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 I know for sure that the comic as described in the article could not be published in America.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 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?
Are you a little disturbed that there is a comic called The Book of Bunny Suicides? I am, although I have to say that I did see this book before and it is kind of funny in a dark way. The bunny is trying to commit suicide and gets rather inventive with it although I don’t think he ever succeeds. This comic is being taken off the shelves in China in response to a high youth suicide rate but I doubt it is causing the suicide rate to go up. I guess its just the doubt of popularizing and making suicide seem less serious along with the amount of ways that the rabbit tries killing itself that makes it seem dangerous.
So now the UN has paired up with Marvel, yes Marvel the comic book company Marvel, on comic to show Spiderman fighting alongside UN peace keepers and aid workers. So what is this supposed to accomplish? That the UN peace keepers and aid workers are heroes too. A lot of people seem negative about this calling it desperate in the case of John Bolton, former US envoy to UN, and maybe it is but it sounds like good propaganda to me. Show the kids that the UN is cool and heroic and that they could possibly one day do these jobs is the goal. The kids that were asked in the article seemed upbeat about it except for the one little boy who claimed he didn’t believe in any superheroes and so didn’t like them. The artists seem upbeat too because a lot of them are willing to work on this without pay.
So how much influence does Spidey have? We’ll have to wait for 2009 for the comic to come out.