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Comics A.M. | Cartoonists call for review of tape in Ted Rall firing

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Cartoonists call for review of tape in Ted Rall firing

Political cartoons | The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists is calling for an independent review of the audio tape provided by the LAPD to the Los Angeles Times to refute Ted Rall’s claim he was treated roughly by an officer when he was stopped for jaywalking. “Determining the truth in this matter is important to Mr. Rall’s personal and professional reputation, and to the rights of journalists to freely express themselves,” the statement said, adding that the newspaper “should have demanded a higher standard of proof in this matter.”

The LA Times cut ties last month with Rall, a freelance political cartoonist, after finding “inconsistencies” in an account he wrote for one of the newspaper’s blogs about being stopped in 2001 for jaywalking. Rall countered that the LAPD’s recording of the encounter doesn’t contradict his claims, and then provided an “enhanced” version of the tape that he says vindicates him. The cartoonist group argues that if an investigation reveals Rall was telling the truth, or that the LAPD manipulated the tape, then Rall is owed both an apology and restitution. However, Rall told Poynter that the newspaper has already reviewed his case and refused to change its stand. “Essentially, they’re doubling down,” he said. [Poynter]

Awards | The shortlists for the British Book Design & Production Awards have been released, and there are three nominees in the Graphic Novel category: Supercrash, by Darryl Cunningham (released in the U.S. as The Age of Selfishness); The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua; and Woody Guthrie and the Dust Bowl Ballads, by Nick Hayes. [British Book Design & Production Awards]

Political cartoons | Ukranian political cartoonist Anatoliy Vasylenko has been drawing cartoons for more than 50 years, and he still does it without a computer or the Internet; instead, he reads newspapers and watches television news every night. “Every politician has distinctive facial features, they talk in a specific way, and I need to watch them, so I’m very politicized at the moment,” he said, “but I’d prefer not to watch it all. I’d rather draw landscapes, and other artistic works…” Vasylenko started out drawing non-political cartoons for the satirical magazine Perets but turned to editorial cartoons when the magazine folded. “My style is not overly caricaturistic — many cartoonists now draw monstrous faces with popping eyes, scary teeth,” he said. “There is no portrait likeness in that. I won’t cross that line, and I won’t draw horrors instead of people.” [Kyiv Post]

Conventions | Three libraries came together to organize a superhero-themed comic convetion for children in Livingston County, Michigan. “Since all libraries had the same summer reading theme for the summer reading program, which was superheroes, we thought what better way than our own comic con?” said Janice Hellmann of the Howell Carnegie District Library. [Livingston Daily]

Conventions | Two conventions coming to the Detroit area this fall focus on two different aspects of the comics world: MECCAcon, the Midwest Ethnic Convention for Comics and Arts, features creators of color, while Comique Con spotlights women creators. “It is my mission to make sure that children know that all ‘heroes’ do not look the same, that many actually look just like them,” says MECCAcon organizer Maia Crown Williams. [metromode]

Retailing | Dan Merritt of Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan, talks about the store, which places an emphasis on being welcoming to a diverse audience, and the events they are involved in, including Comique Con and the Kids Read Comics convention. [Women Write About Comics]

Creators | Tech Times profiles 10-year-old comics creator Sasha Matthews. [Tech Times]

Creators | Another young creator, 15-year-old Stephen Nyberg, has written, drawn, and self-published a comic book, Chet Chetterson’s Adventures Book 1: Diets Are Doom. [The Jamestown Sun]

Digital comics | Jeffrey L. Wilson reviews the Android version of Farrago Comics, a free, ad-supported digital comics service. [PC Magazine]

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