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WTF Wednesday: Gossip Time!

A weekly spotlight on the weird, the wacky, and the wackadoos.

This week's WTF Wednesday is brought to you by ComiPress, who, if you're not familiar with, translate any number of fun articles from Japan. The latest is called “Secrets of Manga Artists Exposed!” and features hearsay and rumors about some of Japan's greatest mangaka, both contemporary and historical. Here are just a few tidbits:


  • Many fans know that Osamu Tezuka (pictured right, top) was a doctor prior to becoming a full-time mangaka. But did you know that during the brief period that he operated as both, his editor posed as a patient to pick up his pages?

  • Rumor has it that Cromartie High School creator Eiji Nonaka's art style is so similar to forebear Ryoichi Ikegami's that Ikegami has been asked to sign Nonaka's works by mistake. Ouch.

  • This one I can't give a lot of credit to: it claims that the main reason Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama (pictured right, bottom) became a mangaka is because he couldn't stand commuting to a regular job.

  • Last but not least, and this is one is a little out there...but the rumor is that Leiji Matsumoto, of Galaxy Express 999 and so many others, at least once grew shiitake mushrooms in his underwear. And fed them to Tetsuya Chiba (creator of Ashita no Joe).


There are a ton more, so make sure you hit up the full article. In the meantime: do you believe any of these? Are they hilarious enough that you don't even care? Share your feelings!

Nikoon Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:23 p.m.
What, was Tezuka not allowed to write as a doctor, so he had to sneak them out?
HeeroYuyon Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:24 p.m.
This seems like the kind of stuff you'd see on the National Enquirer or something...
Devillyon Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:25 p.m.
HeeroYuy said:
"This seems like the kind of stuff you'd see on the National Enquirer or something...
"
yep
Sonata moderator on Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:28 p.m.
Mushrooms in the Underwear LOL
Devillyon Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:30 p.m.
Sonata said:
"Mushrooms in the Underwear LOL
"
Actually kinda think of it that explains Alot!! 0_o XD
NovidAnonon Feb. 25, 2009 at 12:43 p.m.
You should also read one of ComicPress's other work, the translation of manga zombie, which I wrote four blogs about it and a small review of same.
Ruby_Alexandrineon Feb. 25, 2009 at 1:08 p.m.
Speaking of Ryoichi Ikegami, his art work is amazing!  I own the Strain mangas published by Viz Media several years ago, and the artwork is impeccable and realistic! 
giaon Feb. 25, 2009 at 2:19 p.m.
Niko: I expect especially back in the time that Tezuka was working, creating comics wasn't seen as a really respectable  thing for a doctor to be doing...and let's face it, being a doctor is much more likely to guarantee that you'll make enough of a living! At least until Tezuka became so famous :)
Sillyfaerieon Feb. 25, 2009 at 5:40 p.m.
Considering that shiitake are grown on wood and mushrooms in general are occasionally used in Asia (I think this is more Chinese though. . .) to symbolize semen, that particular rumor is actually far more interesting than it at first appears. . .

Dig Deeper into Osamu Tezuka

Known as the "godfather of manga," Osamu Tezuka is Japan's most prolific manga creator to date with over 700 original series to his name. Tezuka is widely credited for pushing the medium to its mainstream popularity after World War II.

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