Conventions | Lance Fensterman, ReedPOP’s global senior vice president, talks about his company’s strategy of focusing on a few big shows, rather than a lot of smaller ones, and gives the numbers for last month’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo: Attendance was about 62,900, up 18 percent from last year, and the show floor grew by 15,000 square feet. Attendees are mostly in the 18-to-35 age group, and the majority are male, although the proportion of women at C2E2 has increased by 6 percent since 2011. Male or female, many of the folks on the floor seem to be “casual consumers” rather than “hardcore fans”: About 50 percent of attendees at New York Comic Con were there for the first time. “Depending on which exhibiting company you’re talking to, they either love it or they’re not sure what to do with it,” Fensterman said. “You’re delivering new readers and new potential consumers. We think it’s cool that you’re getting that fresh perspective, not quite so jaded (been there, done that).” [ICv2]
Passings | Craig Yoe pens a remembrance of artist and writer Morris Weiss, who died Sunday at age 98. Weiss got his start in comic strips in 1934, and then made the move to comic books, drawing Tessie the Typist and other “Good Girl” titles for Timely, and putting in stints at Quality, Dell and other publishers as well. Weiss’ best-known work is Mickey Finn, a gag strip about an Irish policeman; he was an assistant on the strip in the 1930s and 1940s and again in the 1960s, eventually taking over as lead creator. [13th Dimension]
Passings | Leo Garza, a political cartoonist for the San Antonio Express-News from 1987 to 2007 who also drew the Nacho Guarache strip, has died of kidney cancer at age 57. “Leo developed a dedicated following during his years at the Express-News. His cartoons were stronger than words, and he knew how to get a big reader reaction. While Leo spoke loudly with his pen, he was a quiet, gentle man,” said editorial page editor Bruce Davidson. [San Antonio Express-News]
Conventions | Despite increased ticket prices, about 40,000 people came to Detroit’s Motor City Comic Con over the weekend, a considerable jump from last year’s total of 30,000. [Crain’s Detroit Business]
Conventions | At the other end of the size scale, here’s a short video report on the East Coast Comic Expo in Moncton, New Brunswick, which drew 1,100 attendees, up from 750 last year. [Global Halifax]
Legal | This Canadian newspaper article about past arrests showing up on people’s background checks has an interesting comics angle: One of the most egregious cases is that of Gordon Sinclair, who was forced to leave a nursing program because of an incident that turned up on his background check: In 1991, the police raided the Toronto comics shop where he was a part-time clerk and seized comics they considered obscene. (Ironically, the comic in question, Melody, was produced with financial support from the government of Quebec.) Police filed 33 charges of possession of obscene material for the purpose of selling, one for every copy of the comic, against every employee of the shop, then withdrew the charges shortly afterward. Twenty years later, Sinclair, who was studying nursing and had to do part of his training in a nursing home or hospital, failed his background check because of the arrest. Although he was able to get the charges removed from his record, he had to withdraw from the nursing program and has not been able to get into another one. [The Hamilton Spectator]
Webcomics | Shaenon Garrity takes a look at how the different comics awards programs have treated webcomics, and how their definitions of the medium vary from one to the next. [The Comics Journal]
Comics | Liam Burke presents a brief history of Batman and turns to the fans to explain his enduring appeal. [The Irish Times]
Manga| Digital Manga announced at Anime Central over the weekend that it will launch a Kickstarter campaign in June to fund a print edition of Osamu Tezuka’s sci-fi manga Captain Ken. This will be Digital’s third Kickstarter project. [Anime News Network]
Comics | Bluewater Comics will publish a bio-comic about NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden later this month, written by Valerie D’Orazio and illustrated by Dan Lauer. [Time]
Comics culture | Noah Berlatsky looks at sexism and abuse on comics comment boards as well as attempts to deal with it (including CBR’s recent reboot of its forums). [Salon]
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