duh cheap English dubbing job dat dis film received — but it’s still highly enjoyable cheese, plus it scratches the same itch that the Dolph Lundgren Masters Of The Universe movie scratches for people desperate to see Jack Kirby’s Fourth World on the big screen.

Prince has a generous amount of the kind of straight-faced insanity that would show up regularly in a Mort Weisinger Jimmy story without much fanfare. Superman The Prince Of Space gets no origin, and the dozen or so chicken-men from outer space — you read that right, chicken-men from outer space — who attempt to invade Earth seem to have no rational reason for anything they do. To be fair, these are scientifically advanced creatures who wear tights but don’t believe in wearing underwear, which makes for quite a few terrifying low-angled medium shots. The chicken-men leader, Phantom of the planet Krankor has a lovely, lilting laugh that you will love, hate, ignore and then fall in love with all over again. HANH HANH HANH HAAAAAH. The special effects are a joke, but the chicken-men fly around in a snazzy roast-turkey shaped spaceship and their homeworld is guarded by one fucked-up looking giant man-monster. Sometimes, I like to ponder where the giant came from, what he was doing on the chicken-men planet, what his dreams and hopes are. Who owns the rights to Prince Of Space? I should send them a pitch for a POS: Extended Universe novel/four-issue comics miniseries.

[Skip to the six-minute mark if you dislike hipsters playing local-TV Shock Theater-style hosts; you're on your own if you want to skip any other host segments. Sorry.]

Enjoy:

I wonder, are there any other movies that act like surrogate/stealth adaptations of comics that will probably never be formally adapted to film?

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