Comics A.M. | Charges dropped against Susie Cagle in Occupy arrest

Legal | Cartoonist Susie Cagle, who was arrested last month while covering Occupy Oakland, says she has been cleared of all charges by the Oakland Police Department. The Society of Professional Journalists sent a letter to the Oakland police condemning the arrest, which ultimately assisted in getting the charges dropped. The letter called out the department's crowd management policy, which says, “Even after a dispersal order has been given, clearly identified media shall be permitted to carry out their professional duties in any area where arrests are being made, unless their presence would unduly interfere with the enforcement action.” [Fishbowl LA]

Conventions | San Diego City Council approved a plan to have San Diego hotels pay for a $520 million convention center expansion. The plan moves to a second hearing in January and requires a vote of two-thirds of the hotels that cast ballots for approval. [NBC San Diego]

Retailing | Mesa, Arizona, comic store Evermore Nevermore has closed after a little more than two years. Co-owner Bob Leeper blames the recession and light evening traffic downtown. [The Arizona Republic]

Retailing | Duff Franco, owner of Earth 383 Comics & Games in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, has launched a campaign to save the store following a break-in that resulted in the loss of most of his gaming stock. He plans a gathering on Dec. 17 to solicit ideas from customers on how to keep the shop open. [The Daily Advance]

Creators | Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Editor Jeanine Schaefer discuss female characters and creators at Marvel, with Alonso noting why it's important for the publisher to hire creators from a variety of backgrounds: "In following the discourse about women and minorities in comics, the one thing I see brought up so often is the idea that people don't see gender. 'Oh, I don't see gender,' they say, 'I just want good stories.' There's an idea that actively looking to hire women is counter-intuitive to good stories; the simplified version of this is 'hire good writers, regardless of gender.' Of course, I agree that the people we hire need to be good at this, first and foremost. But what this argument misses, in implying (and sometimes outright stating) that actively hiring people with different life-experiences is somehow creatively bereft, is that having a variety of viewpoints is the best way to not only tell better stories, but to grow your market, so that you can continue to tell those stories." [ComicsAlliance]

Creators | The Comics Journal posts an interview with comics legend Jerry Robinson from 1994 about his life and career. The creator of the Joker, who passed away this week, is also remembered by Ty Templeton, Peter David and the Hero Initiative's Jim McLauchlin. [The Comics Journal]

Organizations | Diamond Comic Distributors helped the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund raise almost $30,000 through a retailer membership drive. [CBLDF]

Conventions | WonderCon, scheduled for March 16-18 in Anaheim, California, has announced several additional special guests, including Jim Lee, Mark Waid, Art Adams and Joe Hill. [Comic-Con International]

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