Comics A.M. | ‘Comic Con’ trademark feud nears an end

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | ‘Comic Con’ trademark feud nears an end

Legal | It looks as if the end is in sight in the trademark dispute between Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con over the use of the term “comic con.” The organizers of Comic-Con International in San Diego claim legal ownership of the term “Comic Con” and sued the producers of the Salt Lake City even in 2014 for trademark infringement. Although settlement talks have broken down before, attorneys for both sides say they’ve resolved many of their disagreements, and have asked a federal judge to give them until March 1 to work out the finer points of a deal. [The Associated Press]

Awards | The nominees for the 20th annual Osamu Tezuka Cultural Awards have been announced. They include Orange, which is licensed in North America by Seven Seas, and Yotsuba&!, which is licensed by Yen Press. [Anime News Network]

Graphic novels | The family of IRA member Bobby Sands, who died during a 1981 prison hunger strike, has jumped into the controversy surrounding the graphic biography Bobby Sands: Freedom Fighter, which was partially funded by the Northern Ireland Arts Council. “We are given to understand that the book contains intimate family scenes that no one, other than our family members, would be privy to,” the family said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that well meaning people, such as Mr [Gerry] Hunt [the author] are misled by those who profess to be authorities on Bobby’s life story.” [The Guardian]

Creators | Ronald Wimberly talks about GratNin, which debuts on the Stēla digital app: “With GratNin I’ve been looking at what Sanpei Shirato (The Legend of Kamui) did with the genre. Thinking about what he said about contemporary life with the ninja genre vs. what Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto) has said; playing with the tropes in both those and other ninja stories. I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to try and make a new work in the tradition of Sanpei Shirato’s work while remaining true to my personal experience. How much do I want to flirt with pastiche?” [Paste]

Creators | How many breaks has Hunter X Hunter creator Yoshihiro Togashi taken? So many that number-crunching fans of the series, which runs in the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump, have compiled a chart of Togashi’s hiatuses versus active periods. At least some of this is health-related: His most recent hiatus appears to be due to lower back pain. [Anime News Network]

Comics | RC Harvey takes a look at the economics of comic strips versus comic books — until recently, the former was where the money was — and how that, as well as reader demographics, affected both formats. [The Comics Journal]

Comics | Thomas Estler of the anti-trafficking organization Freedom Ladder talks about the manga-style comic he created to educate 12- and 13-year-olds about the dangers of child sex trafficking. “Traffickers are luring in children using courting techniques,” Estler said. “This may be their first romantic experience, so it’s particularly hard for them to break away. … Our goal is to help kids to identify the warning signs and to safeguard themselves.” The first graphic novel was set in New York, and now he’s working on one set in suburban Texas. [NBC News]

Conventions | The NWI Comic Con in Northwest Indiana is a good example of an appealing small, local convention: It’s welcoming to everyone, not just hard-core comics fans, and it provides a welcome alternative to traveling to Chicago for the big cons — it’s not only closer but a lot cheaper. Plus the emphasis is more on comics than on entertainment guests. [NWIndiana Life]