News this week started off big when the story of Dave McKean and Jack Gantos’ book, A Suicide Bomber Sits In The Library, went viral. Gantos and McKean, two white men, created a book purportedly about a child bomber, who is moved to nonviolence by the act of…reading Western literature. It’s a blatantly racist and ignorant concept, and one that was deservedly lambasted across social media as various creators and critics spoke up. It’s not the first time such an idea has been advanced, however: G. Willow Wilson has provided some context on this kind of thing. All in all, it’s…pretty bad. The kid in the story doesn’t even get a name, he’s just “The Suicide Bomber.” On Friday, Abrams finally decided to read the room and pull the book.
Reports are coming in that scanlation site Marumaru has been shut down. While not the largest scanlation site out there, Marumaru was notable for being a primary resource for Korean readers, and large enough in fact to have received a 50,000 signature petition calling for its removal.
Zainab Akhtar, who also shone a light on the suicide bomber comic above, had a busy week. Seemingly overnight, a curated independent comics subscription called 5×5 appeared online. With no information about the subscription’s owners available, the company essentially appeared to be lifting Akhtar’s Shortbox concept whole cloth; down to the color of the packing. After being challenged on this, 5×5 Comics first tried claiming they hadn’t heard of the Eisner-nominated Shortbox, then tried claiming that Zainab was ‘scaring them’ for speaking out on Twitter. As of this writing, they appear to have gone back to the drawing board; with their site now “under construction,” and teaser links to Instagram posts having been deleted.
Here are some quick hits for you:
- Here’s a video about IDW’s upcoming Spider-Man comic, which will never not be a weird thing to say.
- Spike Trotman has finally made it in comics, with her first work for hire story! (This is a joke. Spike is very obviously and notably a successful publisher of independent comics through the much-beloved Iron Circus.)
- Upgrade Soul has been named the best book of the year by Publisher Weekly! Congratulations!
- Badali Jewelry has started selling Bitch Planet themed Non-Compliant boot tags. Y’know, if you wanted to buy your favorite managing editor a present.
- Birds of Prey has a release date (and a much more hopeful looking theme than was found in Suicide Squad).
That’s all I have! Hopefully this coming week is a little less, you know, overtly racist and Islamophobic.