Comics Lowdown: Bricks fly through one comic shop; Grant given to another

Plus: The mother of shojo manga, Naruto and real-life politics and more

Galactic Comics in Ocean Beach, California was vandalized. Screen cap from KGTV San Diego.
David Draize, owner of Galactic Comics in Ocean Beach, California, doesn’t know why someone hurled several bricks through his store window, but he’s grateful for the police response that followed. Security camera footage shows a man in his 40s or 50s, clad in black, throwing several bricks and cinderblocks through the store window at about 1 a.m. on June 12. Nothing was taken from the store, in part, Draize believes, because the police officers who responded stayed to guard the store till he could get there.

Amalgam University Gets Its First Grant: In happier retailing news, Ariell Johnson, proprietor of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in Philadelphia, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to set up a programming space, which will expand the footprint of the store and allow her to create an “Amalgam University.” Johnson says that because she sells self-published work, she sees a lot of comics that have potential but are falling short in terms of craft. She hopes to offer classes to help those who can’t go to art school learn the nuts and bolts of making comics.

Interviews and Profiles

Angel Catbird vol.1 by Margaret Atwood and Johnnie Christmas
Graphic Descriptions: Novelist Margaret Atwood talks about her graphic novel trilogy, Angel Catbird, how it all came together, and how writing a comic is different from writing a screenplay:

It was a lot like writing a television or film script, which I have done. I did a bit of that in the ’70s. It’s similar in that you’ve got scenes, except you call them panels. You’re aware of the layout of the page, whereas in the film or television script you’re aware of syncopating different scenes and how long they should be. So it’s the same kind of thing when shooting the scene: What are they saying? What’s the camera angle? What are their emotions? What’s the scenery? Mention any relevant furniture. Essentially you’re telling the people who will do the visuals what it should look like.

Good Thing They Kept ‘Em! Decluttering guru Marie Kondo explains how she discovered manga—ironically, she ran across a stash of her father’s old manga when visiting her grandparents, something that wouldn’t have happened if her family had followed her advice and moved them along once they no longer “sparked joy.” The article also includes an excerpt from her manga, The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up, which will be published on June 27.

Reviews, Roundups, and Commentary


Virtuoso Visuals: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan reviews Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless:

An ambitious and eclectic set of tales, it focuses on the interior lives of unexpected subjects: the writer of a pornographic sitcom, a shrinking woman, a plant-nursery employee with an internet doppelganger, even a fly. Boundless uses a constantly varying visual treatment that keeps readers on their toes and mixes and matches artistic styles with a proliferating set of genres, from speculative fiction to domestic drama to magical realism. If a reader comes to Boundless with assumptions about visual storytelling, Tamaki will confound them.

Mystery Ship: George O’Connor, the creator of the Olympians series of graphic novels, reviews Philip Pullman’s first graphic novel, The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship.

Shoujo Pioneer: Kanta Ishida takes a look at Fuichin Zaijian! (Fuichin-san revisited!) a manga about the early shoujo (girls’) manga creator Toshiko Ueda, whose Fuichin-San was a popular 1950s story set in Manchuria, featuring a Chinese girl and a multicultural cast. Ueda herself spent part of her life in Manchuria, when it was occupied by the Japanese, and worked for the South Manchurian Railway for a while before turning to manga after her father was executed at the end of World War II. Fuichin Zaijian! is the work of Motoko Murakami, who was a fan of Fuichin-san as a child, and while it isn’t available in English, this article makes fascinating reading.

A New Take on Naruto: Delhi-based journalist Rudroneel Ghosh looks at the geopolitics of Naruto and how it relates to the rise of ISIS.

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