Today on the site we have what’s called a “Double Mautner”. This is a technical term for when we publish not one but two pieces by our friend in Pennsylvania, Mr. Chris Mautner. First up is his interview with Gene Yang.
Tell me about the research you did. Ho much did you have to dive into to learn about this time period?
I definitely still feel like I have a lot to learn about research. I’m not very good at it. This is the first time I’ve done historical fiction and I started by just setting aside a few hours every week, I would go to my local university library for a few hours every Tuesday or Wednesday and just read. I would try to read as much as I could get my hands on about the Boxer Rebellion and also about China during that time. There were a few books that were helpful to me. The one that was especially helpful was called Origins of the Boxer Uprising by a man named Joseph Esherick. I relied heavily on that book, especially for the Boxer side. And then I was able to get other books as well. There’s a book put out by the Catholic church in Taiwan a brief biographies of each of the canonized saints. I was able to go to a Jesuit archive in a French city and there they had these letters and photos sent in by missionaries to China. I wasn’t able to use a lot of the letters because ethey were in French but the visual reference was amazing. I took a whole bunch of photos and brought them home and that served as the basis of my visual refernces for the book.
And here he is on Peter Bagge’s Woman Rebel.
Bagge doles out Sanger’s life in short, episodic fashion, with each page or two chronicling a significant episode in her life. It might be a bit too cursory for a reader used to 1,000-page biographies, but the book’s hectic pace effectively mirrors Sanger’s own frantic work ethic (at one point her son compares traveling with her to “chasing a hurricane”). More to the point, Bagge’s book is clearly designed not only to refute some of the nastier claims made about her by pro-life forces (namely that she was a bigot who supported eugenics and the KKK) but to also serve as a re-introduction to Sanger’s life and times (I for one had only the barest knowledge of her significance before reading this book).
Elsewhere on the internets:
Stan Sakai and his wife could use your help.
Brian Doherty on a new Siegel and Shuster bio.
The AV Club on a bunch of comics.
Heidi MacDonald on comics criticism.
Finally, Mould Map is a really fantastic and, in the present, essential anthology. They’re Kickstarting the next edition, which looks great. Oh yes, I know the irony. I’m OK with it. Anyhow, I suggest supporting this worthy effort.