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Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Ted Rall sues Los Angeles Times

by  in Comic News Comment

Legal | Political cartoonist Ted Rall has sued the Los Angeles Times, claiming the newspaper defamed him and unfairly fired him from his position as a freelance cartoonist. In May 2015, Rall wrote a blog post for new newspaper’s website about being mistreated, handcuffed and “roughed up” by Los Angeles police when he was stopped in 2001 for jaywalking. Two months later, the L.A. Times published a column that cast doubt on Rall’s account, and announced it would no longer carry his work. Rall protested and later claimed that an audiotape of the incident supported his side of the story, although the paper found otherwise. In the lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rall claims the Times defamed him by questioning his veracity. The paper’s response: “The Times will defend itself vigorously against Mr. Rall’s claims.” [Los Angeles Times]

Auctions | A collection of memorabilia once owned by the late Andy Capp cartoonist Reg Smythe will go up for auction on March 23. The items include everything from gold- and silver-plated awards to paperback books, and there are original drawings in the mix as well. “The intrinsic value of the items is not particularly high but as it is a unique collection, which includes one-off original cartoons, and with a strong family provenance, we would hope to see a lot of interest,” said Jeremy Pattison, managing director of Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, England, which is handling the sale. [Yorkshire Post]


Creators | Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez explains why he’s setting aside the band’s longtime comics/music saga The Amory Wars. [Rolling Stone]

Creators | “Sometimes I get lucky,” Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau said of his March 6 strip, which satirized the Wounded Warrior Project at the exact moment the charity was in the news for firing two top executives. But not always: His March 27 strip, drawn weeks in advance, guessed wrong about whether Sen. Marco Rubio would still be a contender for president. [Comic Riffs]

Comics | Graeme McMillan looks at the history of Wonder Woman’s secret identity, Diana Prince, who has been through many changes over the years — sometimes even disappearing entirely. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Manga | Keiko Takemiya, creator of Kaze to Kino Uta (The Song of Wind and Trees), one of the first manga to frankly (if not explicitly) depict sex, talks about the floodgate she opened in an article that then pivots over to the loaded question of whether drawings of children in sexual situations should be banned as child pornography. [BBC News]


Publishing | I spoke with First Second senior editor Calista Brill about that company’s new line of Science Comics, which are lively, creator-driven books aimed at middle-grade readers. [Publishers Weekly]

Publishing | Peter Maresca of Sunday Press, publisher of Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays and Society Is Nix, talks about 10 years of producing archival collections of classic comic strips. [du9]

Publishing | Vortex Comics, based in Lagos, Nigeria, publishes comics featuring superheroes whose origin stories are based on Yoruba spirituality. The publisher holds afters-chool cartooning workshops and is trying to grow an audience for locally made comics, both in Africa and beyond: “The same way I’ve learned about Asian culture, through Manga and anime, and the same way I’ve learned about Western culture through superheroes like Marvel, we hope for people to learn about Africa through Vortex,” said creative director Somto Ajuluchukwu. [Okay Africa]