Digital comics | Japanese publisher Kadokawa plans on March 22 to launch ComicWalker, a digital comics service that will carry manga in three languages: Japanese, English and Chinese. The stories will include some well-known classics (Sgt. Frog, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam: The Origin) as well as new manga, and apparently they will be free. The launch will include 150 titles, 40 of which will be translated, so it sounds like not everything will be available in English right away. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | Lewis Trondheim, a former winner of the Grand Prix d’Angoulême and therefore a member of the academy that chooses each year’s winners, provides an insider’s view of the voting and the causes and effects of the changes that have been made over the past two years: “In its forty-three years, the festival has had, I believe, three Americans, one Argentine, one Swiss, three Belgians, and over thirty Frenchmen. This doesn’t seem to correspond with the reality of the comics world to me.” [The Comics Journal]
Creators | Alison Bechdel talks about her long-running strip Dykes to Watch Out For, her graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? and the Bechdel Test, which she claims was actually Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own “boiled down to three bullet points.” [Daily Life]
Creators | Xavier Guilbert interviews Gengoroh Tagame, the author of gay erotic manga who made a big splash last year at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival with the collection The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame. (Images may be NSFW.) [du9]
Creators | Denis Kitchen recalls his first meeting with Will Eisner; Eisner sought him out at one of Phil Seuling’s conventions in New York because he was curious about how underground comics worked. [13th Dimension]
Comics | Loyola College student Vijay Asokan has created a special comic book for children living in the slums of India. The free book, which will be distributed in English and Tamil, encourages children to avoid tobacco and alcohol, recognize “bad touch,” and respect the environment. [The Hindu]
Comics culture | It’s Hello Kitty like you have never seen her before — in fishnets! The French retailer Colette has unveiled a new line of Hello Kitty x Playboy accessories that feature the plump feline in fishnet stockings, high heels, and of course, bunny ears. [Anime News Network]
Commentary | Sarah Horrocks begins a three-part examination of Inio Asano’s Nijigahara Holograph. [Mercurial Blonde]
Awards | Adam Zyglis, staff cartoonist for the Buffalo News, is this year’s recipient of the National Press Foundation’s Clifford K. and James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartooning [Buffalo News]
Conventions | Writer and artist Barbara Slate will be the keynote speaker for the Wildcat Comic Con at the Pennsylvania College of Technology next September. [PA HomePage]
Conventions | John Lee reports in on the inaugural Yellow City Comic Con in Amarillo, Texas, which drew 500-1,000 people with a mix of comics artists and other attractions, including a guest appearance by former Power Rangers actor Steve Cardenas. [The Pampa News]
Retailing | Famous Faces and Funnies, a comic shop in West Melbourne, Florida, celebrated its 20th anniversary with cosplayers, free comics and a benefit for a local family in need. [Florida Today]
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