Comics A.M. | 'Attack on Titan' as a reflection of Japan's politics, history

Manga | Vernieda Vergara examines the way Attack on Titan reflects Japanese politics and history as well as the current sense of social anxiety experienced by young people of creator Hajime Isayama's generation: "One of the biggest criticisms levied against Japan’s youth is that they lack the ambition of previous generations. But if the majority have no hope of advancement due to a corporate wall, why is that a surprise? In the manga, most people are content to live inside the walls. It’s safe. But as the manga’s protagonist, Eren, says, that’s like living in a cage. There’s no hope for something more. Eren, along with his allies, don’t accept this fate as easily. They fight against it actively." [Women Write About Comics]

Creators | Artist Sonny Liew discusses his work on DC Comics' new Doctor Fate series, and the recent controversy in his native Singapore sparked by his new graphic novel The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. [Comics Alliance]

Plagiarism | Alan Gardner updates the case of the purloined political cartoons in the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sentinel, where city councilman Tom Moore pointed out a few weeks ago that several of the newspaper's cartoons were blatantly copied from other people's work. Moore has posted 84 cartoons on a website and asked people to send in evidence they were swiped; so far, 81 of the 84 have been found to include at least some element of other artists' cartoons. (The Sentinel cartoons were all drawn by a pseudonymous contributor who works for free; one commenter suspects it is actually an editor.) Moore also wrote to Sentinel owner Lynn Kapiloff, whose reaction was “[I]t is time to move on.” He is now calling for a third-party investigation, and has started a petition to that effect. [The Daily Cartoonist]

Creators | Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher talk about reinventing Batgirl — and what comes next. [Paste]

Creators | Meanwhile, Lee Bermejo discusses his new series about the teenagers of Gotham, We Are Robin. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Frank Santoro is one of those artists strongly rooted in a place — in this case, Pittsburgh, where he lives the artist's life in a row house that once belonged to his grandparents. He talks about his life, his work, and his affection for his native town in this long but copiously illustrated profile. [Carnegie Museum of Art]

Creators | Veteran Korean comics artist Jang Tai-san discusses the challenges of learning digital techniques after years of making comics the old-fashioned way. Jang's comics were popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but the industry took a hit when the Korean culture ministry designated comics as "harmful substances" (along with cigarettes and alcohol) in 1997. Jang was skeptical of online comics, but they have become big business in Korea in recent years, and at the age of 62, he's jumping on board. [Korea Times]

Creators | Bunny Matthews, creator of the New Orleans-centric strip Vic and Nat'ly, has announced he has brain cancer. [Gambit]

Reviews | Akin Ayaji reviews Bill Schelly's biography of Harvey Kurtzman, Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America. [Haaretz]

Conventions | Here's a gallery of cosplay photos from the 11th International Animation and Comics Expo in Changchun, China. [Shanghaiist]

Retailing | Scott Brimson of Cosmic Comics in Johannesburg, South Africa, talks about comics and the comics market in South Africa, which seems to consist entirely of imports of American titles. [Voice of America]

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