Libraries | A Gainesville, Florida, resident is crying foul at the local library’s refusal to add “Clinton Cash: A Graphic Novel” to its collection. The book is an adaptation by Chuck Dixon and Brett R. Smith of Peter Schweizer’s nonfiction book of the same name, which is highly critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton. When Ann Lhota asked the Alachua County library to buy a copy of the graphic novel, officials said no. “When the book was requested, we already had 11 copies in four formats,” said spokesman Nick Kortus, referring to the prose version. Lhota, who asked the library to purchase the book when it topped the New York Times graphic books best-seller list, has a different point of view: “Graphic novels are hot right now,” she said. “They don’t want to put this graphic novel on the shelf because they know it will be successful.” When she offered to buy a copy and donate it, the library refused. “It’s not a common practice for people to buy a book and put it on our shelf,” Kortus said. Unnamed library officials also noted that they have purchased 35 of 39 books that Lhota requested, and they received fewer than 20 requests for this particular book. [The Gainesville Sun]
Festivals | Heidi MacDonald files her report on this year’s Small Press Expo, which featured more than 700 creators and drew about 4,000 attendees. Fantagraphics marked its 40th anniversary by bringing 19 of its creators, including Daniel Clowes, Trina Robbins, Carol Tyler, Jim Woodring, and Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, to the show. Jeffrey Brown was also there, promoting his new kids’ book “Lucy and Andy Neanderthal,” and French artist Cyril Pedrosa was a big draw as well. [Publishers Weekly]
Manga | Kentarou Miura’s “Berserk” will go on hiatus until early next year, according to an announcement in “Young Animal,” the magazine where it is serialized. The manga had previously been on hiatus from December 2015 until June; the 38th collected volume was released around the same time the serialization resumed. [Anime News Network]
Political cartoons | Michael Ramirez discusses political cartoons vis-a-vis journalism and what he sees as a major issue in the field today — the tension between having something substantive to say and just being entertaining. Ramirez, who is the “black sheep” of a family of doctors, initially planned to be a cardiovascular surgeon. “Some people asked me the other day if I have ever received death threats because of my cartoons,” he says. “And I have, but the first one I ever got was when I graduated from college, and I told my parents I was going to take a year off from medical school to pursue political cartooning. They threatened to kill me.” [Hillsdale Collegian]
Political cartoons | Pulizer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman touches on some similarly universal themes, including the differing meanings of “political correctness” on the right and the left and the power of political cartoons: “You’ll never get a hotter reaction on anything in the newspaper than a political cartoon that lands in the boiler room for somebody (because) the most effective speech is reductionist speech. If you can hit somebody and do it with six words or no words, that has a lot more impact than an 800-word column.” [Eugene Register-Guard]
Creators | Mel Tregonning worked on her wordless graphic novel “Small Things” for eight years, but she was still a few drawings short of completing it when she took her own life in 2014. Her family made it their mission to complete the book and get it published, and acclaimed creator Shaun Tan, who had recommended Tregonning to his publisher several years before, joined the effort and contributed three drawings to the book. The story is a sad one, showing a lonely young boy being gradually eaten away by dark creatures, but Tan cautioned readers to avoid drawing a straight line between the story and Tregonning’s illness: “For many artists dealing with inner difficulties – which is most – the making of art represents a moment of heightened clarity and mindfulness, not an expression of malaise, and this is the feeling I find in Mel’s work; a clear and critical gaze upon matters that are universal, familiar to everyone.” [The Guardian]
Creators | Hillary Brown interviews Tom Gauld about his new book “Mooncop,” how he feels about short-form vs. long-form comics, how he developed his style, and other matters of craft and inspiration. [Paste]
Creators | Ron Ferdinand discusses his career as one of the contributors to the long-running comic “Dennis the Menace.” Ferdinand was one of three cartoonists who trained under creator Hank Ketcham, and he now draws the Sunday strips, working closely with Ketcham’s son Scott. [The Epoch Times]
Retailing | Brothers Josh and Zach Leavy have been collecting comics and toys since they were children, and one day they got the notion to open their own comics and collectibles shop. They started out doing pop-up events and opened the doors of their Madison, Wisconsin, store A New Hope Collectible Toys and Comics late last year. Now they go to conventions and flea markets to buy and sell merchandise as well as running the store. [The Badger Herald]
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