In that the fundamentally unreasonable task in front of me ramped all the way up to You want me to do what? then down to Fine, but when I kick this in its ass you’d best remember my name and from there to I no longer feel the need to cut those responsible. We’ll see how well this mood lasts on Monday.
- In the meantime, the recurring theme today is Webcomics That Don’t Update Often Are Updating Hooray. Achewood is now three-for-three on weekly updates, although it’s continuing Small Times With Ray and Beef instead of the tantalizing search for Ray, Who Sprang This Place (Rehab)¹. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Rowland’s absolutely-true diary of things that actually happen to him shows that Doctor Monkey ain’t no fool, and Aaron Diaz² drops a new Dresden Codak that combines nearly all of his interests: neo-futurist Art Deco, menace, and the world beneath the surface. The end effect is if Michael Whelan cut some primo cyberpunk with The Silmarillion and mainlined a hallucination of Gondolin in the technological age.
- Looking backwards, with a purpose: Raina Telgemeier was one of many people that noted that a certain Japanese school district has removed the classic manga Barefoot Gen — which depicts the effects and aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, and has long been used to teach that part of Japanese history — from its school libraries. The logic behind the removal is that the manga showing wartime atrocities by Japanese soldiers would lead to young people being aware of the fact that Japanese soldiers committed wartime atrocities. Ultra-nationalists! They’re so sensitive.
Anyway, lots of people have gone beyond noting and into decrying this move, but only Telgemeier had the foresight (more than a decade ago!) to create a comic about the effect that Barefoot Gen had on her as a young reader. Beginnings isn’t cute, or funny, but it’s honest and a little painful and nowhere near as raw (and depressing, but a useful kind of depression that shows you still have empathy and the ability to learn and resolve not to repeat the mistakes of past generations) as Barefoot Gen or, say, Grave of the Fireflies³.
Telgemeier’s linking of Beginnings got noticed, including by a gentleman in Japan who translated it so his daughter could read it. That translation has picked up steam, leading to a pretty lengthy story about Beginnings and Raina-san in today’s papers. Congratulations to both Telgemeier and her translator, @unpocketable on Twitter, for responding to stupidity with art.
- Looking fowards, with paper cut-outs: if you’re in the LA area on Tuesday (I won’t be), David Malki ! would like you to know that although his summer has been a non-stop whirl of conventions, and Kickstarter reward production and book launches and associated promotions, he is still hitting the creativity on all cylinders. Specifically, a new animated Wondermark short will debut in Santa Monica at 8:00pm, as part of a video showcase called The Web Show Show at the Westside Comedy Theater. A sneak peek of the short (which features puppets, but not the creepy kind) may be seen via Vine.
¹ Although bonus points to Chris Onstad for delivering up a deep cut first hinted at during Molly and Beef’s rehearsal dinner some five years ago.
² Martial-arts expert and pixelbender extraordinaire.
³ Nothing is as depressing as Grave of the Fireflies, which is at the top of my list of amazing art that I will never willingly consume again.