Comics A.M. | Arizona legislature passes bill censoring electronic speech

Legal | The Arizona legislature passed a sweeping bill last week that would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to "annoy," "offend," "harass" or "terrify." While the law was intended to update the state's telephone harassment laws to encompass the Internet, it's not limited to one-to-one communications and thus, as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund notes, could criminalize "all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying." Media Coalition, a trade association that includes the CBLDF among its members, has sent a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to veto the bill. [Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Media Coalition]

Passings | Rex Babin, editorial cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, has died of cancer. [The Daily Cartoonist]

Creators | Richard Bruton has an update on UK creator Brett Ewins, who is incarcerated at Wormwood Scrubs awaiting trial on charges stemming from an incident that left him in a coma for about a week. Ewins's MP, Steve Pound, visited him in jail and reported that Ewins is in better spirits and receiving proper medication. [The Forbidden Planet Blog]

Piracy | Yen Press Co-Publisher Kurt Hassler argues that rather than creating an audience for manga, scanlators cause publishers to balk at digital releases, because they fear that will make life easier for pirates. [Publishing Trends]

Creators | Brandon Graham talks about his work on the Extreme title Prophet and the artists he's working on for it. "This is the kind of project that I could see all of us talking about for fun but wouldn't have happened without the push from Image. Everyone working on this does their own comics and for the most part when we collaborate with someone, the lines are much more clear. They just send you a script. This is much more back and forth." [USA Today]

Creators | Robert Venditti discusses his work on X-O Manowar for the soon-to-be-relaunched Valiant line, as well as what readers can expect to see in Valiant's FCBD comic. [Free Comic Book Day]

Creators | Daniel Clowes is getting a retrospective at the Oakland Museum and a fancy art book from Abrams. [The New York Times]

Comics | Mike Greear is unhappy with the latest direction that DC Comics has taken with Captain Marvel — uh, Shazam: "The hood and the cape and the darkness and the anger and the lightning (which we’re told will cause electrical devices to EXPLODE when he transforms… sigh…) all just smack to me of forcing a character to go in a direction that he doesn’t want to go in. Is there no room in the JL for a character that is lighthearted, optimistic and fun? Does everything in the DCU have to remind us about how dark and troubling the world is?" [Sequart]

Comics | Creator Laurianne Uy remembers the halcyon days of Tokyopop's OEL manga program and how it inspired her as an artist; she also looks at the creators she was reading then and what they are doing now. [laurbits.com]

Digital comics | Charles Jade provides a handy primer on digital comics, including side-by-side comparisons of regular and HD comics on an iPad 2 and iPad 3. [Ars Technica]

Publishing | Why are there so many typos in manga? Erica Friedman, a small-press publisher herself, discusses how manga are edited and why there are fewer editors and proofreaders — and therefore more errors — than in other books. [Okazu]

Conventions | John Weaver and John Shableski discuss how the Wildcat Comic Con went from dream to reality in just two years. [Graphic Novel Reporter]

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