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Ends & Odds

Robert Kirby is here this morning with a review of the collection of Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy.

The complete collection of Jillian Tamaki’s popular webcomic SuperMutant Magic Academy, which she drew over four years beginning in 2010, melds a satire of Harry Potter-type magical fantasy tropes with real-world teenage drama and observational comedy, shot through with dreamy, poetic surrealism, straight-talking truths, and existential angst. That’s quite a mix of genres and tonal qualities; the fact that it all works so seamlessly is a testament to Jillian Tamaki’s great skills as a writer and artist. Tamaki channels the everyday concerns of teenage years with hilarity, heart, and deadly accuracy.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

—News. Roger Cohen at Vanity Fair has a lengthy profile of Charlie Hebdo, focusing on the problems presented when an anticapitalist publication is suddenly infused with enormous amounts of money.

It is of course easier to take a detached or critical view of money when one does not have any. With millions have come machinations. Charlie Hebdo is now 40 percent owned by the parents of the paper’s murdered editorial director and cartoonist, Stéphane Charbonnier, or “Charb.” Laurent Sourisseau, the writer and cartoonist known as “Riss,” owns another 40 percent. Eric Portheault, the finance director, owns the rest. Their shares, once worth little or nothing, are suddenly worth a lot.

Many Charlie staffers are unhappy at this tight concentration of newfound wealth. In an extraordinary manifesto published by the daily Le Monde in late March, they declared, “We refuse that a handful of individuals take control, either total or partial, in absolute contempt for those who make and support” the paper. The 15 signatories asked, “How are we to escape the poison of the millions that, through exceptional sales and also donations and subscriptions, have fallen into the pockets of Charlie?”

Heidi Macdonald at The Beat reports on a new arrangement between SPX and Nickelodeon in which convention attendees will have the chance to be evaluated for a potential animation deal.

—Interviews & Profiles. Paul Gravett writes about Keiji Nakazawa, creator of the great Barefoot Gen. (Coincidentally, Last Gasp has just launched a Kickstarter in the hopes of publishing a new hardcover edition of Barefoot Gen.)

Emily Neuberger at Word & Film interviews Phoebe Gloeckner, just as the film adaptation of her Diary of a Teenage Girl is about to be released.

W&F: Few works in any medium chronicle the awakening female sexuality. Did you want specifically to address this?

PG: Frankly, I've never written a book or a story or drawn a picture with the idea of addressing anything in particular. The confusions and emotions engendered by experience are what drive me to create.

Alex Deuben talks to Eddie Campbell about his return to Bacchus.

—Podcasts. The two most recent episodes of Inkstuds feature Marc Bell and Emma Rios. The two most recent episodes of Make It Then Tell Everybody feature Simon Hanselmann and Ryan Sands. Comic Books Are Burning in Hell returns from a long hiatus to discuss new comics by Gilbert Hernandez and Adrian Tomine.


2 Responses to Ends & Odds

  1. Oliver_C says:

    A reprint of ‘Barefoot Gen’ would benefit from including Nakazawa’s prototype ‘I Saw It’, allowing readers to compare and contrast documentary brevity with, dare I say it, (melo)dramatic sentimentality.

  2. Tim says:

    im glad i didnt stop after I Saw It and actually managed to sit through the whole of Barefoot Gen … its not easy to swallow horrifying episope after horrifying episode, and i had to take longer breaks between the books because it just got too depressing. But i can say it was one of these rare experiences that was so rewarding and it made me feel like it really changed my perspective. Dare i say, the world would be a better place if everyone just read this book. You just have to be ready to face some very uncomfortable ideas. And yeah, dont just write it off as sentimental.

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