Monday, November 17, 2014

RADIO BOY by Chuck Dixon & Jim Engel

In the 1980s, manga finally gained a foothold in the US...
...and American creators began doing their own manga-style material.
Some, like this never-reprinted one-shot title from Eclipse Comics (the first major American company to publish translated manga), were parodies.
This particular spoof was loosely-based on Osamo Tesuka's Astro Boy, which had achieved success in as a translated anime in the early 1960s and opened the door for a flood of Japanese cartoons on American TV that continues to this day.
Note: Though Astro Boy is best-known in the US as a tv cartoon series, it began as a wildly-successful manga in 1954.
The premise of Radio Boy is that the creator himself did the translations for this edition, resulting in a mish-mash of syntax and tenses as well as some literal translations of Japanese phrases.
As a collector of foreign videos (including Japanese and Chinese DVDs), I can attest that the English subtitles on them often do read like the captions and copy in this spoof.
BTW, if you don't have a multi-region DVD player, get one.
Much of the Asian material released by Dimension (especially their Jackie Chan catalog), Buena Vista, and other mass-market companies is butchered beyond belief, and seeing the originals (even with bad sub-titling) is eye-opening!
I suspect writers Chuck Dixon (yes, that Chuck Dixon) and Jim Engel had also seen some mis-translated films/videos, and wanted to re-create the experience on the printed page.
You'll have the chance to judge for yourself...tomorrow.

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