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Wednesday, October 31, 2018 

Jim Lee's not doing his reputation any good by paying tribute to a tarnished manga

Veteran artist and DC creative director Lee recently drew a tribute to Rurouni Kenshin, the manga series now disgraced by the actions of its mangaka, Nobuhiro Watsuki, who was busted for storing child pornography in his office and home. The CB site article's writer makes things worse with the following:
The future of the Rurouni Kenshin series may be marred by controversy due to the actions of its creator, but the series' legacy as one of the most popular anime and manga series to come out of Weekly Shonen Jump proceeds it.
Umm, how can it do that after scandal strikes? It sounds like they're already trying to minimize the seriousness of financing child exploitation.
DC Comics' Entertainment Chief Creative Officer, and one of the most prolific artists of all time, Jim Lee recently sketched his own take on the series' main character Kenshin Himura and pays cool tribute to that legacy.
I fail to see what's so "cool" when we're dealing with a product turned out by a man who himself turned out to be a pervert financing the exploitation of children, and what legacy does the Kenshin manga even have after the scandal?
Fans fondly remember the Rurouni Kenshin series for its slick action, brutal sword battles, and reserved main character (who often flipped a switch if the situation called for it), and Lee captures the spirit of the character in a pretty powerful way. Imagining Kenshin jumping into a fierce battle, this sketch even has Kenshin using his katana with the sharp end outwards meaning it's pretty series.
I'm sorry, but after all the trouble Watsuki caused (and the Japanese authorities didn't help matters by giving him a light sentence), it simply falls flat, and I certainly don't remember the Kenshin manga "fondly". Heck, at this point, I don't remember it much at all, and that's fortunate. Lee's not doing his reputation much good by lauding a story that's been crippled by its author's blasphemy. At the foot of the article, it even acknowledges that:
...the series was put on an indefinite hiatus in the West following Watsuki's conviction for possession of child pronography.
Is that misspelling deliberate, though? I don't know, but they certainly aren't improving the situation by minimizing the grave issues involved. Oddly enough, they admit in the earlier article most fans aren't sad the manga was suspended indefinitely by Viz Media's anthologies after the crime was discovered, so what's the use of continuing to speak of it in sugarcoated terms? This is why nobody has much faith in the mainstream comics press anymore, and Lee should've spent his time looking for something else to draw instead.

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So, if Thomas Jefferson owned slaves - does that make the Declaration of Independence a racist document?

I only know it from the anime and I'm not going to defend the horrible actions of a pedophile who should have sought help rather than child porn, but I don't think that affects the quality of work. Just the quality of its creator.

I suppose you're right. I think what worries me is that by paying tribute to the work of an artist who disgraced himself is that it's like forgiving said felon of an artist and making it look like the industry insiders are willing to excuse him for his offenses. Which, IMO, doesn't solve the problems people like Watsuki caused.

Oi, Green. Here's something interesting about that live-action Sabrina series: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/satanic-temple-complains-chilling-adventures-sabrina-statue-1156936

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