Libraries | Michael Cavna talks to Drama creator Raina Telgemeier and Charles Brownstein of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund about graphic novel challenges in libraries and why Drama made the American Library Association’s 2014 list of 10 most challenged books. [The Washington Post]
Political cartoons | The East African cartoonist Gado has been let go from the Kenyan newspaper The Nation, apparently due to pressure from the government. The move came after the newspaper’s owner met with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who’s been pushing the publication to drop some its contributors critical of his government. Gado’s cartoons about various scandals, and his depictions of the president as a prisoner with a ball and chain and as a turbaned Sikh (following an attempted land grab that involved four entrepreneurs named Singh) have clearly hit a nerve. [Spy Ghana]
Digital comics | Heidi MacDonald has some statistics on the launch of Scribd’s new digital comics service, which lets readers choose from a variety of titles for $8.99 a month. The launch was the company’s most successful yet, thanks to social media and crossover from its other services. The audience is pretty mixed, with superhero comics attracting more male readers while other genres and formats, including manga, are more popular with women. The most popular title on the service so far is Avengers: Red Zone, the most popular series is Harbinger, and someone spent 131 hours the first month just reading comics. [Publishers Weekly]
Manga | Cecilia D’Anastasio looks at the modern scanlation scene, including interactions between escalators and publishers. [Motherboard]
Creators | Miss Lasso-Gross talks about her work, including her most recent graphic novel Henni: “I was inspired by Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel to consider what life would be like in a world with an extreme paucity of natural resources. What direction would social evolution take with no domesticated animals, extremely limited metal and communication options. It’s a very post modern fantasy, instead of adding magical or romantic elements, I’ve subtracted many of the casual miracles which have driven our history.” [The Comics Journal]
Creators | Manaru Tenakawa learned Arabic script because she liked the way it looks, and that led to friendships with native speakers. Now the Osaka-based creator makes manga set in the Middle East, teaches manga via video, and just held two days of in-person courses in Cairo. [Asahi Shimbun]
Publishing | Denis Kitchen talks about Kitchen Sink Press and the early days of underground comics. [NJ.com]
Fans | Dan Greenfield writes about the day the Batmobile picked him up at his house. [13th Dimension]
Conventions | Lansing, Michigan, has its own comic convention for the first time, thanks to a group that calls its the Phantom Five. The Capital City Comic Con will take place May 2-3 in Haslett High School, and organizers expect between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees and about 50 exhibitors. [Lansing State Journal]
Retailing | Syd Bishop reviews all nine of the comic shops in Louisville, Kentucky. [Leo Weekly]
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