30 day comic challenge, week 4Posted: December 25, 2014
It’s getting harder and harder to come up with comic-related equivalents for these “30 day song challenge” items, but OK – suppose someone wanted to make a documentary about me, which comic should the camera focus on at least once? Apart from Akira, a suitable choice would be Shōtarō Ishinomori’s Japan Inc., both the English and the German edition of the first volume, as they exemplify what I do in my research.
Comics can be enraging when they’re bad, but there’s another, good kind of anger that comics can instil: for instance, when acts of injustice are convincingly narrated, readers may sympathise with one character (the victim) and feel sorry for him or her, and become angry at another (the evildoer). Mark Millar is a writer who is particularly good at portraying the darker sides of human nature and eliciting strong emotions such as anger – e.g. in many scenes in The Ultimates, drawn by Bryan Hitch.
Currently I’m thrilled about The Multiversity: Pax Americana by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. I’m not giving away which other comic it is based on, though, in case this might still be a spoiler for anyone. For me it certainly was a major appeal to only gradually realise this while I was reading it.
Paper Tiger Comix was an enjoyable, though rather short-lived, British underground anthology magazine. Highlights: the surreal, enigmatic multi-part “story” Pograzye 23 by Clive Scruton, and several short stories by Richard Cowdry, who is always brilliant.
Tsutomu Nihei is one of my favourite comic creators, though I must say his current mecha space horror series Knights of Sidonia (already mentioned in a previous blog post) is his least interesting of those I’ve read so far – and at the same time probably his most successful, being adapted into an anime.
Making fun of a comic is hardly ever an appropriate way of criticising it, but some comics almost ask for it. Mai, the Psychic Girl by Kazuya Kudō and Ryōichi Ikegami (blogged about a year ago) has many virtues, but also some rather ridiculous elements that one can’t help making fun of, e.g. the name of the German antagonist – “Turm Garten” (literally “tower garden”).
Several ex-girlfriends kindly gave me comics as presents. I’ve blogged about one of these comics: Paris aishiteruze (À Nous Deux, Paris!) by J. P. Nishi.