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Comics A.M. | Trade deal could pose threat to fan comics

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Trade deal could pose threat to fan comics

Legal | Anime and manga fans in Japan are raising concerns that a proposed provision in the Trans-Pacific Partnership would threaten the existence of doujinshi, fan-made comics that are often parodies of commercial manga. Many established manga creators cut their teeth on doujinshi (and some return to it even after their series hit the big time), and the biggest comics expo in the world, Comiket, is devoted to doujinshi. The works are self-published and made in small batches, sold to fellow enthusiasts at large and small conventions, and Japanese publishers generally ignore them. Under current Japanese law, only the rights holder can bring a copyright complaint, but the TPP would allow complaints from third parties, including the creator of a rival doujinshi. “If creators can be prosecuted without complaints from rights holders, it could lead to some kind of snitching battle between fans,” said Negima creator Ken Akamatsu, himself a former doujinshi-ka. “Places for people to share their work will also disappear.” [The Japan News]

Political cartoons | Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) has chosen jailed Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani as the recipient of its 2015 Courage in Cartooning Award. Farghadani was arrested and imprisoned in April 2014 for drawing a cartoon critical of proposed restrictions on birth control that depicted members of the Iranian parliament with animal heads. She was released four months later and then imprisoned again after making a video about her mistreatment. Her trial on charges of “insulting members of parliament through paintings” and “insulting the Iranian supreme leader” took place in May, and she was sentenced to 12 years in prison. In an open letter to Iranian leader Ali Khamenei, written before the trial, Farghadani said, “I know … I will be in a court that screams injustice. I will be present before a judge who for years has skewed the balance of justice … What you call an ‘insult to representatives of the parliament by means of cartoons’ I consider to be an artistic expression of the … parliament which our nation does not deserve!” [CRNI]

Creators | Writer Megan Brennan and artist Katy Farina discuss their plans for the newly announced Amazing World of Gumball original graphic novel from KaBOOM!, which involves magical high jinks at a Renaissance fair. “I really love how fluid all the animation is,” Farina said. “Gumball never feels disjointed, even though it uses so many different animation styles. Each character has such a wide range of motion that really supports the storytelling in a way few other shows can accomplish.” [Hero Complex]

Creators | “In a real way, by this point people have been talked into a hate mob against a character they don’t know anything about,” says Kieron Gillen about the themes of the latest issue of The Wicked + The Divine. “Many WicDiv fans are complicit with the hate mob, and that’s kind of the point: It’s very easy to make people join hate mobs.” [Wired]

Creators | David Petersen discusses his upcoming book The Art of Mouse Guard. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Evan Dorkin talks about the second and final issue of The Eltingville Club, and the harsh light it casts on some aspects of comics fandom. [Paste]

Creators | Alex Dueben interviews Zeina Abirached, the creator of two graphic memoirs about living in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, A Game for Swallows and I Remember Beirut. [Arablit]

Collecting | C. Anthony Burdette takes strong issue with a recent article promoting comics as an investment. [Albany Times Union]

Fandom | Jordan West writes about forming a women’s comics club — and gives some advice for those who want to do it themselves. [The Mary Sue]

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