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Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Found Guilty in Kung Fu Panda Case

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Found Guilty in Kung Fu Panda Case

Legal | A federal jury has found cartoonist Jayme Gorden guilty of wire fraud and perjury in a case that started with his 2011 lawsuit against DreamWorks, claiming the studio had stolen his idea for Kung Fu Panda. While Gorden had created an earlier story titled Panda Power, it didn’t bear as close a resemblance to the film as he needed to prove his case so he altered his original drawings and backdated them. Prosecutors alleged that Gorden copied some of the images from a Lion King coloring book that wasn’t published until after the dates on the drawings. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison; Gorden will be sentenced on March 30, 2017. [Cartoon Brew]

Graphic Novels | The “Overwatch: First Strike” graphic novel, based on the game from Blizzard Entertainment, has been canceled, according to lead writer Michael Chu, who made the announcement on the Blizzard forum. Chu said the story was going in “a different direction,” explaining, “The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game’s development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike’s conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch.” The graphic novel was to have been published by Dark Horse, first in digital form this month and then in print early next year. [Blizzard Forum]

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Creators | Rep. John Lewis, whose graphic memoir “March: Book Three” won the National Book Award last week, came face to face—literally—with a bit of his own history on Saturday. Lewis’s civil rights work began in Nashville, Tennessee, where he led the campaign to desegregate the city’s lunch counters. When he returned to the city on Saturday to accept the Nashville Literary Award, Mayor Megan Barry presented him with copies of his mug shots from his arrests in 1961 and 1962. Lewis’s police files from those years had been lost for many years but were recently unearthed by local historian David Ewing, with some help from police spokeswoman Kris Mumford. In a sign of how things have changed, the Nashville police chief used Lewis’s arrest records as part of a training session for officers on how to respond to protests; an archival number on the record led Ewing and Mumford to the files. Lewis plans to display the mug shots in his office on Capitol Hill. [Nashville Public Radio]

Creators | Deb Lucke discusses her children’s graphic novel “The Lunch Witch: Knee Deep in Niceness,” the second book in her Lunch Witch series. [School Library Journal]

Creators | Michael Tisserand talks about his new biography of “Krazy Kat” creator George Herriman, “Krazy: George Herriman, A Life in Black and White,” which will be out in early December. [The Comics Journal]

Comic Strips | Mike Vago reads the Wikipedia article on Krazy Kat so you don’t have to—and pulls out the most interesting parts. [AV Club]

Manga | Donald Trump’s son Barron has become something of a phenomenon on the Japanese internet, to the point where artist Yuusuke Hori has created the cover for a bishonen (beautiful boy) web-manga about him. The title is “My loud, annoying dad is president, so the quiet unassuming life I wanted is completely over,” and the first chapter is titled “Also, my mom and sister are too sexy.” That’s all there is at the moment, and there don’t seem to be any plans for more, but who knows? This year has been full of surprises. [RocketNews 24]

Conventions | The local news covers what is billed as the first-ever Indigenous Comic Con, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which spotlighted Native American creators from around North America. [KRQE]