Comics A.M. | Angoulême begins; judges come to cartoonist's rescue

Conventions | Wim Lockefeer lines up the exhibits he's looking forward to at the 39th Angoulême International Comics Festival, which begins today in Angoulême, France. [The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log]

Legal | Cartoonist Albert Lekgaba was sketching the proceedings of the Botswana Court of Appeal when security officers asked to step out of the courtroom, confiscated his work, and told him he could not draw in court, "especially if the judges were present." When the judges learned of this, however, they informed the court registrar that sketching is indeed allowed, and they ordered that Lekgaba be readmitted to the courtroom and his sketches returned to him. [The Botswana Gazette]

Passings | California newspaper cartoonist John Lara has died at age 56. [Coastline Pilot]

Creators | Heidi MacDonald sums up a number of recent posts on piracy and the creative life in one mega-post, and a lively discussion follows in the comments section. [The Beat]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon cast his votes for the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame, and he urges other readers who are qualified (or who think they may be qualified) to do so as well: "The way I look at it, a Hall of Fame is a cultural document that has a chance of surviving decades into the future when things like our on-line text jeremiads and late-night hotel room conversations about what's valuable in the medium will have long faded from memory. It's worth having whatever small input one can have on something like that, particularly as time will also drive any objections we have from relevance." [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | Frank Cho is so busy these days that he has decided to postpone the release of his miniseries Guns & Dinos: "I want to apologize to all my fans out there who were eagerly waiting for this book. But with only half the book done and no time to complete it, it’s only fair to reschedule the release date when the mini-series is completely finished. Fear not, I’m planning on releasing it before the year is out." [Apes and Babes]

Retailing | Retailer Chris Brady, owner of 4 Color Fantasies in Rancho Cucamonga, California, explains why he embraces digital comics: It brings new readers to the medium, and his comiXology storefront pays him 15 to 30 percent of cover price without much effort on his part. [The Press-Enterprise]

Comics | Colin Smith sees Mark Waid's Spider-Man/Daredevil crossover as everything a good comic should be -- smartly written, accessible to new readers and grounded in reality despite the fantasy elements: "Waid's super-people are always individuals before they're crime-fighters, and for all the fun of the roof-running and the holographic illusions, it's the moments of betrayal and sadness and self-deception which stay with the reader after the comics have been put away." [Too Busy Thinking About My Comics]

Comics | Warren Ellis gets an advance copy of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga #1 -- yes, the one with the breastfeeding on the cover -- and finds it good. However, he also worries that the market may not be mature enough for the book, both because of its length and its juxtaposition of different types of elements. [Warren Ellis]

Creators | Sean T. Collins interviews horror comic creator Julia Gfrörer: "I’m most interested in making art about feelings and experiences that are hidden or obscure, uncomfortable to talk about, frightening to even think of. It should be challenging for me to create, and for you to consume. I guess that it often comes off as overwrought and melodramatic, but like the song says, I can’t come through half-stepping." [The Comics Journal]

Comics | Larry Cruz celebrates Hal Foster's Prince Valiant, which he admits has a "stodgy" feel but nonetheless boasts glorious art and a gripping story in an unusual format. [The Webcomic Overlook]

Review | Matthias Wivel takes a look at the Fantagraphics edition of Carl Barks' Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes. [The Comics Journal]

Review | Philip Shropshire reviews the second volume of Ed Piskor's phone-hacker comic Wizzywig, which takes the protagonist on a through-the-looking-glass trip through the criminal justice system. [Comics Forge]

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