Plus: DC does NFTs, the Uffizi opens its doors to comics, and small publishers discuss distribution.
Takao Saito, the creator of Golgo 13, died on September 24 at the age of 84. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer. Saito made his manga debut in 1955 and launched Golgo 13, which follows the exploits of a taciturn hitman, in 1968. Volume 202 of the series has just come out in Japan, making Golgo 13 not only the longest continuously running manga series but also the one with the most volumes. Saito has said he would like the manga to continue after his death, and his publisher, Shogakukan, says the series will continue.
Comics at an Exhibition: The Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, Italy, is adding comics to its collection. The museum, which started out in the 1600s as the Medici family’s portrait collection, has commissioned 52 self-portraits by prominent Italian comics artists. The self-portraits will be on display in a special exhibit in Lucca from October 8 to November, 1, then moved to the Uffizio to join its permanent collection.
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown | RIP Takao Saito”
Joshua Williamson, Dennis Culver and Giannis Milonogiannis send the Red Hood after Gotham’s vigilantes.
Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.
DC Comics has released a preview of the upcoming Future State: Gotham #1, which spins out of the Future State event from earlier this year. The comic will feature the ongoing story of the Red Hood hunting down masked vigilantes for The Magistrate — which brings him into conflict with The Next Batman.
The comic is co-written by Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver, with black-and-white art by Giannis Milonogiannis. Along with the preview came the news that DC will reprint “The Third Mask,” a Batman story written and drawn by Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of the manga and anime AKIRA. It originally appeared in a 1996 issue of Batman: Black & White.
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Plus: How comics ease quarantine, who buys variant covers and more.
Tennis champ Naomi Osaka is the star of a new story in the Japanese shoujo manga magazine Nakayoshi (which first published Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, among others), and the creators are taking pains to get her skin tone right. Osaka’s mother is Japanese and her father is Haitian-American, describes herself as “tan,” but an instant-noodle brand that depicted her with light skin caused an uproar last year. This time, the Nakayoshi designers consulted Osaka’s sister Mari Osaka, who is a tennis player and illustrator, for help in getting the skin tones right. The story features Naomi using her tennis skills to battle extraterrestrials in outer space, supported by Mari and her parents. Osaka has drawn some criticism in Japan, where she was born, for her outspokenness on racial matters, but the magazine focuses on her skill and dedication rather than her political statements.
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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).
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Comics gets a wake-up call, Wonder Woman gets a long-lost brother and Ted Rall gets SLAPPed.
It’s like comics is going through its half-year review, and manga and kids’ graphic novels get high marks but Marvel and DC get a low “needs improvement.” Heidi MacDonald has a long but very readable article at The Beat summarizing what’s going on: Comics are thriving, but not monthly comics and not in comic shops:
Continue reading “Comics Lowdown: Bookscan charts, female readers and the Big Two”