The local San Diego paper, the Union Tribune, is on site at the con this weekend posting stories that go beyond the typical “Comic-Con is more than comics” or “Hollywood invades San Diego” stories usually featured in the mainstream press. Heck, they even manage to talk about comics.
Witness their feature story on Kazuo Koike, creator of Lone Wolf & Cub:
Like his characters, the 71-year-old Koike believes in old-fashioned values. This weekend’s stop at Comic-Con is his first appearance at an American comics convention, but he is revered in the world of manga, or Japanese comic books. He owns his own manga publishing house and teaches his techniques as a professor at Osaka University of Arts.
His talents extend beyond comics. He founded a golf magazine, served as the host of a TV show and writes novels and poetry.
But Koike is best known as manga’s storyteller supreme, spinning tales of assassins and generals, monks and prostitutes, farmers and detectives. His yarns are rich in historical detail – “Lone Wolf” and “Samurai Executioner” are set in medieval Japan, while “Lady Snowblood” takes place in the mid-19th century – and in character.
The also have a quick-but-fun Q&A session with artist Jim Lee:
Who is your least favorite to draw? Spider-Man. It’s harder to express emotions because he wears a mask. And the webbing is very time-consuming. But I love the character.
If you had one superpower, what would it be? The ability to make time stop. I’m late to everything.
UFOs: real or imagined? Imagined. Although I work with a guy who claims he was on a UFO that circled the earth.
If you had to wear a costume to Comic-Con, what would it be? Batman. I actually have one, based on the Adam West 1960s TV show. A guy in Hollywood had the original specs and designed it for me.
The article reveals that not only was Lee the captain of the football team in high school, but he also represented Kuwait at the model U.N.
Not that they ignored all the Hollywood types, but even then they managed to do something different, focusing on how Comic-Con, sans spas and free gift baskets, is the “Bizarro World” of Hollywood events. So kudos to you, Union Tribune, for providing the kind of coverage that is fun to blog.