Legal | Matthew Pocci Jr., the driver who injured a woman last year during the annual San Diego ZombieWalk held in conjunction with Comic-Con International, has been sentenced to 60 days of house arrest, with electronic monitoring, and three years’ probation. His license has also been suspended for a year. Pocci had stopped to let the ZombieWalk procession go by, but then drove through onlookers, hitting several people and injuring one. He was convicted last month of felony reckless driving resulting in great bodily injury. At the sentencing hearing Pocci, who is deaf, apologized to the victim in sign language. [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Legal | The Tokyo prosecutor’s office has placed Mamare Touno, author of the Log Horizon light novel and manga series, under house arrest, alleging his company failed to pay about 30 million yen ($250,000) in taxes. The accusation was first made in April, and at that time Touno released a statement saying he had cooperated with the investigation and paid all the taxes due. [Anime News Network]
Legal | Spanish police have arrested Ali Charef Damache, who’s suspected of plotting to murder the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who drew a picture of the Prophet Muhammad with the body of a dog. Two Americans, Colleen LaRose (who was known online as “Jihad Jane”) and Mohammad Hassan Khalid, who was 15 at the time the conspiracy was hatched, are already serving prison time in the United States for their roles in the plot. Damache, who has dual Algerian-Irish citizenship, was arrested in 2010 in Ireland but was freed in May when a high court refused to extradite him to the United States because of prison conditions there. The U.S. Department of Justice will request extradition from Spain. Damache faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted. [The Guardian]
Legal | The Palestinian Public Prosecutor in Ramallah, on the West Bank, has issued an arrest warrant for cartoonist Baha Yassin following a complaint from the public that one of his cartoons insulted women and the Palestinian flag. The cartoon depicted a woman dressed in yellow, a color associated with the Fatah Party, having sex with an Orthodox Jewish man. Yassin was accusing Fatah of collaboration with Israel, but many people objected to the overt sexual imagery of the cartoon. When Yassin first posted the cartoon on Facebook, a Hamas spokesman said it would take legal action against him for “offending our people, their resistance and their struggle.” That did not happen, but three West Bank residents filed the suit based on several of Yassin’s cartoons. The Ramallah court does not have jurisdiction over the Gaza Strip, where Yassin lives, but is subject to arrest if he enters the territory and will be tried in absentia if he does not. [The Times of Israel]
Best of the year | The “Art Appreciating Comics Team” at Paste posts its picks for best comic artist of the year. [Paste]
Creators | Dalbir Singh shows the lighter side of being a Sikh in his Facebook cartoon SikhPark. “Sikhs sometimes face discrimination and attacks because of their appearance and turbans, which some people mistakenly end up identifying with groups like the Taliban. So I started sketching about this issue in 2007,” he said, adding, “Humour is a great instrument to comment on social issues. And one should always be ready to take a joke or two.” [BBC]
Creators | Özge Samanci reminisces about growing up in Turkey and talks about the genesis of her graphic memoir of her youth, Dare to Disappoint. [Kirkus Reviews]
Comics | Misha Zaslavskiy, who heads up a comics studio in Russia, talks about the history of Russian comics in the first part of a three-part interview. [Comics Forum]
Retailing | Zia Comics, the only comic shop in or near Las Cruces, New Mexico, came about more or less out of necessity, according to owner Troy Stegner: “I went to San Diego Comic-Con 2010 and that re-stoked the fire for me, and when I came back (to Las Cruces), there was really no decent place to get comics. I looked for a long time to try and find a good, reliable place to get them and finally I just figured I can do it myself and that’s how (Zia Comics) started.” Stegner is also the organizer of Las Cruces Comic Con and El Paso Comic Con. [Las Cruces Sun-News]
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