Passings | Golden Age creators Marcus “Marc” Swayze, best known for writing and drawing Fawcett’s Captain Marvel comics in the early 1940s, died Sunday in Monroe, Louisiana. He was 99. Swayze, who created Mary Marvel with writer Otto Binder, employed a simple style of illustration. “My personal philosophy was to use the art in storytelling so that even a child who couldn’t yet read could get a story out of it,” he told the Monroe News-Star in 2000. [The News-Star]
Legal | The Indian government has officially dropped sedition charges against cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, but he still faces up to three years in prison if found guilty on the remaining charges under the Prevention of Insult to National Honor Act of 1971. Trivedi was arrested last month and briefly jailed before being released on bail. In an odd twist, Trivedi is currently participating in the reality show Bigg Boss, the Indian counterpart of Big Brother. [UPI.com]
Last night I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the film Tekkonkinkreet at my local college. Even though I owned a copy of the movie on DVD, I was eager to tromp out in the rain and check out the film once more. Why? Two words: Frederick Schodt.
For most manga and anime fans and scholars, Schodt is best known as the author of such seminal books as Manga Manga!, Dreamland Japan and The Astro Boy Essays. These seminal works (particularly the first two titles) helped pave the way for acceptance or at least recognition of manga here in the U.S. and indeed remain valuable resources for those attempting to explain what manga is and why it’s so goshdarn popular.
Schodt was on hand to introduce the film and lead a discussion of it afterward. Apparently the college had managed to procure his services via something called Anime Masterpieces, an educational series designed to promote the art of anime at campuses and museums across the country. Let me just take a moment to say what a fabulous idea I think this is and how I wish there was a similar organization promoting American comics in the same fashion.