Watch a 10-minute trailer for Osamu Tezuka’s “Buddha 2″

Based on his acclaimed semi-biographical/high-fantasy manga series, here comes Osamu Tezuka’s “Buddha 2,” an anime film scheduled for a February 2014 release. Watch the trailer, which has English subtitles, here.

Trailer: Jesus and Buddha join up in “Saint Young Men”

The Phuket News tells us today about Saint Young Men, a manga tale (we’ve talked about it before here on the Horse) which has now evolved into an animated film. As we’re told, the artist behind it “portrays Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha, the founders of Christianity and Buddhism, as two cool guys who share an apartment on their trip to Earth. The plot evolves as both characters encounter new challenges in modern society.” And some are up in arms about it all — in Thailand at least — saying the portrayal of Buddha and Jesus caught up in worldly life is disrespectful.

It’s not in English, but here’s the trailer.

The film is to be released in early May.

Trailer: X-Men’s “Wolverine”

As Jeffrey Kripal’s book Mutants and Mystics: Science Fiction, Superhero Comics, and the Paranormal says, “Wolverine spent some time in Japan as a boy, speaks fluent Japanese, and practices Zazen.” We see a little of his background come into his adult life in the trailer for Wolverine’s coming new movie — including some temple-based violence. Here you go, comics geeks…

Video: Tom and Jerry get “Zent Out of Shape”

I wrote up this modern-era “Tom and Jerry Tales” cartoon back in March 2008, and promptly forgot all about it. Now, here it is, complete with Zen garden raking, gasshos, a transverse-flute-playing mouse, and more, all for your viewing pleasure.

(Well… let’s not overstate things.) At any rate, it’s a truly weird Buddhism-and-pop-culture moment.


It really gets weird. How this came to be may be something that is beyond human understanding. Anyway, thanks to my friend Ben Hutchison for the video-link!

Cast your eyes upon the sage, there on his donut throne

Dharma-Burgers can be inspired or inspiring; or sometimes, they’re ridiculous. Sometimes they’re just merchandise, exhibiting full-on cultural co-optation.

Usually, they’re some mix of all these, and — despite or because of that, I’m not sure — they’re a whole lot of fun. (Except for those who might be offended, and that happens too.) This new vinyl Homer Simpson-as-Buddha statuette, (p)reviewed by KidRobot recently, takes the cake. Some sample copy: “Long ears signify past wealth, a big head represents the disconnection between mind and body, a tuft of hair symbolizes great inner wisdom, and a giant fried dough topped with pink frosting and rainbow jimmies equals deliciousness.” Check out more shots of it via KidRobot, here.

PS: Big thanks to Jerry Whiting for this one. I’ve mentioned Jerry and his site a couple times here; click here for a fresh look. You’ll be glad you did.

Captain America, Buddhist?

Buddhist teachers Ethan Nichtern and Lodro Rinzler have been discussing superheroes lately, and Ethan has noted that while Batman is quite Buddhist, in terms of his motivations and approach to crimefighting, Chris Evans, who played Captain America in The Avengers and in the earlier Captain America feature reboot, actually identifies himself as Buddhist in a new Details feature.

Check that out here.

How things have changed. Just note how this war-era (1944) issue of Captain America makes use of sinisterly-depicted Asians and even a bastardized Buddha on its cover to get patriotic blood pumping. How nice to see our heroes getting a bit more worldly.

Thanks to Sam DeWitt for a nudge on this one.

Tibet in Comics, starring Bugs, Porky, and other favorite faces

Did you know Bugs Bunny traveled to Tibet? It’s true, NYC’s Rubin Museum of Art tells us by way of its Facebook feed, providing this classic comic book cover as proof…

The Rubin offers us the opportunity to “learn more about how prevailing perceptions of Tibet and the visual narrative evolved over time.” Their exhibit, Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics opens December 9, 2011. Click here for details. You’ll see comics discussed here on the Horse, like the Green Lama, plus much more like, Milarepa and Dalai Lama comics(!).

PS: Comics or not, The Rubin would be a must-see anyway!

More funny from Bizarro

Check out this single-panel from “Bizarro” cartoonist Dan Piraro:

It comes from his blog (and of course is published in a bazillion papers, etc) along with Piraro’s personal comments about meditation: Sample: “This cartoon was the brainchild of a friend of mine from my previous life back in Texas. It immediately made me chuckle because I hate contest shows and love meditation.”

Visit Bizarro online here. And see also: “Ya Gotta Love this Zen Comic.”

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