Libraries | Two library employees in Nicholasville, Kentucky, were fired last month after they refused to allow an 11-year-old girl to check out The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which they dubbed pornographic. However, the policy of the Jessamine County Library states it’s the responsibility of parents to decide what’s appropriate for their child to read.
The fired employees, Beth Bovaire and Sharon Cook, stand behind their decision, asserting that the award-winning comic by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill contains lewd pictures that are inappropriate for children.
Libraries | A private university in Tokyo hopes to promote the serious study of manga by opening a library stocked with 2 million comics, anime drawings, video games and other artifacts. If everything goes as planned, the Tokyo International Manga Library would open on the campus of Meiji University in 2015. [AFP]
Publishing | Even after the closing last year of Virgin Comics, upbeat profiles of the Indian comics industry continue to appear regularly. But here Gaurav Jain, head of the Mumbai-based Illusion Interactive Animation, offers a more dismal assessment of the scene in India: “While competition has arrived, the local industry continues to live in its shell, churning out visually unappealing and terribly written local content with little or no film and television possibilities. One of the most widely read labels offers sanitized, vanilla retellings of Indian mythology and historical figures with visuals inspired from the works of Raja Ravi Verma. Derivative art work and bland writing, leads to visual fatigue.” [The Wall Street Journal]
Publishing | Robert Weil, executive editor and vice president of W.W. Norton, discusses graphic novels and working on David Small’s Stitches and R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated: “I edit graphic artists the same way I edit language. My biggest encouragement to David was — he kept sending two or three pages to friends and his agent and to me, and finally I said, ‘David, I want you to be a cormorant. I want you to be a bird and go underwater and disappear for several months and just do it one last time. Just commune with yourself. Find the deepest possible images and stirrings in you and when you come up, you’ll be filled with fish in your beak. Which is what a cormorant does. I order you not to call anyone. Go in your studio and just resonate with your work.’ And he did.” [Graphic Novel Reporter]
Business | It’s looking more and more as if the financially troubled Spider-Man musical won’t open for previews on Feb. 25, as producers initially planned. [ArtsBeat]
Legal | Not comics, but Harlan Ellison has settled his lawsuit against Paramount over the studio’s alleged failure to pay him for merchandising, publishing and other exploitations of “City on the Edge of Forever,” an episode the author wrote for the original Star Trek TV series. [Variety]
Sales charts | Given the buzz surrounding R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated, it’s no surprise the graphic novel debuts as the No. 1 hardcover on The New York Times’ Graphic Books Best Seller List, bumping the first volume of Bloom County: The Complete Library to No. 2. [The New York Times]
Creators | Your R. Crumb profile of the day, focusing on “The Bible Illuminated: R. Crumb’s Book of Genesis,” which opens Saturday at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. [Orange County Register]
Creators | The Eastern Edge translates a discussion by Naoki Urasawa about drawing. [The Eastern Edge]
Creators | Writer G. Willow Wilson discusses her Vertigo series Air: “I have ideological boundary issues. Air is one of the very rare opportunities I get as a writer to ignore them. Air is what the world looks like: An inconvenient mashup of human politics and divine geography. We leave bits and pieces of ourselves and our history in every place we encounter. In Air, all that is externalized; the symbols we use to represent what we believe, and the lenses we use to look at our past, are all made physically real.” [Underwire]
Creators | Brett Williams talks with co-writers Tony Trov and Johnny Zito about their Zuda Comics series Black Cherry Bombshells and LaMorte Sisters. [Surfing the Bleed]
Manga | Robert Ring offers a brief history of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. [The Sci-Fi Block]
Comic strips | Jill Schulz, daughter of the late Charles Schulz, briefly discusses the enduring popularity of Peanuts and plans for the 60th anniversary of the comic strip. [Nerdage]
Comic strips | Adam Kepler spotlights Nevin Martell’s Looking For Calvin and Hobbes. [The Moment]
Comics | A TV station in Greensboro, North Carolina, is excited that a local landmark appears on the variant cover for G-Man #2. [Digtriad.com]