Comics have the power to offend and bring up issues that people don’t want brought up as with this case in South Africa where cartoonist, Johnathan Sharpiro, drew the leading party member, Jacob Zuma raping the justice system. I know for sure that the comic as described in the article could not be published in America. I’m not sure how it made it in South Africa. It brings to light series accusations in a way that is distasteful to say the least. I’m not sure how South Africa is going to deal with this comic. Hopefully it will be dealt with better than the infamous Danish cartoons.
This is not the disputed cartoon. Only one showing the situation.
I saw this picture of President-elect Obama as superman on CNN.com and had to share. The caption says it’s from a poster somewhere in Los Angeles, California. Here is the link to the original.
Okay, so I know that I haven’t made many posts yet. I’m not much of a blogger, so I guess I’ll just reminiscence over animes/mangas/comics I’ve seen in the past year or so.
One series that I really enjoyed was Persona Trinity Soul. It’s based off of a Japanese video game in which characters are endowed with a special alternate personality called Persona. This personality manifests itself as a virtual mecha, which allows its owner to do all kinds of cool stuff: fly, suck the soul out of people, and of course, awesome fighting skills. The anime itself is a psychological thriller about a family, all of whom have persona, and their quest to understand each other while battling a secret underground organization plotting to collect the energies of all persona users. There’s lots of interesting plot twists, but I don’t want to ruin the story. You gotta watch it for yourself!
Since Election Night is coming up and our two presidential candidates invest heavily in their biographies – John McCain as the wounded warrior who is a political maverick and Barack Obama as Luke Skywalker who will bring change, two comic books are produced that will deal with both their biographies since both the presidential candidates are authors (McCain’s had the help of a ghost writer). McCain’s comic is inspired from his book, the Faith of the Fathers while Obama is inspired from Dreams of his Father. I don’t know whether McCain read any comic books but Obama used to sketch Batman and Spiderman with a childhood friend named Yanto in Indonesia and was supposedly excellent at it (Imagine – Barack the cartoonist).
Here is an interpretation of McCain’s Biography.
And here’s an interpretation of Obama’s journey in Dreams.
Here is a detailed review of both books talking about both McCain and Obama. First McCain…
This comic book is jam-packed with McCain’s political life, personal life, and chronicles decades of idolizing people like Nixon and Reagan, passing legislation, working with Democrats and Republicans alike, earning a reputation for being skilled in foreign policy, becoming a national political figure, the vicious George Bush campaign headed by Karl Rove, and much more, including rebounding from two major scandals: Keating Five and his 2nd wife Cindy’s drug addiction. Ultimately, the man who was the independent rebel actually became the establishment.
Barack’s childhood and adolescence is that of isolation, being unaccepted, counterculture, and searching for his identity. He had no traditional family structure. Although he went to a Muslim school in Kenya and a Christian school, he had never fully been indoctrinated into organized religion as a youngster. As an angry and hurt young man, he got involved with drugs, loud music, and not putting effort into school. But there were turning points in his life, like a stern lecture from his mother. The comic traces how he got involved in politics in Chicago, through legal work and community activism. His beliefs were formed from his influences in life, and from his ancestral African home. His influences are Martin Luther King and Malcom X.
His Senate races are detailed, along with how he just burst upon the national scene due to his two unbelievable speeches, which are covered. The Democratic Primaries are depicted, along with his defeat of Hilary Clinton.
All in all, it was a perfect sketch of the man who is Obama. He’s someone who no one would ever believe would have a chance to be president, since he was a troubled teen, and later a local community organizer, with some questionable black nationalist associates.
But he struggled and he overcame, and was an excellent student and lawyer, respected by his professors as being brilliant.
Here is another review of both the books from the Guardian Books blog.
Hope this helps!
PS: This took me a VERY long time to find. Hope you guys are thankful!
I just read this extremely Bizarre story about a Japanese Man campaigning to marry comic book characters. Only in Japan.
A JAPANESE man has enlisted hundreds of people in a campaign to allow marriages between humans and cartoon characters, saying he feels more at ease in the “two-dimensional world”.
Comic books are immensely popular in Japan, with some fictional characters becoming celebrities or even sex symbols.
Marriage is meanwhile on the decline as many young Japanese find it difficult to find life partners.
Taichi Takashita launched an online petition aiming for one million signatures to present to the government to establish a law on marriages with cartoon characters.
Within a week he has gathered more than 1000 signatures through.
“I am no longer interested in three dimensions. I would even like to become a resident of the two-dimensional world,” he wrote.
“However, that seems impossible with present-day technology. Therefore, at the very least, would it be possible to legally authorise marriage with a two-dimensional character?”
Befitting his desire to be two-dimensional, he listed no contact details, making it impossible to reach him for comment to explain if his campaign is serious or tongue-in-cheek.
But some people signing the petition are true believers.
“For a long time I have only been able to fall in love with two-dimensional people and currently I have someone I really love,” one person wrote.
“Even if she is fictional, it is still loving someone. I would like to have legal approval for this system at any cost,” the person wrote.
Japan only permits marriage between human men and women and gives no legal recognition to same-sex relationships.
