Joe McCulloch’s Comics Journal column, This Week In Comics, is a treasure trove of pop-cultural ephemera from around the world. Though nominally a new release guide, the column serves mostly as a platform for McCulloch—also known as Jog Mack—to wax about early manga, the once ultra-rare animated film Midori—The Girl In The Freak Show, Gerald Jablonski’s Cryptic Wit, and an unusually laid out Transformers / G.I. Joe crossover special. Even if you’re not a regular comics reader, McCulloch’s funny, erudite writing and curatorial eye can suck you in.
McCulloch has outdone himself this week with “A Beginner’s Guide To Jademan,” an illustrated primer on the Hong Kong comics publisher’s attempt to enter the U.S. market in the late 1980s and early ‘90s.
From 1988 to 1993, Jademan Holdings Ltd. released 300 English translations of its most popular titles. McCulloch’s guide uses a few choice titles to explore the publisher’s house style and influences, profile some of its biggest talents, and delve into the Stan Lee-like cult it tried to develop around its mustachioed, sports-car-loving founder, Tony Wong, who eventually ended up in prison for forgery. It’s a fascinating read.