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Comics A.M. | Tanzania closes newspaper over cartoon

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Tanzania closes newspaper over cartoon

Censorship | The Tanzanian government has banned a regional newspaper, The EastAfrican, apparently because of a cartoon by Godfrey Mwampembwa (GADO) that was critical of President Jakaya Kikwete. [The Washington Post]

Creators | “My idea is that if you want to defend Islam against cartoons, you do it by drawing cartoons, not by killing the cartoonists,” says Palestinian cartoonist Mohammed Sabaaneh, who is back on the job after being suspended for a cartoon that some interpreted as being a likeness of the Prophet Muhammad (Sabaaneh insists it was not). This profile of Sabaaneh includes an interview with the creator and a nuanced look at the milieu in which he works. [The Independent]

Crime | The Stockholm bomb squad was called to the offices of the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehandra to investigate a suspicious package, fearing it may have been targeted at cartoonist Lars Vilks. The newspaper published Vilks’ cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad eight years ago, and he was the apparent target of an assassination attempt Saturday in Copenhagen. The package, which was mailed from Germany and contained a hard object, was determined not to be harmful. [The Local]

Creators | Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani talks about his book An Iranian Metamorphosis, which tells the story of his imprisonment over a single word in a children’s comic, and he also comments on the Charlie Hebdo attack. [Los Angeles Times]

Creators | Writer Duane Swierczynski discusses Black Hood, which breaks new ground for an Archie comic: “I said, here’s what I’d love to do, but I thought [Archie’s Dark Circle editor Alex Segura] would never go for it in a million years, because it’s Archie! They’re not going to go for this dark, twisted, drug-infested, violent thing. Little did I know that they wanted something super dark. In fact, they pushed me on the outline to go further and darker. And I thought, wow, this is a brand new Archie, isn’t it? I’m so thrilled. They’ve been so supportive of just going there with the story.” [Entertainment Weekly]

Creators | Rene King Thompson came up with the idea for Ms. Molecule while listening to her husband, a comics blogger, talk to editor Mort Todd: “So they’re talking and being the smart aleck I am, I popped up with Ms. Molecule. Mort thought it was a hoot. He said ‘Okay, go with that. What would you do with it?’ That’s when I gave him the story of Ms. Molecule. Then he told me to write it up and send it in and I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t kidding.” [River City News]

Creators | Derf Backderf remembers New York Times writer David Carr, who died this week, as a good friend who gave him some life-changing advice. [Comic Riffs]

Comics | Combating Corruption, a comic created by the Moscow city government, is basically an instruction manual that guides city employees through the rules of ethics, with examples of how to respond when put in a possibly compromising situation — as well as examples of what happens to those who break the rules. “We decided to use a nonstandard approach … to depart from the complex language of legislation and normative acts that are often used in such courses,” said Olga Vladimirova, part of the Moscow City University of Management team that developed the comic. [The Moscow Times]

Satire | The Comics Journal reprints a 1988 panel on editorial cartoons and the future of satire, featuring Jules Feiffer, Chuck Freund, Brad Holland, David Levine and Peter Steiner. [The Comics Journal]

Conventions | Wizard World Comic Con comes to Cleveland this week, with guest appearances by William Shatner, Taryn Manning, and maybe some comics folks too. “Comic Con is the generic term for the kind of show that we do,” explains Wizard World Comic Con Public Relations Manager Jerry Milani. “It’s a celebration of pop culture. So while the term at first makes people think of just comics, and it’s still certainly about comics, it’s all elements of pop culture.” [Sandusky Register]

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