The Untold Adventures of JoJo Sketch

The controversy and legal battle between Agness Kaku & Hanako Abe and John Szczepaniak, the publisher of Untold History of Japanese Game Developers, has been rumbling on for months and briefly burst into the larger conscious of the gaming community when John showed up to make an appeal to Gamergate and promote his book on the Ralph Retort. The story was left half-told and for the most part stayed half-told. About two months ago, I reached out to Agness for her side, and in our email exchange I found her to be extremely affable; certainly not the monster John was claiming her to be, not that I ever bought into that notion in the first place.  The result of that exchange was the interview you can find here.

Amusingly enough, I accidentally ‘scooped’ William GB Usher of One Angry Gamer whose 3 part “expose“(fingerquotes) based partly on a rather awkward interview with Agness carried out via twitter (twitter is seriously the worst medium for trying to conduct an interview) came out the day after my piece.  My platform is smaller than his, though, and ironically someone linked to that article (which came out after mine) as an example of where I could’ve easily found evidence on the web that Agness Kaku was “a condescending embittered person with a victim complex”, something I certainly did not find to be the case.

Usher’s piece is hardly the final word on the story, however.

Along comes someone by the handle ComixSlap, a self proclaimed backer of the Untold History Kickster who was apparently rather disgusted by the situation and how John handled himself throughout. This is unfortunate for John, because ComixSlap is a pretty decent comic artist who, after interviewing some of the involved parties, undertook it to make a TRILINGUAL(!) web-comic based on the scandal.

Having gone through the published material, the Kickstarter posts, the rant on the Ralph Retort and having actually spoken with Agness, I can say that ComixSlap has done a pretty good job of putting together a (very funny) illustrated crash course in the Kaku V. Szczepaniak case. And while I’m sure John is not as crazy-pants as his comic counterpart JoJo, it’s a reasonable jump for a comic, especially considering how much of the dialogue is taken directly from things John wrote either on Kickstarter to backers or to Hanako Abe in emails.

The comic is currently ongoing with three parts posted. You can find them here on Imgur.

1 - Part 1 EN I made a comic of the crazy saga of quotUntold History of Japanese Game Developersquot Kickstarter meltdown


3 responses to “The Untold Adventures of JoJo Sketch

    • I feel like had it not been Japanese developers, the story would’ve blown up a lot more. As it is, the developers involved with the book seem to have all kept their heads down and mouths shut on the matter. I can imagine how embarrassing it must have been to have given interviews to a fanboy and then later see that you’ve been pulled into a minor scandal. I imagine that North American and maybe European Devs would’ve felt more need to come out and comment on it one way or another.

      • I never actually considered that. It’s pretty disheartening thinking how these unknown Japanese developers get any representation in the west, and the moment they have their 15 minutes of fame they’re dragged down by this nonsense.
        I wonder if this genuinely made an impact and sheltered Jap Devs further from the west or if it’s so obscure that no one knows.

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