Creators | Charlie Adlard, the newly named UK Comics Laureate, started his term by vowing to increase the acceptance of comics as a medium for everyone — and throwing down the gauntlet on the term “graphic novel.” “I’d like to see comics for all ages,” said Adlard, who is the artist for “The Walking Dead.” “I don’t just want the industry to be regarded as just for kids. If there’s one phrase I loathe, it’s the graphic novel. It is somebody sticking a label on something and saying they can’t call it comics as that’s for children … it is a label saying ‘this is for mature people’ – giving it another title to make it for grownups. [But] comics are literally for everyone, and there should be no labelling.” Adlard also said he sees the title as an opportunity to bring comics to a wider audience, saying, “The power of comics to encourage learning and develop literacy shouldn’t be underestimated. Comics can connect with people who may never pick up a normal book and really help encourage a love of reading.” [The Guardian]
Legal | The Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar has been banned from leaving the country—and a legal rights group is condemning the ban. The cartoonist learned of the band on October 17, when he was supposed to fly to Singapore. An immigration officer stopped him and informed him that the ban had been in place since June 24. No reason was given, but Zunar is scheduled to go to court on November 22 to face nine charges of sedition stemming from Tweets critical of the Malaysian government. “As no reason has been given for the ban, it must assumed that it was arbitrary and done in bad faith,” said Eric Paulsen, director of Lawyers for Liberty. “Zunar is a well known critic of the government, and it would not be unreasonable to assume that he has been banned in order to prevent him from further criticising the government internationally.” Paulsen pointed out that although Zunar has traveled out of the country numerous times since the charges were filed, he has not missed any court dates. [Malay Mail Online]
Graphic Novels | French artist Jean-Michel Dupont talks about the research he did for the upcoming graphic novel “Robert Johnson: Love in Vain,” which will be published in the UK next month. Dupont traveled to Johnson’s home state of Mississippi and to Benin, where he tracked down local sources of the legend of selling your soul at the crossroads (the traditional explanation for Johnson’s talent). [The Clarion-Ledger]
Creators | Yara Simón profiles three Latina creators in the Artists Alley at New York Comic Con: Illustrator and animator Naomi Romero, “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” artist Natacha Bustos, and Titan Comics artist Adriana Melo. [ReMezcla]
Creators | I talked to Vivek Tiwary, writer of “The Fifth Beatle,” about telling stories on different platforms, as well as his new illustrated novel, “Asha Ascending.” Tiwary recently teamed up with “Astronaut Academy” creator Dave Roman to pitch the story for development into a TV series or a feature film. [Publishers Weekly]
Manga | A graphic biography of Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, was published this week by the Singapore branch of the Japanese publisher Shogakukan. The publisher says the book is a “work of fiction,” although it is based on facts and real people. The Singapore government controls the use of Mr. Lee’s name and image. [Channel News Asia]
Digital Comics | Amazon Japan has introduced a special version of their Kindle Paperwhite for manga readers; it has 32 GB of storage, enough to hold about 700 volumes of manga. (The regular Paperwhite has about 4GB.) [The Verge]
Conventions | “It shows there’s more than cowboys in Weatherford,” said Weatherford (Texas) Comic Con organizer Tony Myers. Although he didn’t offer any hard numbers, Myers said the local con filled a need, as there are no comic cons in the area, and joked that the town was really “Weather-Nerd.” [Weatherford Democrat]
Conventions | The Central City Comic Con in Yakima, Washington, drew only half the anticipated crowd, with about 1,400 attendees. Organizer Jamie Burns attributed the low attendance to forecasts that a windstorm of historic proportions would hit the area on the day of the show. Although the actual weather turned out to be fairly mild, Burns believes the forecast discouraged people from coming to the show from the surrounding towns. [Yakima Herald]
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