We have continued to add tributes to the late Yoshihiro Tatsumi to our memorial post.
Rob Clough reviews the first three issues of the group anthology, Maple Key Comics. Here’s how he begins:
Maple Key Comics is a Mome/Shonen Jump style anthology, with each issue containing a single chapter of a longer serial (usually three to six chapters). Each issue also contains shorter, self-contained stories as well, from a mix of CCS grads, students, and others. Editor Joyana McDiarmid goes for a wide net in terms of genres, visual styles, and levels of polish. The serial nature of each issue can lead to some rockiness as a reading experience, but it’s also unearthed some real gems. Rather than evaluate each issue on their own, I’m going to review the first three issues together, while evaluating them artist-by-artist. Each issue features several serials, a few one-offs, and a “star artist” one-off feature.
Jon Chad (star artist, issue one). His “The Surena Grant” uses sci-fi as a horror vehicle, rather than as an expression of pure joy and learning as in his books for kids or as a celebration of genre excesses in Mezmer. Here, the horror of apathy permeates this story about a group of scientists who investigate the weird deaths of a local animal species, only to become victims of the same extreme apathy that overtook the animals. Chad’s detailed line, usually used to emphasize excess, is effective here because he understood that restraint was the order of the day for getting across the emotional punch of this story, both from a visual and narrative perspective.
—News. Reporters With Borders spotlights eight cartoonists around the world who are being threatened or persecuted for their work. Cracked, in that ineffable Cracked prose style that you either hate or tolerate, spotlights five cartoonists who have died for their work.
A variety of groups supporting free expression, including the National Coalition Against Censorship and the CBLDF, have written a letter to the Rio Rancho school superintendent asking that Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar be allowed to stay on shelves.
On Facebook, Al Plastino’s daughter, MaryAnn Plastino Charles, calls for DC to give her father credit for his creations, and asks for reader support.
—Reviews & Commentary. Rob Salkowitz reviews Todd Allen’s Economics of Digital Comics. Adam McGovern reviews Eric Stephenson & Simon Gane’s They’re Not Like Us.
J. Caleb Mozzocco looks at a few Julia Gfrörer pages.
—Interviews & Profiles. The Billy Ireland library previews a short excerpt from their new lengthy and rare interview with Bill Watterson. (Michael Cavna has more on the book that will include the whole thing.)
Paul Morton at The Millions talks to Scott McCloud. He’s a good talker, whatever you think (or don’t think) of The Sculptor.
Copra creator Michel Fiffe answers ten questions for Comics Tavern.
Bart Croonenborghs interviews Belgian artist Ben Gijsemans.
—Video. John Lewis just appeared on The Daily Show to support the new volume of March.