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Comics A.M. | Spiegelman calls removal of ‘Maus’ in Russia ‘a real shame’

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Spiegelman calls removal of ‘Maus’ in Russia ‘a real shame’

Creators | Responding to the removal of Maus from Moscow bookstores as the Russian government cracks down on Nazi symbols, Art Spiegelman said, “It’s a real shame because this is a book about memory. We don’t want cultures to erase memory.” Retailers fear the swastika on the graphic novel’s cover may be enough to run afoul of a new law prohibiting “Nazi propaganda” as the country prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Germany. “I don’t think Maus was the intended target for this, obviously,” the cartoonist told The Guardian. “But I think [the law] had an intentional effect of squelching freedom of expression in Russia. The whole goal seems to make anybody in the expression business skittish.” [The Guardian]

Creators | The former home of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld is on the market, with a price tag of $9.2 million, which includes a cool extra: an eight-foot-tall mural drawn by Hirschfeld that includes caricatures of Laurel and Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and other luminaries. [Curbed]

Conventions | San Diego’s Fox 5 highlights five things Anaheim can offer Comic-Con International that San Diego cannot. [Fox 5 San Diego]

Conventions | Attendance at C2E2 was up by about 12 percent this year, which means the number has grown every year since the show first started in 2010. Nonetheless, Milton Greipp noticed a number of no-shows on the exhibit floor. ReedPOP event director Mike Armstrong also addressed a complaint about the image on the badge, which was from Sex Criminals: “We discussed the art internally when it was submitted to us, but eventually came to the opinion that given that Sex Criminals is an Eisner Award winner and NYT bestseller (and has been also been praised as a book that is pro-female) we did not feel that the artwork was inappropriate.” [ICv2]

Passings | Pete Hironaka, longtime editorial cartoonist for the Pacific Citizen, the national newspaper of the Japanese American Citizens League, died March 25 at age 87. Hironaka was born the son of a sharecropper in Sacramento, California, and his family moved to Salinas when he was 6 years old. He was interned in the Poston War Relocation Center in Arizona during World War II. A teacher at the high school in Poston saw his potential and encouraged him to work harder; he was valedictorian of his high school class and went on to Miami University in Ohio, where he graduated in 1951. He started drawing for the Pacific Citizen in 1957, staying on board until his retirement in 2010, and he also worked as a commercial artist and did illustrations for the Dayton Daily News. [The Rafu Shimpo]

Creators | Palestinian political cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh, who has managed to run afoul of both the Palestinian and Israeli authorities, talks about the importance and universal qualitues of political cartoons on a recent visit to the United States. [Mondoweiss]

Publishing | Beth Kawasaki, senior editorial director of Viz Media’s kids imprint Perfect Square, talks about publishing books for readers aged 6-10 and goes into detail about their bestselling property, Pokemon. [ICv2]

Creators | Cece Bell, the author of El Deafo, talks about growing up deaf, going to a hearing school, and transforming her experiences into a graphic novel. [The Guardian]

Creators | Novelist Sharon Shinn has scripted a graphic novel, The Painted Warrior, to be illustrated by Molly Ostertag (Strong Female Protagonist) and published by First Second Books. [USA Today]

Digital comics | Kenichiro Shino looks at the growing popularity of digital manga apps in Japan. [The Asahi Shimbun]

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