Legal | More details have emerged about Hirofumi Watanabe, the 36-year-old man suspected of sending more than 400 threatening letters to convention centers, retailers and other sites in Japan associated with the manga Kuroko’s Basketball. The newspaper Mainichi Shimbun revealed Watanabe studied anime at a vocational school but dropped out at age 20. Also, a search of Watanabe’s apartment turned up toilet bowl cleaner, a scrap of paper that said “creating hydrogen sulfide” and, not surprisingly, several volumes of Kuroko’s Basketball.
Oddly, Watanabe claims to be two different perpetrators who use two different accents, standard Japanese and a Kansai accent, and many of the statements he made in his letters and online postings, including that he was acquainted with Kuroko’s Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki, appear to be false. Anime News Network also reports that when he was arrested, Watanabe had about 20 threat letters in his backpack, and that he told police he was jealous of Fujimaki’s success. [Anime News Network]
Graphic novels | Following up on Brian Hibbs’ assertion that serialized comics are a better business model than graphic novels, and a roundtable on the topic that included many retailers (and, in the comments, creators and publishers), Gina Gagliano of First Second Books lays out the case for the graphic novel. [The Beat]
Creators | Paul Pope talks briefly on Amazon’s book blog about Battling Boy: “Most of my twenty years in comics has been in making comics which would be considered R-rated, or at least aimed for adults. As we’ve been touring the States and Canada for Battling Boy — and soon, UK and France — I am meeting readers as young as ten years old, who are new to graphic novels, and take Battling Boy at face value, and also readers as old as early 60s, people who grew up on Golden and Silver Age comics, who can see all the classic themes and tropes and even cliches I am trying to infuse into Battling Boy.” [Omnivoracious]
Creators | Jeff Parker tells Dan Greefield what we can expect in upcoming issues of the digital-first Batman ’66. [13th Dimension]
Creators | Saturday Night Live‘s Taran Killam has achieved his dream of creating a comic: Illegitimates, co-written by Mark Andreyko and illustrated by Kevin Sharpe, is the story of a spy team made up of five of James Bond’s illegitimate children. This article includes a short interview and a preview. [Entertainment Weekly]
Digital comics | Chang Kim explains how growing up in South Korea, where the majority of people read webcomics, inspired him to create Tapastic, which he describes as “the YouTube of comics.” By creating a central platform, he hopes to remove some of the “inefficiencies” of the current webcomics system (or non-system) in the United States. [Gadget]
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