§ Just how popular is One Piece? Very. Der. It’s reported that the 72-volume series has sold 130 million copies since 2009; but that’s less than half of the 300 million copies that are in print overall. 17 million of those sales came only this year, and 1.5 million of them since volume 72 was released a few weeks ago.

Judging by the number of One Piece cosplayers I see everywhere, I know it has a big US following; I wonder how many more it would have if the US version hadn’t been so problematic (distributor 4Kids censored the episodes heavily and the dubbing is generally considered very unsatisfactory.)

Despite these amazing sales, creator Eiichiro Oda doesn’t have much time to so shopping for swag. According to one interview, “I get up at 5am, and I work until 2am. It’s normal for me to sleep from 2am to 5am. I have no days off. If I had them, I’d want to go on vacation with my family. I just want to go outside, it doesn’t matter where. See, I don’t get out much.”

§ Here’s an interesting interview with art dealer Scott Eder, whose eponymous gallery shows works by people like Jack Davis and Jeffrey Brown.

Financial magazines have written articles about the investment potential of original art. What do you think about that?

I think it’s true, but that doesn’t mean anybody listens. I’m sure here and there, there are savvy investors out there, but they’re more likely to invest in the mainstream classics than in the esoteric, underground art I specialize in. Though they’d be smart to invest here, as it’s much more liked by the fine-art gallery and museum world.

§ Batman jailed: In Singapore, there lives a fellow named Batman bin Superman (it is not his birth name.) and now he’s a criminal.

Batman bin Suparman, an unemployed 23-year-old, was arrested on August 19 after security videos showed him sneaking into a store at night on two separate occasions. He stole a total of S$500 (Dh1,471) from the store, court documents showed. Batman also pleaded guilty to various other charges, including stealing his brother’s ATM card to make withdrawals amounting to S$650, and consuming heroin. He was sentenced to a total of 33 months in jail.

§ Time looks at the work of political cartoonist Matt Bors:

Bors is different. He examines the world of politics with a glancing irony — earnest and snarky — both made for and shaped by a generation that gets most of its news from The Daily Show. Bors has departed from the traditional single-frame format of his medium and has started working on lengthy pieces. He’s leading a group of cartoonists who are expanding what we can expect from political cartoons.

§ Trina Robbins talks about Pretty In Ink: North American Women Cartoonists 1896-2013, out next month from Fantagraphics. It’s her final word on the subject after two previous books.

I have to say this is my final and definitive history of women cartoonists; I’m not going to do anymore. But I have found more cartoonists — at last, I’ve found a Native American woman who was in the WACs — the Women’s Army Corps — in the Second World War, and drew a strip for the WAC newspaper. She was later a very well known artist who did paintings and murals, but during the war she drew this strip called “G.I. Gertie” that was just lovely. She’s in the book and I’m totally delighted to put her in and much more information about other people, women like Fran Hopper and Lily Renee. With help from other people I rediscovered these women and was able to talk to them and find out what they did, much more information — and lots more photos of the artists themselves.

§ On the flip side of that, here’s an interview with cartoonist Tess Fowler, who has come out with stories of sexual harassment in the industry. There’s some pretty frank talk in the piece and more examples of male cartoonists being jerks on social media; not as harmful as in person, but harder to scrub, it seems. I’d recommend just reading the whole thing.

§ A couple more tributes to the late Joey Manley, one from a tumblr writer named JVD and one from Eric Burns-White. In addition to the touching sentiments mentioned in all these posts about Manley, it’s fascinating to me how they look at the alternate history of comics written about by Shaenon Garrity in her Modern Tales piece.


  1. Comics have always done really well in Japan and, presumably, this has translated into dumptrucks full of money for the creators over there, but I’m not sure what Japanese publishing contracts are like.

    I do recall reading on Jim Shooter’s blog a while back that he said Monkey Punch (guy behind Lupin III) came to the Marvel offices back in the 80s and got a laugh at how little the creators made. And this was back when X-men residuals made Chris Claremont enough money to buy his mother a plane.

  2. It’s almost like writing comics that kids want to read rather than writing the sort of comics we want them to read is going to make them buy them.

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