Crayon-Shin-Chan-3Alarming 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.


  1. Reading Nakazawa’s I SAW IT was the time a comic–any comic–moved me to tears. And now knowing his failing eyesight has deprived him of his art–I may just be tearing up again…

  2. I SAW IT revealed to me the true power of comics as a medium. Nakazawa’s haunting rendition of one of the lowest moments in humanity’s history left me awake at night for a week.

    Through his eyes and his comics he shared a true vision to the world that will remain a legacy long after his sight is gone.

  3. Hasn’t cataract surgery made tremendous strides in the past few decades?

    Years ago, people used to end up wearing those extremely thick lenses after cataract surgery, but I believe the surgeons can now implant a new lens into the eye.

    But maybe there is more to it, and possibly more complicated than that…

  4. Sad news about Nakazawa. About Usui’s disappearance, I can’t help but wonder: 1) What is the Japanese equivilant of the Appalachian Trail; and, 2) has Usui ever been to Argentina?