Saturday, January 13, 2007

I Manga

I've been a day out, twice, when it comes to posting my Lepertown comic on Web Comics Nation, but that's not bad given that I'm experiencing dizziness, discomfort, and I'm not walking too well. I know, all classic signs of a heavy New Year, but I became teetotal in 1983 after I returned from a cartoonist event in London as yellow as the canary yellow suit I once owned. It may be my blood pressure, I'll have it checked.

Anyway, this is the latest page. The State Leith Cinema, at the foot of Leith Walk and along Great Junction Street until you reach the bridge, is still there and there are plans to save this beautiful little Art Deco building rather than bulldoze it, as Edinburgh Council once planned to do. Long before I read comics, before I could even read, I followed the adventures of Batman and Robin there, every Saturday morning; sometimes with all my cousins and often on my own. The only thing I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a super hero with a secret identity:

Nik Scott, who is one of my fellow National Lampoon cartoonists from the book mentioned below, and with whom I have planned for years now to work on some stories by Joyce, was talking to me recently about the increased publicity and credibilty graphic novels are attracting in Australia. Funnily enough, I was just reading Eddie Campbelll's blog post on The Independent on Sunday's special cartoon issue from October last year (2006), which I missed, and which his daughter sent to him in Australia (like Nik, Eddie is an ex-pat), and I was thinking exactly the same thing. This is a key moment, I think, for the genre. Whilst Manga sales are dipping slightly in Japan due to readers using new technologies, it is becoming ever bigger in the US, and in other parts of Europe, and the books we refer to as 'graphic novels' are simply part of that market and that movement. Illustrated literature, comics, sequential art, graphic novels, call them what you will...we are all Manga now.

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