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Passings | Steve Roper and Mike Nomad artist Fran Matera has died at the age of 88. Matera, who worked briefly in the Quality Comics bullpen, where he worked on Doll Man and other titles, before enlisting in the Marines during World War II, also drew such comic strips as Dickie Dare, The Legend of Bruce Lee and Nero Wolfe. His comic credits also include the “Chuck White and Friends” feature in Treasure Chest, and issues of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk and Tarzan. [Rip Jagger's Dojo]
Publishing | Dark Horse manga editor Carl Gustav Horn takes the long view and refuses to give pat answers to questions about trends and hot properties: “This August, the longest-running manga in the North American market, Kosuke Fujishima’s Oh My Goddess!, turns eighteen. We started OMG! during the era of manga marketed as comic books, continued it into the era of manga marketed as graphic novels, and transitioned into the era of manga marketed as tankobon (Japanese-style GNs). Now we’re moving ahead into the era of manga marketed for e-reading.” [ICv2]
Corto Maltese in Africa (1978), page 51. Hugo Pratt.
American action cartooning has Jack Kirby, the Japanese have Tezuka, France has Herge — and in Italy, there is Hugo Pratt. Like all the truly great cartoonists, Pratt picked up his country’s comics tradition and moved its trajectory into line with that of his own work: the epic historical adventures contained in his Corto Maltese saga provided a stylistic blueprint Italian cartoonists would draw on or react against for decades after the series began appearing, and Pratt has provided inspiration for comics artists around the world — Paul Pope is an avowed devotee, Eddie Campbell and Mike Mignola picked up more than a few lessons, and hey, does anybody remember the name of the contested island that provides Frank Miller’s Dark Knight with its nuclear conclusion? It seems bizarrely fitting that in the week Moebius passes on, the English-speaking world should be reintroduced to late 20th-century Europe’s other foundational cartoonist via a new series of Corto translations.