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Comics A.M. | Spiegelman calls removal of ‘Maus’ in Russia ‘a real shame’

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman

Creators | Responding to the removal of Maus from Moscow bookstores as the Russian government cracks down on Nazi symbols, Art Spiegelman said, “It’s a real shame because this is a book about memory. We don’t want cultures to erase memory.” Retailers fear the swastika on the graphic novel’s cover may be enough to run afoul of a new law prohibiting “Nazi propaganda” as the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany. “I don’t think Maus was the intended target for this, obviously,” the cartoonist told The Guardian. “But I think [the law] had an intentional effect of squelching freedom of expression in Russia. The whole goal seems to make anybody in the expression business skittish.” [The Guardian]

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Viz Media brings back ‘The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past’

legend of zeldaViz Media is bringing Shotaro Ishinomori’s manga The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past back to print for the first time in 20 years.

Arriving in May from the publisher’s Perfect Square imprint, the full-color edition will collect the loose adaptation of the original game’s story, which was originally serialized in 1992 in Game Power magazine. The story was re-released as a trade paperback the following year.

The story by Ishinomori, creator of Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider and Hotel, followed the overall story arc of the game, but included new plot twists and characters, including Link’s fairy guide Epheremelda and a descendent of the Knights of Hyrule named Roam.

“Many older fans recall eagerly awaiting each new issue of Nintendo Power magazine back in the ‘90s for a new monthly chapter of A Link to the Past,” Beth Kawasaki, Perfect Square’s senior editorial director, said in a statement. “While it followed the overall story arc of the original Super Entertainment System game, creator Ishinomori also added new plot twists and characters that made this a stand-alone favorite among multiple generations of fans.”

Comics A.M. | Retailer Geoffrey Patterson passes away

Geoffrey Patterson as Captain Greedy in 2003

Geoffrey Patterson as Captain Greedy in 2003

Passings | Retailer, creator, superhero fan and occasional crime-fighter Geoffrey Patterson Sr. died Sunday at age 72. The owner of Geoffrey’s Comic Shop in Gardena, California, Patterson created the character Captain Greedy, who appeared on local access TV and in the shop, as well as in comics. “Patterson was well-known for his eccentric love of super heroes,” writes Jordan England-Nelson. “His home in Torrance is decorated inside and out with super-hero statues, wooden cutouts and other comic book memorabilia. The home would get hundreds of visitors on Halloween, when Patterson would hand out comic books with candy and let people check out his superhero-themed graveyard.” And Patterson chased down purse snatchers and other wrongdoers on several different occasions, at least once while wearing his Captain Greedy costume. [The Daily Breeze]

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SDCC ’13 | Viz Media relaunches Viz Kids as Perfect Square

PerfectSquare-LogoNorth American manga publisher Viz Media has relaunched its Viz Kids imprint as Perfect Square, which will release comics, manga and children’s books “with an emphasis on strong storytelling, eye-popping graphics, empowering themes, and a dash of irreverence, that captures the imagination of a whole new generation.”

Announced Wednesday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Perfect Square will debut books based on Pendleton Ward’s Bravest Warriors next year. Other offerings include Hello Kitty, Max Steel, Ben 10: Omniverse, Uglydolls, Monsuno: Combat, MameshibaMr. Men/Little Miss, Pokemon and The Legend of Zelda, all of which were part of Viz Kids. The publisher will also release a Perfect Square app for iPad and iPad Mini.

Speaking with Publishers Weekly, Viz Media Senior Editorial Director for Children’s Publishing Beth Kawasaki said the imprint will likely publish 40 to 50 titles a year, “a little less Pokemon and a lot of new stuff.”

“The brand will become the new home for many legacy titles featuring favorite characters fans know and love, as well as brand new series readers can explore and fall in love with,” she said in a press release. “We are ecstatic to be working with properties we love and we’ve assembled an unbelievably talented team of editors, writers and artists who are fans themselves and have a strong commitment to great storytelling.”

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