31 October 2014

Bat Manga! Meets Lord Death Man

Fans of the site know how much I like the Sixties Manga of Batman comics, drawn by the legendary Jiro Kuwata.  What I like about the manga is best exemplified by the super villain "Lord Death Man".

As Adam West was doing the batusi, Japanese manga publication house Shōnen Gahōsha licensed the right to make Batman manga, which they did between 1966-1967.

I don't think Batman and Robin made sense to the Japanese manga makers and Kuwata-san took the basic outline of the BATMAN comics published in 1966 and ... made some changes.  For example, Batman looked a little more devilish:

Jiro Kuwata, 1966
 My most favorite "tweak" was taking a rather nondescript story about a bank robber who could not die and transforming it into a nightmare of a story about Lord Death Man:

Manga and Western editions of the Death Man story
I urge you to enjoy this panel-by-panel critique of the two versions.  Needless to say, Kuwata-san's versions of these American comics are a great perspective on the two cultures.

When the producers of the BATMAN BRAVE AND BOLD cartoon wanted to make a Bat Manga! episode, they (of course) choose the Lord Death Man story.  It's my all-time favorite episode:

Lord Death Man, from the BATMAN show
When I first made the Bat Manga! statue, I had in mind a set of four statues, with a special "variant" fifth statue.  Saul Ferris, the BATMANGA! co-editor, was always interested in a Lord Death Man statue and now I can finally oblige him:

Lord Death Man statue (2014)
I certainly took the color palette of the show and tried to sculpt a death head that was a combination of Kuwata-san's art and the animated work.

Saul had asked for "aged" works, and so the base has been scuffed up.  The skeleton was hand painted to give a sense of a "knock off" kind of job.

I hope Saul likes it!  I am looking forward to getting one with my set of five statues, as I now understand that there is to be a full collection of the Kuwata Bat Manga! stories.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Next up: Boy Wonder Manga!

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