I picked up the first paperback volume of Tezuka's Buddha last week at the 'Swap. While I like Tezuka well enough, I don't like him enough to pay hardback prices for his stuff. I hadn't realized that the US version of Buddha had been flopped Studio Proteus-style until I cracked it open the other night. One character lost a couple of limbs, and *which* limbs kept varying from page to page, and even panel to panel, as the retouching crew were selectively flopping on a panel-by-panel manner in an attempt to match flow & layout, instead of just mirror-flopping everything regardless.
It's really kind of disconcerting. Fans have refused to put up with this sort of thing on doofy junk titles like Naruto or Sgt. Frog for years, but the hoity-toity art-comix and academic crowd which snabbles up high-tone projects like Buddha are apparently cool with the American publisher diddling the artwork on one of the God of Manga's flagship projects. I mean, Buddha is regularly recommended to the non-fan market in mainstream publications like Entertainment Weekly. The story and the background art manages to mostly overwhelm the flopped artwork mess, and I'm even kind of cool with the bambi-and-thumper-get-disemboweled cognitive dissonance of the cartoony art style and the gloomy-religious subject matter. I wasn't ashamed to be seen reading it while sitting around waiting for things to start up at the History Day festivities.
What I was ashamed of was the computer-marketing-sales-professional office dropping who decided to plug in his earpiece right there in Finlay Commons & loudly conduct his business in public, like he was doing high-pressure sales out of office at home or something. I don't think he was a judge - probably some poor kid's workaholic father. Jerk.