§ Matt Thorn at TCJ on the life of Barefoot Gen creator Keiji Nakazawa:
Nakazawa hated platitudes and whitewashing. He generally avoided the annual peace memorial observances in Hiroshima, considering them pointless. “They never demand accountability. They make their call for peace, they ring their bells. That’s not what it’s all about. You need anger.” He had no use for doves. He was plainspoken, and he repeatedly and loudly proclaimed the late Showa Emperor to be ultimately responsible for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His stance on the Emperor system and Japanese war crimes, as well as his apparent communist sympathies, earned him the hatred of Japan’s right wing.
Year-endy kinda things:
§ ICv2 looks at the Top 10 Business Stories of 2012.
§ The AV Club’s best indie and art comix and best mainstream comics.
§ The 5 Biggest Digital Comic News Stories of 2012 from a newish website called Digital Comic News which appears to be mostly SEO bait, although it’s a sound basic list. And yeah, good URL.
§ For a more in-depth list, Corey Blake has a preview of digital comics trends for 2013.
§ Valerie Gallaher ties a string around the year in Internet Rage, and keeps the list to less than 30,000 words.
§ Ars Technica readers pick the 12 most incredible webcomics, including several that are are on hiatus.
§ Noelle Stevenson had sorta the most amazing 2012 in history, from an internship to dressing up as Hawkeye to starting a webcomic, NIMONA, to getting it picked up by HarperCollins, something that just doesn’t happen any more. Rookie of the year? That’s the kind of luck that happens when you have talent. (Link via Johanna Draper Carlson.)
§ Robot 6 starts the year off with its usual massive news/previews/interviews anniversary feast. Some highlights.
Now, how to develop new talent is a broader, unwieldy topic. I could probably fill up a book on this, but I’ll over-simplify it by saying “start small.” Nothing will crush an artist/writer faster than throwing them into the deep end when they’re not ready. It’ll make everybody’s life miserable. One of the ways we try to avoid this is by having younger artists test for projects. It might just be a couple pages, and even if they ultimately don’t get the project they’re still receiving feedback from editors, getting their work in front of professionals, and building relationships. And on our end we can gauge how quickly they’re working, how well they apply feedback, and what their level of professionalism is.
Fran is without a doubt the most complex and difficult story I’ve ever worked on. When I told my wife and son the plot, they were dismayed and begged me not to do it … so I knew I was on the right track. It’s a somewhat traumatic story.
— Joe Casey talks about his next Image book, SEX, which is drawn by Piotr Kowalski.
Aren’t most superhero comics basically pornography with fight scenes instead of sex scenes (with the knockout punch acting as the cum shot)? Aren’t superheroes usually depicted visually as naked human figures with lines drawn onto them and colored as costumes? I think I remember Frank Miller once saying that, in his first run on Daredevil, the scenes where Elektra and Daredevil would fight were basically the two of them consummating their relationship. That’s the way superheroes do it.
§ I will always smile when I read a profile of Wee Pals creator Morrie Turner, who is 89.
§ On the other hands controversial cartoonist Carlos Latuff was named one of the top 10 Anti-Semites of 2012.
§ Finally, “The Fantastic Adventures of Adam Ant” from 1981, a thing which would have made my life complete had I discovered it at the time. Too bad there weren’t any Madness comics.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.