Comics A.M. | Cartoonist Ted Rall's LA Times Lawsuit Takes an Expensive Twist

Legal | Ted Rall reports that there's a new twist in his lawsuit against the LA Times: They are demanding a $75,000 bond against attorney's fees. Here's a quick recap of the story so far: In May 2015, Rall wrote an editorial critical of the Los Angeles police, saying that he was treated roughly and handcuffed when he was stopped for jaywalking in 2001. That July, the paper fired Rall from his freelance gig and wrote a column accusing him of making it up. The evidence for this was an audio recording that the arresting officer had made, which the police provided to the paper. Rall protested and eventually sued, claiming the paper had defamed him and improperly let him go. "The Times will defend itself vigorously against Mr. Rall’s claims," the paper said at the time, and they weren't kidding: They filed an anti-SLAPP motion, something that is supposed to protect whistleblowers from large corporations, not the other way around. As part of this, they asked the judge to compel Rall to pay a $300,000 bond against their attorney's fees. The judge reduced the amount to $75,000, but as Rall says, "it’s not like the 10% bail that you hear about on TV. I owe the entire $75,000 on or before Thursday, August 18. My lawyers and I prepared a brief to fight it, but because the Los Angeles court system is so backed up, we can’t get a hearing until next summer. So another words, I either cough up $75,000 by next Thursday, or the Times gets away with what they did to me." He has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the money. [A New Domain]

Political Cartoons | British cartoonist Michael Heath is not concerned about drawing political cartoons in a post-"Charlie Hebdo" world he said in an episode of the radio program "Desert Island Discs." His bigger worry: "boring everyone witless." Heath, the cartoon editor of "The Spectator," talks about art and music in this profile that covers much of his long career. [The Spectator]

Creators | In between the explanations for the uninitiated, there's a pretty interesting interview with Rick Geary in this local-paper story. And he has a big Gumby in his front yard! [Ruidoso News]

Creators | Deb Aoki talks to Naoshi Arakawa, the creator of the manga "Your Lie in April." [Anime News Network]

Creators | The local paper profiles Riley Rossmo of Calgary, Alberta, who went from comics-shop clerk to drawing Batman. [Calgary Metro]

Creators | Eric Grundhauser tells the story of Antonio Prohías, who was one of the best known cartoonists in Cuba before he fell afoul of Castro and moved to the U.S. Cuba's loss is our gain, as Prohías created the long-running "Spy vs. Spy" comic in MAD Magazine. [Atlas Obscura]

Graphic Novels | On the 30th anniversary of the release of the first volume of "Maus," author Art Spiegelman tells of the book's difficult birth—and other creators describe how it inspired them. [Comic Riffs]

Graphic Novels | David A. Gross rounds up an international selection of top-notch graphic novels (all in English). [PRI]

Webcomics | Shaenon Garrity reads all of "Homestuck" so you don't have to: "Throughout the comic so far, much the action involves characters avoiding adults and looking for places to plug in their laptops. I’m starting to understand why it has a huge Millennial fanbase." [The Comics Journal]

Mascots | Meet Gudetama, a severely depressed egg yolk who uses a slice of bacon as a security blanket. Japanese culture expert Matt Alt discusses the popularity of Gudetama and the place that mascots, both cheerful and troubled, have in Japanese popular culture. [PRI]

Retailing | Guy Hasson explains how and why he runs an online comic shop for the blind. [Vice]

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