Japan’s fans of comic books, or “manga,” sometimes go to extremes.
Earlier this month, a woman addicted to manga put out an online message seeking to kill her parents for asking her to throw away comic books that filled up three rooms.
Light in Death Note
Nathan in Gossip Girl (Chace Crawford)
I wonder who Chuck Bass resembles. Any ideas?
A PBS commentator once remarked that India has always been a land of vision, of the eyes. It can be seen in its 3000 year old history, in its carvings of gods and demons as well as its present day multimillion dollar Bollywood film industry. The visual medium occupies a high degree of respect in India and this has translated into India being one of those countries that has a great number of comics.
The reason for the profusion of comics is simple. First, it is the history in India of visual art – almost all of Indian epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana are depicted either through drama, play or drawings. Sculptures and idols are enormously popular, mostly due to the influence of Hinduism, India’s indigenous religion. The second is the great amount of young adults in India – India has one of the youngest population in the world. Because of this demand, entertainment in India is targeted towards children. Children are also great consumers of comics. Third is the strength of storytelling in India and the budding comic industry.
India is very much a traditional country and globalization has not affected its indigenous comic industry. Most of the comics tend to be mediocre with low production values but the most famous comic, the Amar Chitra Katha (translated into Eternal Stories) are the most famous as their production values are good and their stories are absolutely amazing.
The stories in Amar Chitra Katha are specifically Indio-centric, dealing with the neverending yarns and tales in Ancient India which are tremendously entertaining. India might be one of the only countries where traditional stories have not died but are played out through modern visual mediums like graphic novels. They mostly deal with Hindu/Buddhist/Jain tales that end before 9th century BCE though they also deal with the saga of “Akbar and Birbal”, the story of a Mughal emperor and his smart Hindu courtier, set in the Mughal era. They avoid the contempary era with a vengance and usually the contempory era stories tend to some of the most weakly plotted.
Here is an example of Amar Chitra Katha’s Akbar and Birbal series.
Here is also a comic that I found with a Chinese character. Comics that star non-Indian characters are usually extremely rare in Indian comics.
There are several comics in India – Tinkle (that focuses on contempory issues, on children’s issues specifically), Amar Chitra Katha (focuses on Hindu/Sikh/Jain mythology, Akbar/Birbal, usually past history), Panchatantra (a morality tale with animals) and Chacha Chaudary (the oldest and the most inane Indian comic). I will update as soon as possible and try to increase your International knowledge, even a little bit.
You can’t underestimate the power of comics. After WWI an artist was actually dubbed “The man who won the war” by a general. Comics have the ability to boost morale and get people to look at issues from different angles. The article Brushes and Bayonets at BBC talks mostly about the UK during WWI, but I think its relavent to now. Americans need a boost in morale. If a cartoonist can be credited as “The man who won the war” cartoonists can do a lot now. We’ve got a lot of soldiers overseas now that are probably worried about what’s going on at home and wondering why their even over there. We’ve got people over here worried about the state of things.
Now if you’ve read Watchmen, Alan Moore suggests that more things are sexualized during times of high tension so that people will not worry about the cause or what will happen. Over the years I think more things (and age groups) have become sexualized by I’m not sure with its connected to this. I don’t think that this is the right way to go. Its not best to make people over look things, but instead to get them to feel good about something. What do you think about this?
Chirin no Suzu which is “Ringing Bell in English” is an 47 minute Anime from 1978 produced by the one and only Sanrio. It’s a dark tale about revenge for children that begins with the super cuteness that sanrio brings with its name. Think Unico and Hello Kitty. Chirin is a lamb whose mother is killed by a wolf. He then seeks out the wolf in order to become strong and seek revenge. Along the way he must learn about the unfairness of life and how hard it can be.
For one, Chirin was so set on becoming a wolf that he showed his detication by following the wolf. One example in Claymore, Clare follows Theresa and in turn Raki follows Clare with gratitude. In both cases neither Clare or Thersa wanted the child tagging along, the same as with the wolf. Eventually they develop a sort of respect for the strength, stamina, and spirit it shows to follow them around. They then accept the follower.
Another commonality is attacking with the head. Granted, Chirin is a sheep and has either hooves or his head to attack with, he was charging through trees. How hard can a head be? It’s like Goku in Dragonball who defeated enemies with his hard head. Also, like in Dragonball Z, the wolf is a strict master very much like Piccolo.
I wonder if Sanrio came out with anything nearly as dark or sad as this again. This was truly a tragedy. Revenge is a dangerous thing that hurts the avenger, possibly more than they were hurt at first. Another tone in this short movie is the danger of non-conformity. Chirin is not and never has been like the other sheep and look what happens to him. He seeks strength (as they seem to do in every anime) and gets it but at what cost?
All museums have interesting things, but some are more interesting than others. In the natural history museum of Basel, Switzerland there was an exhibit called Animatus of skeletons of cartoon characters (It ran until August 31 so I guess its somewhere else now). So if you walked in you would see Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry among other favorites except for they would be all bone. This exhibit was created by the Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee. I think its kind of cool if not just a little creepy. What do you think?