I bought this book set knowing I'd enjoy it because I love one Piece and Oda’s philosophy. Once I sat down to go through them I began to think about the healing power art can have.
Who's the funny guy?
Eiichiro Oda was born on January 1, 1975 in Kumamoto, Japan. He said that at age four he resolved to become a manga artist in order to avoid having to get a "real job". He is a Japanese manga artist and the creator of the series One Piece (1997–present). With more than 480 million tankōbon copies in circulation worldwide, One Piece is both the best-selling manga and almost the best-selling comic series of all time. The series' popularity resulted in Oda being named one of the manga artists that changed the history of manga.
Art as healthcare
Sharing your joy
Luckily this is an English version with several interviews and notes that give insight to Odas outlook and the philosophy underpinning his work.
Reading the interactions between him and artists he appreciates is fun and heartwarming
It was interesting to read about him starting out thinking “the best art wins” and through experiences discovering that connection with the reader and their entertainment was far more important. I get the impression he tries to enjoy his work with the hope that it may transfer to the reader: "Be happy, take it easy".
I was glad to see that into the second Book Zoro starts smiling and there are enough characters to have serious moments, and not take away from the fun and silliness. Of the various books I've looked through for these reviews and my own interests, I can’t say I've seen one with more smiles than this. After a while it becomes infectious and you can feel the joy of the characters and the fun Oda seems to be having drawing them.
"Live another week with good cheer and vitality"
Over the course of these two books I noticed subtle changes in the artwork, the hands and feet early on were extra large (even for Oda) , though it was fun to see early art and sketches. As a fellow creator it’s fun to see ideas forming and characters developing. Oda’s work is so organic that it’s a lot of fun to see ideas emerge in one image, and then be given a place in the story later.
I recommend the compendium over the individual books, and try to get it in your language so you can read Oda’s comments and the interviews. He shares many of the nuggets of wisdom he’s picked up over his long career, from mentors, editors and his own experience. Of the two, I found the first one to be my favorite, to my surprise. The fun and expressions are more free and dynamic early on, while the second book is fun but a little more controlled. I enjoyed that early chaos.
Should I buy?
Yes, both, and the third when it comes out.