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Yokaiden creator Nina Matsumoto and veteran Simpsons comics writer Ian Boothby have a treat for us today: My Deadbeat Dad, a short story about a girl who pays weekend visits to her dad… in Hell. It’s amazingly economical; in just a handful of pages, Matsumoto and Boothby introduce the characters, establish a fairly complicated premise, and bring in a couple of twists; even small details turn out to be important.
Both creators are in their element here; Matsumoto won the 2009 Eisner award for best short story for one of her Treehouse of Horror tales, and she and Boothby previously teamed up to create the Simpsons Death Note parody in Treehouse of Horror #14. This short comic is labeled “dbdpitch,” so we can only hope that they have plans to develop this into a longer comic. With this team and this premise, it certainly has potential.
Even as rescue operations continue and officials scramble to avert a nuclear disaster in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday, some manga artists are reaching out to their fans with a message of hope.
Takehiko Inoue, the creator of Vagabond and Slam Dunk, has been posting pictures of ordinary Japanese people smiling with the Twitter hashtags #prayforjapan and #tsunami, as a sort of prayer. Shoujo manga creator Arina Tanemura (Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, The Gentlemen’s Alliance Cross) also drew one of her characters with a big smile. Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) posted a lively drawing with a message of support on the Shonen Jump website. And Itou Noizi, who illustrated the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya light novels, has drawn a picture of Haruhi in prayer.
A number of well-known creators, including Naoki Urasawa (Pluto, 20th Century Boys), Natsume Ono (House of Five Leaves) and Kanata Konami (Chi’s Sweet Home) have posted drawings and messages of encouragement at the website of Kodansha’s Morning magazine. Anime News Network has a full list of contributors in English.