Comics A.M. | Arizona legislature pulls back electronic censorship bill

Legal | A proposed Arizona law that would make it a crime to annoy or offend anyone through electronic means has been held back for revision after a number of concerned parties, including the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, protested that it was too broad. The bill, which was passed by both houses of the Arizona legislature, basically took the language from the statute criminalizing harassing phone calls and applied it to all electronic devices, without limiting it to one-to-one communications. As a result, the language appears to make it a crime to post anything annoying or potentially offensive on the internet. [CBLDF]

Retailing | Brian Hibbs questions Mark Waid's math, both with regard to comic shops and the cost of self-publishing, and brings up a number of arguments in favor of the Direct Market. He argues that having gatekeepers in the market is a good thing and that rather than refusing to take a risk on a new or different comic, retailers will go out of their way to stock comics they think their readers will like. [Savage Critics]

Publishing | Three manga publishers announced new manga licenses over the weekend: At Anime Boston, Vertical's Ed Chavez announced the "license rescue" of Paradise Kiss, which was published by Tokyopop in the early 2000s. At Seattle's Sakura Con, Yen Press unveiled the time-travel comedy Thermae Romae; Anything and Something, a collection of short stories by Kaoru Mori, creator of Emma and A Bride's Story; Umineko When They Cry, a sort of sequel to Higurashi When They Cry; Blood Lad, by Yūki Kodama; and Triage X, by Highschool of the Dead manga-ka Shouji Sato. Also at Sakura Con, Dark Horse announced Blood-C, Evangelion: Comic Tribute, Emerald and Other Stories (by Blade of the Immortal creator Hiroaki Samura), My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute (Oreimo), and Deva Zan, an illustrated novel by Yoshitaka Amano. [A Case Suitable for Treatment]

Creators | Patrick Smith talks to Skullkickers creator Jim Zubkavich. It's rather sobering to note that even an unqualified success like Skullkickers doesn't bring in enough to keep the lights on, so the Zubkavich and artist Edwin Huang took a brief hiatus to focus on other work. The good news is that the series is back, with a new setting (a pirate ship) and story arc: "The big goal of Skullkickers is to have our “heroes” bulldoze their way through just about every classic fantasy setting/trope imaginable, so using the high seas and pirates is fertile ground for their kind of hijinks." [Spandexless]

Creators | Herbert Block (Herblock) and Garry Trudeau both made the list of The 100 Outstanding Journalists in the United States in the Last 100 Years, compiled by the faculty and alumni of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. [NYU]

Digital comics | "Custom apps requiring mothership server authentication when you want to read your comics and with limited download and archiving options seemed less like buying comics than it did paying someone for the right to read their comics," writes Rob at Crisis on Infinite Midlives, and Graphicly's announcement that it will no longer sell digital comics points out the flaw in that system: Readers' can still access the comics they have bought and paid for, but their options are limited, and Rob is skeptical that Graphicly will keep the servers running in perpetuity. [Crisis on Infinite Midlives]

Conventions | Indigo Kelleigh, director of the Stumptown Comics Fest, provides a brief preview of the April 28-29 event. [Examiner.com]

Conventions | Torsten Adair has some advice for first-time con-goers, including what to wear, what to carry, and how to work your way up from a small dealer con to the Big Time. [The Beat]

Criticism | Chris Sims points out the parallels between The Hunger Games and Chris Onstad's Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight. [Comics Alliance]

Analysis | Sean Kleefeld discusses the taxonomy of comics and the continued usefulness of the term "webcomic." [MTV Geek]

Awards | David Harper looks at the Eisner nominees for best cover and picks the one most likely to win — and the one he thinks actually should win. [Multiversity Comics]

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