"Comic art is a vital, highly personal art form in which change–rapid and unpredictable–is the norm. In this exciting new anthology, comic artist Ivan Brunetti focuses on very recent works by contemporary artists engaged in this world of change. These outstanding cartoonists, selected by Brunetti for their graphic sophistication and literary style, are both expanding and transforming the vocabulary of their genre.
The book presents contemporary art comics produced by 75 artists, along with some classic comic strips and other related fine art and historical materials. Brunetti arranges the book to reflect the creative process itself, connecting stories and art to each other in surprising ways: nonlinear, elliptical, sometimes whimsical, even poetic. He emphasizes continuity from piece to piece, weaving themes and motifs throughout the volume.
As gorgeously produced as Brunetti's previous anthology of graphic fiction, this book does full justice to the creative work of Art Spiegelman, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Gary Panter, and the other prominent or emerging comic artists who are currently at work at the cutting edge of their medium."
(Yale University Press)
The ongoing femicides in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, a real and socially relevant and current, ongoing news story is something that I will attempt to present using comic art, adapting Kafka's story to use as a foundation for visual treatments of real horror. The themes of metamorphosis, alienation and the collapse of a family unit are shared in Kafka's text and the news coverage of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The comics medium will be used to communicate with the audience and have them interact with the issue.
I first heard of the situation in Juarez from my Spanish teacher while in Guadalajara, Mexico and the story stayed with me. A very different Mexico was depicted closer to the border than what I had seen in my experiences of travelling around the country. The ugliness of the murders is heightened by the ongoing corruption that surrounds them. I feel confident that I can now give the story a worthy visual treatment, something that has been lacking in recent film treatments of the situation. For years, young women have been preyed on by rapists and murderers while commuting to factories on the outskirts of the city. The killings continue and, to use imagery from Kafka, the men who commit these crimes are like vermin or cockroaches.
Fig.1 David Valente (2010). "Sister Midnight". Nottingham, Issuu.
Fig.2 Screen–shots from the music video for The Drive In (2001). 'Invalid Litter Dept'. USA, Grand Royal / Virgin: 6:07.
['Sister Midnight' is a comic book created by David Valente as part of his MA in Illustration at Nottingham Trent University (UK). The comic book was developed through a process of experimentation and discovery where Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' was used as a study for exposing contemporary social issues in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.]
"Taiwanese comics are the most Japanese of all Asian comics. Many Taiwanese comic artists copy the Japanese style faithfully and one can hardly find any Taiwanese elements in their works. However, there are Taiwanese artists who have attempted to create something original based on their mastery of Japanese techniques. The most successful example is perhaps Zheng Wen who has skillfully combined Japanese (particularly Ikegami Ryoichi and Kojima Geseki's) and Western comic styles with Chinese painting and calligraphic skills in his comics, such as Stories of Assassins (cike liechuan, 1985) and Stories of Eastern Zhou Heroes (dong Zhou yingxiong chuan, 1990). Taiwanese animators have only produced a few commercial animated films and television cartoons, but they are very active in making on–line animation. The most successful Taiwanese on–line animation is perhaps Ah Kuei, a satirical and humorous short piece, in which character design and visual presentation are influenced by Japanese animated works, such as Crayon Shinchan and Chibimaruko–chan. Ah Kuei will be made into a television cartoon series, live–action drama serial and animated film. Recently, Taiwanese on–line animators have begun to experiment animated serials and movies. A three–hour on–line animated film, Love 1/2E, has been serialized. Its story is similar to Tokyo Love Story and Beautiful Life and its drawing is very Japanese. Besides, influenced by the Japanese, Taiwanese animators pay attention to the important role of 'voice actors or actresses.' (seiyu). This is an area that most other Asian nations have overlooked."
(Ng Wai–ming, Hong Kong)
Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry: July / August 2002 p.2