Political cartoons | The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is in the headlines again, this time because of a cartoon that asks “What would little Aylan have become if he grew up? A groper of buttocks in Germany.” The cartoon shows two lecherous men running after women; in an inset is a drawing of the famous photograph of the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, who drowned off the coast of Turkey while fleeing Syria. The cartoon refers to reports that large numbers of men who appeared to be Arab robbed and sexually assaulted women in several German cities during the New Year’s celebrations. While many critics accused the magazine of racism, others countered that the cartoon is a commentary on how quickly European public opinion has swung from sympathy to xenophobia. The cartoon was drawn by Charlie Hebdo staffer Laurent “Riss” Sourisseau, who survived the deadly January 2015 attack on the magazine’s Paris offices.[CNN]
Political cartoons | Angelo Boccato interviews Arab cartoonists around the world, many of them working in exile, about their job and its perils. [Equal Times]
Festivals | For the past two years, there has been a movement to boycott the Angouleme International Comics Festival because it’s co-sponsored Sodastream, an Israeli company that, until September, had a factory in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. The effort’s organizers accused the company of discrimination as well as advocating politically for apartheid and displacement of residents. This year, Sodastream does not appear among the festival’s sponsors, so boycott organizers are declaring a victory. (The linked press release is in French, but an English version is promised.) [Letter to Angouleme]
Internet | Heidi MacDonald has announced she’ll move her long-running blog The Beat to webcomics portal/”web publisher” Hiveworks, which will assume responsibility for hosting, ad sales and so on, freeing her to focus on content. [The Beat]
Creators | Amber Hage-Ali interviews Eleanor Davis, who was an artist in residence at the Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio, and whose works are on display at the Columbus Museum of Art. [Columbus Alive]
Comics | K.M. McFarland takes a quick look at the French comic Valérian and Laureline, by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézieres, which may have been an antecedent of Star Wars: The publisher Cinebook includes a page of six side-by-side images that highlight the similarities in their new English-language edition. [Wired]
Comics | TOON Books, the early-readers imprint helmed by Francoise Mouly, rolls out its spring line. [ICv2]
Comics | The Edmonton Police Service has just created a comic about Sarge, their first police dog, and Sgt. Val Vallevand, who championed the formation of a K-9 unit 50 years ago. [CBC]
Retailing | David Harper interviews a number of comics retailers about how 2015 went for them, and what trends they observed. [Sktchd]
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