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Comics A.M. | Malaysia’s Zunar charged with 9 counts of sedition

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Malaysia’s Zunar charged with 9 counts of sedition

Legal | The Malaysian government today charged cartoonist Zunar with nine counts of sedition stemming from his tweets about the sodomy conviction of opposition party Anwar Ibrahim. Zunar was released on bail, then held for questioning when an image appeared on his Facebook page depicting the prime minister’s wife (a frequent target of the cartoonist) in prison garb. Zunar said he knew nothing about the drawing and was released again. The Malaysian government has been ramping up its prosecutions under the colonial-era Sedition Act, which critics contend is being used to suppress dissent. “This is a record, being charged nine times and using the sedition law,” said Zunar’s lawyer, Latheefa Koya. “It is excessive and targeted at silencing vocal critics.” If found guilty, Zunar could face 43 years in prison. Before he was even released, Zunar tweeted a defiant cartoon of himself in handcuffs, drawing with a pen in his mouth. [The Associated Press]

Political cartoons | In the wake of Zunar’s charges and several other recent attempts to suppress political cartoons, Michael Cavna talks with Robert Russell, executive director of Cartoonists Rights Network International, which has brought many of these cases to international attention; CRNI is running an IndieGoGo campaign to support and expand its work. [Comic Riffs]

Graphic novels | Craig Yoe will publish Milt Gross’s long-lost graphic novel Milt Gross’ New York next month under his Yoe Books imprint. The book was sold at the 1939 World’s Fair but sort of disappeared after that. Yoe speculates that the book was self-published, and only a few copies of the original have survived. [The Atlantic]

Political cartoons | A journalism student (and editor of his student newspaper) and a veteran newspaper editor discuss their thinking about running Charlie Hebdo‘s Prophet Muhammad cartoons with their news coverage of the attack on the satirical weekly’s staff. [Editor and Publisher]

Creators | Brazilian artist Marcelo d’Salete discusses his historical graphic novel Cumbé, which contains five stories of slaves who defied their masters. [Hyperallergic]

Creators | Elham Atayi talks about her life as an illustrator and cartoonist in Iran, where creative people work under a number of constraints. [Print]

Comics | Matt White lists 14 environmentally themed comics in honor of Earth Day. [Publishers Weekly]

Awards | The nominees for the 39th annual Kodansha Awards include Knights of Sidonia, The Seven Deadly Sins and Kiss Him, Not Me, all three of which have been or will be available in English. [Anime News Network]

Advice | Monica Gallagher shares five things she learned while writing Part-Time Princesses. [Terrible Minds]

Retailing | ACME Comics in Sioux City, Iowa, celebrates its 20th anniversary weekend. The store won the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing award in 2004, and co-owner Kevin McGarry said their knack for anticipating the latest trend has given them an edge. [Sioux City Journal]

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