DDT and you

So, I found a 50s-vintage Japanese comic book and I thought some of you might enjoy seeing some of it. Believe it or not, this three-page piece is probably the most coherent story in there.

I have taken the liberty of replacing the text with a quick and unelegant, yet arguably quite representative, English translation, which I have punctuated extremely sparsely because I love the way that super-early, unpunctuated English comics read. I know I should have put it all in capitals but I didn't remember until I was almost done. This is one of the many reasons why I am not a typesetter at TokyoPop.

And now, our feature presentation.

Yes, I do think this comic was at least partly sponsored by a person or organization with a financial interest in DDT. The father spends half the comic book wandering around in his DDT kimono. It's pretty punk rock, actually. (Though not as punk rock as storing flour in a box that apparently used to hold DDT.)

More about this tomorrow.

Popularity factor: 11


Those rule pretty extensively. I also love how mashing a fly into someone's head because it could be spreading germs is beautifully pointless.


good news: love the strip

bad news: all of the Japanese characters on this site now show up as question marks for me, except this one, which probably won't render correctly: う

My distress knows no bounds.

I am using Firefox for Windows.


Mmmm... and in the kitchen DDT cake. Those are scary, but amusing.


I think even I would say "Gyot!" if I learned that I'd eaten a DDT cake. And Zusty: at least then the germs are confined to one person's head.

Your う (and all the other Japanese text on the blog) shows up correctly for me, LJR, on Safari and Firefox... I dunno what the problem might be. Sorry!


Oh well. I can't actually read Japanese. But I still feel like I'm missing out now.


LJR: In Firefox go to View->Character Encoding->Auto Detect and change to Japanese. That should do it.

Matt: What program did you use to insert the translations? I have a similar project I'm doing and it's a pain to insert text. And how'd you get it to look so...original text looking?


And why can he do these things? Because he IS the Kwizat...oh, sorry.

Photoshop, I'm thinking? Text in a separate layer, tweak the color, etc., till it looks right? (I use Fireworks, only 'cause it was included when I bought the Micromede Farm.)


Photoshop! Luxury! No, what you see there is simple cut-and-pasting of non-covered page from elsewhere in the word balloon to cover up the old text, then the text tool with anti-aliasing. Any graphic editor could do it, I imagine.

If you look closely, it's pretty obvious, the cut-and-pasting.


Hi Justin - that did not work.

It seems to think this is Unicode encoding - is that right?


Yes, it's in Unicode - set your encoding to UTF-8 and it should show up, assuming you have suitable fonts installed.

How dangerous to humans is DDT? The main thing I remember is that it accumulates up the food chain and wipes out birds of prey by thinning their eggshells, which is probably not something this family has to worry about.

I don't really understand why the kimono he inadvertently steals has DDT printed all over it, either.


I think Michael Crichton and Rachel Carson are still fighting over that one. In postwar Japan I imagine the need to eliminate typhus etc. made it a pretty welcome chemical, though.

As for not knowing why his kimono has DDT printed all over it, that makes two of us, although like I said I suspect it's just because someone wanted to give DDT a PR boost.

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