Comics Lowdown: Chinese authorities crack down on Rage Comics

Censorship: The Chinese government has banned rage comics (Baozou Manhua, or Baoman) channels from a number of online platforms, claiming violations of the recently enacted Law on the Protection of Heroes and Martyrs. In addition to the censorship, the article discusses how rage comics migrated from 4Chan to Chinese youth culture and why this is important: They are now a big-money business.

Besides the shutdown of the various social media channels, the closure of the baozoumanhua.com media empire is a huge blow to its fans and creators. The website’s founder Wang Nima’s net worth is estimated to be around 4 billion yuan (±US$628 million), according to Daily Economic News (每日经济新闻).

Netflix recently paid $30 million for the Chinese animated film ‘Next Gen’, which is also based on the original webcomic ‘7723’ by Wang Nima. Baozou financed and produced the film, which Chinese majors Alibaba and Wanda will reportedly release in China this summer (Amidi 2018).

The Biz: I interviewed Gina Gagliano, who has moved from marketing director of First Second Books to the editor of her own middle-grade graphic novel imprint, Random House Graphics. Gina is one of the prime movers behind the current boom in middle-grade graphic novels, as she has tirelessly promoted not only First Second books but the medium as a whole.

Illustration by VOFAN

Creators: The artist VOFAN, who illustrates the Japanese writer Nisioisin’s novels, discusses his work.

Creators: Graeme McMillan interviews Snotgirl artist Leslie Hung.

Manga Superheroes: DC will publish the Batman and the Justice League manga starting in October. The manga is currently serialized in the shonen magazine Champion Red, and DC will publish it as a 208-page graphic novel that reads right to left, like the original.

Kids and Comics: The mother of an autistic seven-year-old boy discusses her son’s love of The Beano, the British children’s comic.

Ashley A. Woods’s cover for Black Comix Returns

Creators: Michael Dooley looks at Black Comix Returns, a showcase of work by 100 independent comics artists of color, co-curated by Damian Duffy and John Jennings (who also adapted Octavia Butler’s Kindred into a graphic novel).

Anthologies: Douglas Noble looks at two late 80s-early 90s anthologies of romance comics that deserve to be remembered. Lots to enjoy here for fans of that era.

Comic Strips: Sunday Comics Debt takes a look at the newest iteration of Nancy and wonders if the absence of “hot Aunt Fritzie” is part of the reason so many people are reacting to it.

Criticism: Are you missing the point of Watchmen? Read Dom Nero’s Esquire article to find out!

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