“March 11 seen through the eyes of comic artists from all over the world: Magnitude Zero” at the Kyoto International Manga Museum is a commemorative tribute to the ways the world and the Japanese dealt with the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe last year. It puts forth positive images reflecting friendship, solidarity and goodwill, and in many ways glosses over harsh realities. Arguably this is a necessary reaction and response to the loss of lives, torrent of disaster footage, radiation fears, power shortages and other persistent, ongoing fears.
At the suggestion of French bande dessinee comics writer Jean-David Morvan, artists around the world contributed illustrations, which were initially collected and posted on the blog cfsl.net/tsunami (in French) and 50 works were auctioned off in Paris, raising more than ?30,000 to help support victims of the tsunami. Then came “Magnitude 9: Images for Japan,” a book of more than 200 illustrations, the sales proceeds of which were donated to charity via the organization Give2Asia.