Comics Lowdown: Artist OK with defacement of Zunar mural

Also: Moto Hagio returns to the Poe saga, Tini Howard and Gilbert Hernandez talk ‘Assassinistas,’ and Annie Koyama looks back at her first decade as a comics publisher

Someone has defaced a mural of the Malaysian cartoonist Zunar—but the artist who created the mural is OK with that. “I don’t see it as ruined but as a response, and it does not matter to me who is responding,” said Bibichun, the artist. “It’s in the public domain and it’s for members of the public to consume in their own way.” The mural depicted Zunar with his mouth covered by the flag of UMNO, the dominant political party of Malaysia (and therefore a frequent target of Zunar’s cartoon). Recently, an unknown man painted the flag black. “The piece was a response to the suppression of Zunar’s exhibition at the Penang Literary Festival last year,” said Bibichun. “I’m surprised it took Umno supporters such a long time to respond.” Zunar recently canceled a planned exhibit of his work out of concern that it, too, would be attacked.

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D + Q announces, then cancels, Berliac’s ‘Sadbøi’

Publisher sites 2015 essay “comparing cultural appropriation and transgender people” as a reason they canceled the project.

Three days after announcing plans to publish Sadbøi by cartoonist Berliac, Drawn & Quarterly issued an apology and said they no longer plan to release the graphic novel.

The quick version:

  1. The project was announced last Tuesday, which spurred several reactions on social media.
  2. The issues raised mainly centered around statements Berliac made in 2015 in an essay comparing cultural appropriation and transgender people, and his subsequent reaction to criticism of that essay.
  3. Berliac responded to D+Q’s decision on Facebook.

So what’s this all about? Let’s break it down …

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