Plus: Changes at Kodansha, Cullen Bunn goes ‘Rogue’ and whatever happened to Lion Man?
Editorial Cartoons: A cartoon in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, depicting the Chinese flag with the stars replaced by coronaviruses, has, predictably, angered the Chinese government. (Jyllands-Posten is the same paper whose cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad caused an uproar in 2005.) The Chinese Embassy in Copenhagen has demanded an apology, but Jyllands-Posten editor Jacob Nybroe has refused, and the Danish prime minister is backing him up.
The Biz: Restructuring at Kodansha USA means a promotion for Alvin Lu, previously the general manager of Kodansha Advance Media. Publishers Weekly reports that Kodansha’s subsidiaries, including its digital arm Kodansha Advanced Media and the manga and novel publisher Vertical Inc., will be folded into Kodansha USA. Lu will be the CEO, and Ivan Salazar, former public relations and events specialist at ComiXology, has been hired as senior marketing director.
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An image promoting ‘The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child’ sparks complaints of ‘support of Hong Kong’s rioters.’
DC Comics deleted social media postings last week featuring a promotional image from the upcoming Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child one-shot by Frank Miller and Rafael Grampa after receiving numerous complaints from Chinese commenters.
The comments said the image looked like it supported the pro-Democracy protests currently occurring in Hong Kong. The Global Times out of China said it “implied its support of Hong Kong’s rioters,” noting that many critics saw “Batman’s gesture as supportive of Hong Kong’s unrest and violence.”
Grampa, the artist of the piece, had a one-word response to the attention the piece received: “Surreal.” Here’s the image in question:
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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).
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Chinese authorities crack down on Rage Comics”