Alarming news out of Japan as Crayon Shin-chan creator Yoshito Usui has been missing since Friday. and his wife and police are extremely concerned. Usui, 51, went hiking by himself for the day, something he did often, and hasn’t been heard from since.
Crayon Shin-chan is often described as the “Bart Simpson” of Japan and is currently published by CMX here in the States. The cartoon has also aired on Adult Swim.
In other sad news, Kenji Nakazawa has announced he can no longer draw as a result of cataracts. This has ended plans for a sequel to his seminal Barefoot Gen.
In the planned Barefoot Gen sequel, atomic bomb survivor Gen would have moved to Tokyo to become a manga assistant in hopes of becoming a regular artist — much like Nakazawa himself did. Nakazawa planned to depict the prejudice against atomic bomb survivors. He would have concluded the story by having Gen embark on a trip to France to study art. Nakazawa had already drawn two installments of the sequel and decided on a publisher. He apologized to his readers who have been waiting for over two decades for the story of Gen’s coming-of-age in Tokyo.
Nakazawa’s Gen and autobiographical I Saw It are not only searing retellings of post atomic bomb Japan but among the earliest manga to gain critical acclaim in the United States. A new edition of Barefoot Gen was recently published by Last Gasp.