Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas, the book I helped Fred Ladd write about his involvement with anime (as producer and adapter of films/programs for the American market), as well as his view of the post-Astro Boy history of Japanese animation, is now available as a Google eBook. (It can be ordered here.)
The list price is $24.99 versus $35.00 for the original softcover edition, which is still available from MacFarland and various online booksellers). However, Google is currently selling it for $14.74, which is marginally cheaper than the $14.99 Kindle edition. The latter originally sold for $9.99, but the new pricing reflects the increased leverage publishers now have in pricing e-books.
Google eBooks, which officially debuted today, will be available from a variety of sellers, including independent bookstores, so you are not stuck with one vendor as is currently the case with, for instance, Kindle eBooks. I did quickly check the Powell’s Books website and found the book selling for $23.12, but I suspect pricing will vary widely as the market matures.
I just received a copy of Tze-Yue G. (“Gigi”) Hu’s long-awaited Frames of Anime: Culture and Image-Building recently published by Hong Kong University Press, and distributed in North America by University of Washington Press ($28.00 paperback and $55.00 hardcover). Gigi, who teaches Asian Studies at the University of Oklahoma’s School of International and Area Studies, is someone I’ve known and liked for many years. Thus, when she asked me to write a blurb for her book, I was quite happy to do so. My blurb, which accurately sums up my opinion, was that:
Frames of Anime provides a wonderfully concise and insightful historical overview of Japanese animation; more importantly, Tze-yue G. Hu also gives the reader a much-needed frame of reference—cultural and historical—for understanding its development.
The Japanese-language edition of Astro Boy and Anime Come to the Americas, by Fred Ladd (with my assistance) has been published by NTT in a translation by Kumi Kaoru, the author of two books on Hayao Miyazaki. The Japanese title is Anime ga Anime ni naru made (How the Japanese Cartoon Became “Anime”’).
Kumi-san emailed me that “Nihon Keizai Shimbun (the Wall Street Journal of Japan) published a brief notice last Sunday, which he roughly translated (with some editing on my part) as:
Osamu Tezuka’s Tetsuwan Atom, which began in 1963, appeared in the US in the autumn of the same year as Astro Boy, and turned out to be a precedent-setting event for the international reputation of Japanese animation. Mr. Ladd, who directed the English dubbed version, wrote this memoir with the support of Mr. Deneroff, cartoon scholar. It is full of previously unknown stories about the very early days of anime’s English adaptation, such as how the adaptation staff beat their brains to soften the “violence” in Atom so that it could meet American TV standards.
It is available from Amazon Japan here (and presumably other outlets) for ¥2,940 (about $31.50).