§ Nice Art: a spread from Grip by Lale Westvind, one of the classics of the Risograph era, now back in stock at Domino Books.

§ Welp, the Big Game is over, the collective national climax of gridiron competition and advertising messaging. Just a few days until baseball is back! These advertisements were of interest to me, at least, as we are pretty much over that pandemic thing, and everyone is back to worrying about snack foods, low calorie beer and “digital collectibles”. And of course the halftime show! What a magnificent bait and switch by RiRi! “She’s back on stage and ready to put out another album! Wait! No she isn’t! She’s having another baby!” Rihanna’s red jumpsuit is already iconic, but this tweet made it all clear:

Kaneda’s red jumpsuit in the Katsuhiro Otomo anime classic has already been iconic for a long time.

Anime Embroidery Akira Shotaro Kaneda Walk - A.G.E Store | patterns

While Rihanna hasn’t gone on record (as far as I can tell) as being an anime fan, she’s absolutely worn many anime-inspired styles in the past. It’s probably more of a vibe thing than overt – anime fashion has been on the vanguard of style for a while now, and Rihanna knows how to connect with the youngs. The Super Bowl jumpsuit was a custom design from fashion brand Loewe, which actually has a Howl’s Moving Castle line, so there’s lots of circumstantial evidence. And the similarity in colors alone is striking.


Whether deliberate or not, it’s certainly a resonant echo in the great cathedral of culture. In fact as I was watching all the ads it struck me that in this greatest showcase for ad agencies, this Madison Avenue Wrestlemania, there wasn’t much K-pop or anime influence – two trends which have absolutely surged during the pandemic and are still immensely popular with kids.  Granted, Super Bowl ads are aimed at parents with spending power, not teens. I suppose by the time brands catch on it will be totally passé as usual.


§ 2023 will be the year we all learn about Barbara Brandon-Croft, the first Black woman to have a mainstream syndicated comic strip, thanks to D&Q’s retrospective, Where I’m Coming From. I was foiled by WaPo’s paywall in reading their profile, but PW has another one by no less than Ebony Flowers!

“I remember once being interviewed on television. Right before the cameras started, the interviewer said to me, “How are you going to sell this to cities that aren’t Black cities?” And then, it was like, action! and I was on air. I must admit, I had a tinge of attitude. The idea that only Black women would be interested in what my Black women had to say is just insulting. It’s a lack of being able to see us as human, to see our humanity, to realize that our concerns are universal concerns that’s so confounding. That’s what I hope I did.”

§ Speaking of manga, a 67-year-old chiropractor is finally getting to publish his work, after trying to break in for years. Wholesome!

More than 20 of his works were rejected in manga contests hosted by a top publisher. But Kakusai Han, 67, never let go of his lifelong dream of becoming a cartoonist. He made his professional debut after he turned 60, and now the rookie has started attracting attention from some of the pros.

§ Investment site Motley Fool asks With Great Sales, Comes Great Instability: Can Superheroes Survive Oversaturation? The answer will not surprise you.

"Dick Tracy Special: Tracy Zooms In"

§ This Warren Beatty Dick Tracy story is just wild. It seems the 85-year-old star is dead set on holding the rights to the character he played back in the 1990 film. This movie was most notable for its impressive makeup effects and vibrant color palette, and he was a good Dick Tracy, but is anyone crying our for a sequel? Beatty has been talking about it for…decades!  And by making a little mockumentary called Tracy Zooms In about the character he retains the rights…and apparently the wardrobe.

While it’s certainly not unheard of for actors to reprise famous roles of theirs years after the fact, the question remains as to why Beatty chose to don Dick Tracy’s iconic yellow coat and hat nearly 33 years after the film premiered. Nostalgia is certainly a possibility, but the reality of the situation is far more technical. Beatty had once harbored hopes of his Dick Tracy film spawning a franchise centered around the famous detective, going so far as to purchase the film and television rights. When the franchise failed to take off at Disney, things languished in legal limbo, with an ongoing struggle between Beatty and the original rights holders.

The special aired once on TCM, and someone posted the whole thing on YouTube in case you’re hankering to give it a watch.

§ The LA Book Review looks at the burgeoning field of Graphic Medicine, which has supplied many recent comics award winners, and many titles for the Best Graphic Novels for Adults list. 

Since its creation, Graphic Medicine has spawned sister sites that connect authors, comics fans, and academics to a growing international readership. The related term graphic pathographies later emerged from the work of Penn State professors Michael J. Green and Kimberly R. Myers. Writing for the British Medical Journal in 2010, they described graphic pathographies as “illness narratives in graphic form.” In graphic medicine and pathography, narratives such as comics, novels, and memoirs converge with discourse about healthcare and personal well-being.

§ Speaking of life post pandemic, a slew of similar headlines from around the world came out this weekend:

Clash of the fandoms: Thousands teleport to downtown Springfield for Missouri Comic Con

Comic fans and cosplayers flock to Mumbai’s Comic Con

Comic-Con draws colorfully costumed crowd

The line to get into the Big Lick Comic-Con stretched around two sides of  Berglund Center at midday Saturday, which made for a vivid display of the elaborate costumes that are a hallmark of the event.

Everyone is dressing up and getting back to cons! At least everyone who is not immune-compromised. Many people will never go back to crowded, germy areas. but comics are not the only field where conventions are back. The word “convention” originally referred to business gatherings, and did you ever wonder how these types of events compare to comic cons? Take for instance, Septic Con, a show for sewage industry professionals, recently held in Tacoma. 800 members of the Washington On-Site Sewage Association attended and the photos in the story do have a similar look to some of our own shows, only with septic pump trucks instead of Vampirella prints.

While Septic Con may not be as lively as a comic con, I’m sure Washington State residents are happy that the folks who pump away their poops are up to date on the latest tech. Also some good advice for all in that IG account:

§ This column does not exist just to mock CBR’s non comics related headlines, but it could. 

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