Comics Lowdown: More Manga, Scary Stories and an Inside Look at North Korea

A North Korean cartoonist looks at the lighter side of defection, an American cartoonist turns down an Iranian award, and Humanoids announces an all-ages horror graphic novel.

Struggles and Smiles: Former North Korean animator Choi Seong-guk was surprised at how different the comics were when he defected to South Korea: “When I first saw South Korean cartoons, I just didn’t get them,” he says. “There were no stories about patriotism or catching spies or war. They just seemed useless to me.” There were a lot of other differences too, including some idioms that he misunderstood. Now he has turned his experiences into an online comic that depicts both the funny and the serious side of the lives of North Koreans at home and in South Korea.

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Mike Dawson’s ‘Sad-Boy’ zine satirizes 90s autobiographical comics

The ‘Rules For Dating My Daughter’ creator returns with an old-school zine satirizing autobiographical cartooning.

Rules For Dating My Daughter” creator Mike Dawson has gone old school with a new ‘zine about “lonely navel-gazing mopey sad-boys.” And he’s using Kickstarter to fund it.

“Sad-Boy Comix and Stories” satirizes 1990s-style autobiographical cartooning. “Read comics about Sad-Boys adventures on e-Bay, first dates, and his experiences tabling at SPX (the Small Press Expo), all the while making the case that comics don’t have to be limited to infantile stories about grown men in tights punching each other – they can be about real world concerns, like being twenty two years old and liking to look at porn magazines and R. Crumb drawings,” the Kickstarter page reads.

Here’s a sample of what to expect:

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On the rewards front, in addition to the book itself you can pledge $200 for your own “Sad-Boy” style portrait. “Let me lovingly render you in your lonely ‘Eightball’ comics-reading glory, no extra charge for obsessive cross-hatching and beads of sweat,” Dawson writes. The campaign has surpassed its goal, so you know the zine will eventually arrive in your mailbox later this year.