Set in the tense period of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, MESSAGE TO ADOLF stands out as one of Osamu Tezuka’s most dramatic and imaginative thrillers. For TEZUCOMI, celebrated author JUAN DIAZ CANALES brings his nuanced skills as both writer and artist to a spin-off short story set in the same period called “The 3 Richards.”

Created by Osamu Tezuka in the early 1980s, MESSAGE TO ADOLF told the speculative tale of three men named Adolf in 1930s Germany: one a German Jew, another his sympathetic best friend, and the third the infamous führer set on eliminating the Jewish population through genocide. While each character in this historical drama has their own character arc, the underlying plot involves the discovery of documentation that could prove Adolf Hitler had Jewish ancestry.

Following that narrative model, Juan Diaz Canales imagined a similar tale within the source story’s setting, focusing on three men named Richard, one of whom makes a similar surprising discovery about his own heritage during the Nazi Reich.

Panels from "The 3 Richards" by JUAN DIAZ CANALES based on MESSAGE TO ADOLF by Osamu Tezuka

Canales brings his expertise in mystery and suspense to “The 3 Richards” not only through his thrilling script, but through his captivating artwork as well. While best known in the US as the writer of the popular series Blacksad and Corto Maltese, he is also a formidable artist, as demonstrated in his first self-illustrated book Along the Water in 2016. “The 3 Richards” shows both the profound respect of its author for the original work, as well as his deep affection for historical narrative.

Take a peek at the first few pages of Juan’s story below, then be sure to pick up TEZUCOMI to read the entire tale, along with 17 other brand new stories by other great European comic artists paying tribute to the brilliance of Osamu Tezuka!

Preview Pages from "The 3 Richards" by Juan Diaz Canales

(Remember: Manga is read from right to left!)