Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Manga | Vernieda Vergara examines the way Attack on Titan reflects Japanese politics and history as well as the current sense of social anxiety experienced by young people of creator Hajime Isayama’s generation: “One of the biggest criticisms levied against Japan’s youth is that they lack the ambition of previous generations. But if the majority have no hope of advancement due to a corporate wall, why is that a surprise? In the manga, most people are content to live inside the walls. It’s safe. But as the manga’s protagonist, Eren, says, that’s like living in a cage. There’s no hope for something more. Eren, along with his allies, don’t accept this fate as easily. They fight against it actively.” [Women Write About Comics]
Passings | Underground comics artist Michele Wrightson has died. As Michele Brand, she was a contributor to the first all-women underground comics anthology, It Ain’t Me Babe, with a story titled “Tirade Funnies” that still rings true 45 years later. That comic spawned the ongoing Wimmen’s Comix, to which she was also a contributor. Wrightson was also a colorist for Marvel and several other publishers and was married first to cartoonist Roger Brand and then to artist Bernie Wrightson, with whom she collaborated on the Creepshow graphic novel. Stephen Bissette has more in a Facebook post, including the fact that she helped Louise Simonson get her first job in comics. [The Beat]
Legal | The Malaysian cartoonist Zunar is being investigated once more under the country’s Sedition Act, his lawyer revealed Tuesday. Three of Zunar’s assistants were arrested last week for selling two of his books, neither of which has been officially banned, and his webmaster has been summoned to talk to police on Thursday. Zunar has also been called in for questioning at a future date. What’s more, the Malaysian Home Ministry has appealed the Court of Appeals’ decision to remove the ban on two of Zunar’s other books. [Malaysia Chronicle]
Publishing | Red Giant Entertainment has announced that retailers ordered about 900,000 copies each of its four anthology comics, which are ad-supported and will be given away for free. The company, which also releases digital comics and paid print comics, kicked off this program with a package of four zero issues on Free Comic Book Day. [ICv2]
Creators | Dan Parent discusses an upcoming Archie storyline that will bring Valerie Brown from Josie and the Pussycats to Riverdale, causing sparks to once again fly: “The fans can expect the next step in what I think is the most romantic story in Archie history. The chemistry between Archie and Valerie was hot the first time they got together, and now you’ve really got to see it simmer, all the way from the rekindling of their romance to getting much more serious than we’ve seen before.” [USA Today]
Editorial cartoons | Cartoonist Jeff Stahler has resigned from The Columbus Dispatch following accusations that he lifted ideas from other cartoons, including one that ran in The New Yorker. [Poynter]
It’s one thing to steal an idea and transform it into something new; lots of creators have stood on the shoulders of others. It’s another thing to copy something and make it into something worse.
The Daily Cartoonist has been hot on the tail of David Simpson, an editorial cartoonist for Oklahoma’s Urban Tulsa Weekly. The story started last week when blogger Alan Gardner noted similarities between one of Simpson’s cartoons and an old cartoon by the late Jeff MacNelly. They weren’t just similar concepts; Gardner overlaid the cartoons and they line up pretty well. He told the Poynter Institute’s Bob Andelman that it looked like Simpson didn’t photocopy the older cartoon but redrew it, down to the small details. The main difference between them was not visual but conceptual, as Schlock Mercenary creator Howard Tayler points out in comments to Gardner’s post:
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What about when those pictures are juxtaposed with words — specifically the words of Incarnate creator Nick Simmons? And what if those words are denying that the pictures, which pretty clearly show that he plagiarized Tite Kubo’s hit manga Bleach, do any such thing? That’s worth an awful lot, as far as I’m concerned. At Topless Robot, Rob Bricken mashes up Simmons’ non-apology apology with the pictorial evidence to absolutely brutal effect. In a controversy that’s generated more than its fair share of memorable online commentary, this McCloudian approach has generated my favorite yet.