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Comics A.M. | Wizard World CEO resigns after $4.3 million loss

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Wizard World CEO resigns after $4.3 million loss

Business | John Macaluso resigned last week as chief executive officer and president of Wizard World after four years in the position. His resignation, revealed Monday in filings with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, came on the same day the company reported $4.3 million in losses in 2015, due largely to a drop in per-show revenues and a money-losing investment in the startup ConTV. Board chairman John D. Maatta will succeed Macaluso as CEO and president. [Street Insider]

Legal | A federal judge refused Monday to prevent a Houston-area convention from using the name “Space City Comic Con.” The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which owns half of rival event Comicpalooza, trademarked the term “Space City” more than 10 years ago, and claims organizers of the newer convention are infringing on the trademark. In the Monday hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy F. Atlas noted that many other local businesses use the term and suggested that Space City Comic Con simply put a disclaimer on tickets and other materials saying it’s not affiliated with the visitors bureau. However the bureau isn’t giving up: “Disclaimers don’t work all the time,” their lawyer said. The parties will be back in court on Wednesday for a hearing on a temporary restraining order. [Houston Chronicle]

Awards | The nominees have been announced for the Max-und-Moritz-Preis, which honors graphic novels published in Germany. Among the titles are G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel, Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender, and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer, as well as Riad Sattouf’s Arab of the Future and Satoshi Kon’s Opus. The French creator Claire Bretécher will receive the lifetime achievement award, the first woman to be so honored. The jury also gave a special award to the book Catharsis by the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Rénald Luzier (Luz), about the aftermath of the attack on the magazine’s offices (which he missed because he was running late that day). The winners will be announced in May at the Max und Moritz Gala at the Erlangen Comics Salon. [Der Tagesspiegel]

Creators | Fiona McCann profiles writer David Walker, who came to comics relatively late (he’s 47) after a career as a film critic, journalist and filmmaker. His comics work includes Shaft, Cyborg, and Power Man and Iron Fist. “There’s not a lot of people of color in comics that aren’t green or purple,” Walker says. “Sometimes they’re stereotypes. Sometimes they’re archetypes. But they seldom exist as fully formed characters with complex emotions.” [Portland Monthly]

Creators | Julie Doucet talks about her new book, Carpet Sweeper Tales, which uses collages of images from Italian photo comics (fumetti) to tell the story. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | Pakistani cartoonist Nigar Nazar was going to study medicine, but she decided to become a cartoonist instead; her polka-dot-clad character Gogi is a modern woman who takes a wry look at everyday life in Pakistan. “I think you can get away with saying a lot through cartoons that you can’t say in any other way,” Nazar says. [BBC News]

Comics | Emmanual Joels drew a weekly comic, Dompie Stompie, to entertain his fiancee Hetty van Son, during the two and a half years they were hiding from the Nazis in two different homes in the Dutch city of Apeldoorn. Although it was too risky for them to meet, Joels drew a fanciful story each week and sent it to van Son via the seven-year-old daughter of the family that was sheltering him. The comic was a fanciful detective story designed to be escapist reading, rather than an account of life in hiding. The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam currently has an exhibit about the comic, which was published in three volumes last year. [JTA]

Comics | Is he a spy? Comics-format posters in China warn of charming foreigners who may be trying to pry sensitive information out of the locals. [New York Times]

Graphic novels | Svetlana Chmakova’s followup to her Eisner-nominated middle-grade graphic novel Awkward will be titled Brave, and it will be published by Yen Press in December. [ICv2]

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