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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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The two-award-winning creators discuss their latest project together, the second issue of ‘Pop Kill’ from Paperfilms.
Dave Johnson is the award-winning cover artist of 100 Bullets, Punisher, Deadpool, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., Lobster Johnson, Abe Sapien, The Butcher of Paris and many other comics. Jimmy Palmiotti began his career as an inker, but quickly became a writer and editor, co-creating comics like Ash, 21 Down and The Monolith. In recent years, Palmiotti has continued to work with his wife, the great Amanda Conner, on a variety of projects, but much of his work has been writing and co-writing creator-owned graphic novels including Killing Time in America, Retrovirus and Random Acts of Violence, which was adapted into a film just released on video-on-demand, in addition to continuing the story of his characters Painkiller Jane and The Monolith.
Many of those projects, like Pop Kill, which is currently being kickstarted, are collaborations with artist Juan Santacruz. This time they’re joined by co-writer Dave Johnson on a series that’s violent, sexy, very absurd, and they were kind enough to take a few minutes out to talk about the second issue of the series, and continuing the absurd tale of violence, sex, and corporate espionage.
Continue reading “Smash Pages Q&A: Jimmy Palmiotti and Dave Johnson”