03/01/2017

Juan José con un poquito sobre #GRAFBCN2017; Bas Backer on Chicks on Cómics; Inés Estrada’s Booklyn 2012; Mireia Pérez; Núria Pompeia; Berliac; Salva Rubio on Jiro Taniguchi; 100 Años de TBO; CW Daily Comics.


Cómics y noticias que me han llamado la atención esta semana: 

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Berliac offers some fresh cuts over at Fumettologica, the central axis of the conversation being his work editing and contributing to Kuš! #25’s Gaijiin Manga. Short and sweet but goes in deep with his thoughts on gekiga, the western gaze and his own evolution as an author.

How do you explain the current popularity of Gekiga in the western comics scene?

Now they’re getting published and before they were not, simple as that. If you want to dig deeper, I guess the publishers finally realized that since the late seventies, Western adults grew up with manga and anime, and we just needed a cultural approval from well-respected publishers, to re-unite with our childhood love without feeling embarassed about it. Put that together with the concept that publishers from liberal countries have of what a Graphic-Novel is supposed to be (basically realistic stories about the suffering of people from far away countries, to be enjoyed from the comfort of our sofas), and there you go: Gekiga provides us with both. Here lies another reason why I like to call my own work Gaijin-Gekiga: if Gekiga was the Japanese expression, in a dramatic comics form, of their own collective anxieties in times of hypercapitalism, then I can undoubtedly say that the main focus of my work is the very same one, only about my own place and time, of course. I have the impression that not many well-known cartoonists are really talking about what’s going on right here and now, on this side of the world, on a collective scale. In Graphic-Novels, all I see is either boring lectures about foreign or past war conflicts from an “objective”, Western point of view, or feel-good stories about individual self-improvement, and in the most successful cases, a combination of the two. These stories are just two different ways of patting our backs and telling ourselves how great we Westerners are. Gekiga was a beautiful, dignifying way to accept the crushing reality of post-war defeat. Western narratives of today, on the contrary, insist on that we’re on the winning side, even when our reality clearly points to the opposite (see Donald Trump). I’m not saying there’s dignity in being a loser, but in seeing reality for what it is. Drama without exaggeration. That is the essence of Gekiga.

Now that a few months has passed from the release of the Kus, can you say that the anthology also served as a bond between the artists of this possible new western manga scene?

Bonds among artists always exist, but maybe not explicitely. to the point not even we are aware of it. Many of the artists involved discovered each other’s work in that issue of š! As I said in another interview, it is not the artists’ task or responsablity to make that bond intelligible for the public, but the publishers’, gallerists’, and journalists’. As an author, I’m not too concerned about it. As a co-editor of š! #25, I certainly hope we provided a grain of sand to this cause.

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The Spring Semester of the Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers is starting soon!

The semester has a rolling start date, but it will officially kick off on March 7th. We will continue taking applications past that date – Frank is always willing to make it work for your schedule. Just apply!

The course is 8 weeks long – 500 bux – payment plans are available.

More details can be found HERE.

Email santoroschoolATgmail to apply

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Blinkers – 3-1-2017 – by Jack Brougham

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Suzy and Cecil – 3-1-2017 – by Gabriella Tito

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Joanie and Jordie – 3-1-2017 – by Caleb Orecchio

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Cozytown – 3-1-2017 – by Juan Fernandez

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