Comics Lowdown: Hello Kitty!

Hello Kitty brings the cuteness to high-energy physics, ‘Korra’ creators talk about the new graphic novel and the ‘Gotham Academy’ team look back on their three-year long school year.

Hello Kitty shows up in a lot of unlikely places, from checkbooks to the sides of airplanes, but this is a first: She’s repping for the International Linear Collider, a proposed particle accelerator that was under discussion last week at the International Conference on High Energy Physics. (CERN, where the Higgs boson was first spotted, is a donut-shaped accelerator; the ILC would run in a straight line.) Japan is one of the possible sites for the ILC, so boosters drafted Hello Kitty to the cause and gave her a new outfit, complete with pocket protector and a fancy L (for Lagrangian) on her bow.

Passings: Dick Tracy artist and writer Dick Locher has died of Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 88. Locher, who did a stint as a test pilot in the Air Force, studied at Loras College in his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa, then moved on to the Art Center of Los Angeles and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. While he was a student in Chicago, in 1957, Locher got a gig as assistant inker on the Dick Tracy, working alongside creator Chester Gould. He worked on the strip for four years, then was away for it for 20 years before returning as the artist and writer. Meanwhile, he headed his own art studio and in 1973, signed on to the Chicago Tribune as an editorial cartoonist. He won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1983. That same year he went back to work on Dick Tracy, which he drew until 2009 and scripted until 2011.

Interviews and Profiles

Korrasami Rules! Michael DiMartino and Irene Koh, the writer and artist, respectively, of the new Legend of Korra graphic novel series, discuss the relationship between Korra and Asami and queerness in the Korra universe; DiMartino was one of the creators of the original animated series.

School’s Out—Forever? DC’s YA school series Gotham Academy is coming to an end after a three-year run, but the story may not be over yet: The monthly comics may have run their course, but the first volume of the collected edition will make its Scholastic debut this fall, potentially opening up a whole new audience. I talked to the creative team of Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl, and also got to show off a pretty cool pair of images, one from the first issue and one from the last, that serve as bookends for the story as a whole.

Reviews, Roundups, and Recommendations

Four Seinen Stories: Writing for the Jakarta Post, Dananjaya Rijaluzaman recommends four “lesser-known gems” of manga, two of which are available in English.

The Biz

Not Comics, but Relevant: Kat Rosenfeld looks at the “toxic” online culture of young adult fiction, taking as her case study a book that was heavily criticized by one writer, and as a result, “called out” by many people who—on principle—hadn’t actually read it.

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