Festivals | The Angoulême International Comics Festival has opened in Angoulême, France, and that’s where all the cool kids are. Bart Beaty surveys the scene for the rest of us; the president of this year’s show is Jean-C Denis (last year it was Art Spiegelman), and there will be an exhibit of his work, but Beaty says the big draw will be the exhibit of work by Albert Uderzo, co-creator of Asterix. [The Comics Reporter]
Editorial cartoons | Rupert Murdoch has apologized, on Twitter, for an editorial cartoon by Gerald Scarfe in the Sunday Times that depicted Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu bricking Palestinians into a wall with blood-red mortar. Many commentators were concerned that the cartoon, which Scarfe intended as a commentary on the recent elections in Israel, came too close to old anti-Semitic blood libel. Making things worse, the cartoon was published on Holocaust Memorial Day. [The Guardian]
Publishing | Viz Media will publish a series of graphic novels based on Mattel’s Max Steel action figures, and the toymaker is co-producing an animated television series as well. While Viz is best known as a manga publisher, it has been venturing into original graphic novels based on licensed properties (Voltron, Redekai, Mr. Men and Little Miss) in its VizKids line. [ICv2]
Creators | Artist Scott Wegener talks about how his style changed in the seventh volume of Atomic Robo; the changes were partly due to just getting better after drawing Atomic Robo for a long time — and thinking carefully about it — and partly because he changed the way he works. [Atomic Robo]
Creators | Paulina Reso reports on the conversation between writer Zadie Smith and Building Stories creator Chris Ware that took place as part of the New York Public Library’s LIVE from the NYPL series. [Wild River Review]
Comics culture | A shopping district association in Kofu City, Japan, thought it would be a nice idea to set up a shrine with a statue of Hello Kitty to honor Shintarō Tsuji, the president of Hello Kitty parent company Sanrio, who was born nearby. (Plus it might attract extra customers.) Unfortunately, the group neglected to get permission beforehand; after learning of the shrine from media reports, Sanrio issued a request for its removal. [Anime News Network]
Manga | Vertical has announced its first manga license of the year: Summer Wars, based on the anime film of the same name. Lissa Pattillo provides a bit of background on the film and notes that Udon will be publishing an artbook next May. [Kuriousity]
Webcomics | Shaenon Garrity posts some capsule reviews of recent webcomics. [The Comics Journal]
Conventions | Henry Barajas reports in from the Amazing Arizona Comic Con. [The Beat]
History | Kevin Collier unearths an odd bit of history: The time Winsor McCay was the victim of an extortion scheme perpetrated by the wife of a man who was stalking his wife. [Grand Haven Tribune]
Publishing | Digital Manga is shutting down its Digital Manga Direct wholesale service. I’m relieved to see that Johanna Draper Carlson is as puzzled as I am as to what this actually means, but it’s a bit ominous in view of the fact that Digital also put all print editions of its yaoi manga on hiatus for six months (although they do plan to produce hard copies of their Osamu Tezuka and hentai (erotica) manga). [Comics Worth Reading]
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