Manga | Japanese publisher East Press has released a manga adaptation of the Koran as part of its series devoted to classic or historical literature. “The Koran is the foundation of the daily life and ideology of people who believe in the teachings of Islam,” the publisher writes on its website. “The name Islam is often heard in the daily news, but because we Japanese aren’t usually familiar with it, a perverted image [of Islam] as abstemious or linked to terrorism is liable to persist. So what kind of teachings do [Muslims] actually believe in? What are they thinking about? To understand the modern international community and Islam, let’s try to experience the scriptures where all that is written down.” East Press has adapted 133 famous works, ranging from War and Peace to the Bible to Mein Kampf. [Anime News Network]
Legal | The Ecuadorian government’s communications watchdog, Supercom, ordered cartoonist Xavier Bonilla and the newspaper El Universo to publish an apology for a photo-montage that made fun of Agustín “Tin” Delgado, a member of the National Assembly, who stuttered during a speech. An Afro-Ecuadorian group sued the newspaper and the cartoonist, saying the cartoon was discriminatory; Delgado, who is Afro-Ecuadorian, said he wanted to see a change in attitude, rather than punishment. [The Wall Street Journal]
Awards | Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has won this year’s George Polk Career Award, marking the first time the honor has gone to a cartoonist rather than a journalist. [Comic Riffs]
Crime | Artist Lars Vilks gives his account of the shooting on Saturday in a Copenhagen cafe. Although Vilks, who’s received numerous death threats since drawing a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad in 2007, was almost certainly the target, he escaped unharmed. As soon as they heard shots, Vilks’ bodyguards snatched him away and hid him in a storage room. “I’m now such a well-known target, and that adds to value, because these guys, they work very much concerned with the media interest, so if they want to kill someone, it should be someone who is well-known,” Vilks said. “… And that means that when I go somewhere, I always have bodyguards,” he told CNN. [CNN]
Political cartoons | Amel Ahmed looks at political cartoonists who are in jeopardy in different countries around the world. [Al Jazeera America]
Creators | Lucy Knisley talks about memoir, travelogues and the dangers of cruise ships. Her latest book, Displacement, a travel memoir about taking her grandparents on a cruise, came out last week. [The Absolute]
Comics | Lee Marrs, Ryan North and Ben Towle explain the role of sound effects in comics and explain how they write them. Says North, the writer of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, “The secret to this is having a room you can be alone in, trying to make the sounds yourself, and seeing what comes out. It’s similar to if you’re writing a character talking with their mouth full: the only way I know to transcribe that is to stuff my fist in my mouth and write down what sounds I make when I try to talk. For Squirrel Girl I’ve watched a lot of squirrel videos on YouTube and tried to transcribe what noises they make, but I’m not sure I’m there yet. I am trying to up my squirrel noises game.” [Slate]
Graphic novels | John Wenzel talks to the folks at Fulcrum, a small press that has found an enthusiastic audience for its historical graphic novels and anthologies. [The Denver Post]
Manga | Bruno Meyerfield looks at the popularity of manga throughout Africa, both the Japanese imports and homegrown manga by local creators who grew up reading those imports and are now using the style to tell their own stories: “The imaginary world is African. In Congo, animated mangas tell of the violence in the country. Female manga character Ebola-Chan, with pink hair and a skull in her hands, is a somewhat morbid allegory of Ebola and is even making a controversial appearance online. ‘There are topics here that could be very well adapted, like voodoo,’ says [manga creator] Noh Blaghen. ‘In mangas, there’s magic with paranormal characters. And voodoo, too.'” [World Crunch]
Manga | LEGO LEGO Let’s LEGO Ninjago, a manga series inspired by the LEGO Ninjago toys, will launch in the March issue of the Japanese magazine CoroCoro Comic; the animated Ninjago series is going to start running on Japanese television in April, and 10 new toy items will be released there in March. [Anime News Network]
Conventions | The second annual NWI (Northwest Indiana) Comic Con is coming this weekend to Schererville, with a slate of guests that includes Cory Hamscher, Mike Norton, Hilary Barta, Tim Seeley and Jim Terry. Last year’s event drew 2,100 attendees, and show runner Brian Grabinski points out that it’s a good opportunity for those who have never been to a con before to dip their toe in the water: “It’s not as large and intimidating as the others. It’s easier to walk around and be comfortable. A lot of bigger shows are three-day shows.” [NWI Times]
Retailing | Alex’s MVP Cards and Comics has just moved to a new, slightly less convenient, location in the Yorkville section of New York City, but the customers who came in on a recent Wednesday were happy to make the adjustment. [The New York Times]
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