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Comics A.M. | Malaysian cartoonist Zunar charged with sedition

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Malaysian cartoonist Zunar charged with sedition

Legal | Malaysian cartoonist Zunar was arrested last night on sedition charges stemming from a tweet criticizing the court that upheld the sodomy conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. On Tuesday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar posted a screencap of the offending tweet, which said, “Followers (Barua-barua) in black robes were proud in delivering judgement. Reward by Mr Politician must be lavish,” reflecting the popular opinion that the conviction was a political ploy by the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak to silence Anwar. Zunar then tweeted a cartoon of Najib as the judge handing down the verdict. Although his lawyer said Zunar offered to come in to answer questions, he was brought to the Dang Wangi police station, where he can be detained until Saturday — or longer, if police renew the remand order. [The Rakyat Post]

Conventions | Ron Brister, director of Portland, Oregon’s Rose City Comic Con, discusses ending the event’s two-year partnership with Emerald City Comicon following its acquisition last month by ReedPOP. The partnership brought Rose City access to contacts and expertise, helping organizers to increase attendance and move to a larger venue. However, with 26,000 attendees last year and vendors already booking tables for next year, Rose City is ready to take off the training wheels. [The Oregonian]

Passings | Friends and family paid their respects at a memorial service this week for cartoonist Cleven “Goodie” Goudeau, who founded the first black greeting card company in the United States. Goudeau died Jan. 26 at age 83. [Vallejo Times-Herald]

Publishing | Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater and comics scholar Bart Beaty discuss the upcoming changes to the company’s flagship comic series, which will relaunch with a three-issue miniseries by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples and a new, more mature, look. [Macleans]

Creators | Artist Whit Taylor talks about her work, the diversity of styles and intents among black creators, and the importance of black comic conventions: “Well, the first thing is that black comic book artists need not be thought of as a uniform group. We work in different genres and styles. We also have different ideas of what we are trying to achieve in our comics. I also do not believe that everyone is seeking ‘mainstream’ success or that achieving it is necessarily indicative of something’s worth. It comes down more to the concept of ‘mattering’. In a sense, the existence of a black comic con sends the message to artists and fans that their narratives matter. This encourages artists to keep working and trying new things, while also allowing them to grow their readership.” [VixenVarsity]

Creators | Writers G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite K. Bennett talk about their upcoming all-female Avengers series A-Force, dealing with “haterade,” male writers who get female characters right, and more. [Buzzfeed]

Creators | Nathan Reese looks at the rise of women creators and characters, primarily in superhero comics, in an article that includes conversations with Kelly Sue DeConnick, Gail Simone and others, both male and female, as well as some facts and figures about the industry. [Complex]

Retailing | The Timmins, Ontario, store Jump City Comics, owned by sisters Katherine Montigny and Julie Sheldon, features a monthly comic book club. [Timmins Press]

Exhibits | An exhibit at the Museum of Design in Mexico City features artists’ remixes of Batman with Mexican iconography. [Fusion]

Exhibits | “Arab Comics: 90 Years of Popular Visual Culture” is an exhibit at Brown University that features a range of comics from different eras, starting in 1950 — including a comic that puts Mickey Mouse in 14 different settings with a different skin tone in each. [Brown Daily Herald]

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