Comics A.M. | Comic aims to get toy guns off the streets

Comics | More than 3,000 copies of the comic book Brink City Special Edition: Kids Lives Matter will be distributed to children in Cleveland to promote gun safety and encourage toy gun buy-back programs. Just last November, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed in Cleveland by a police officer who mistook his airsoft pistol for a real one. Funded by private foundations, the comic was produced by the Rid-All Green Partnership. [Fox 8]

Passings | Mennonite cartoonist Joel Kauffmann, creator of the religious-humor strip Pontius' Puddle, died last week at age 64. The son of a Mennonite pastor, Kauffmann grew up on a farm in Hopedale, Illinois, and started drawing early: "He was always drawing wherever he was, including the many hours he spent in church," said his sister, Mary Kauffmann-Kanel. Pontius' Puddle ran for over 30 years in over 200 publications; Kauffmann also wrote the screenplay for the movie The Radicals, which told the story of two early leaders of the Anabaptist movement, and he was producing content for the Museum of the Bible project funded by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green. [Mennonite World Review]

Education | Here's an interesting story about a California school district contemplating replacing the 1957 play The Miracle Worker with Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese on the core reading list for seventh-graders. Among the reasons given is that the book would be more appealing to students and especially to the district's Asian-American population. It's a measure of how far the graphic novel medium has come that everyone who commented was familiar with graphic novels and favorably disposed toward them. [La Cañada Valley Sun]

Creators | Noelle Stevenson talks about Nimona and reinventing the female superhero. [NPR]

Creators | Dustin Harbin discusses the collected edition of Diary Comics, which debuted last weekend at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, and the challenge of deciding what to keep out and what to leave in: "The biggest challenge with diary comics is just deciding what is valuable, why, to whom. Basically, crossing that line between 'a regular human life is not very exciting or interesting' and 'my particular human life is exciting and interesting.' It’s the only one I’ve got, these are the things that matter to me. Making that compelling to a reader and valuable to an artist is somewhat of a challenge." [Hero Complex]

Creators | xkcd creator Randall Munroe has a new book in the works, Thing Explainer, which uses diagrams and a vocabulary of only 1,000 words to explain all sorts of science and technology: "The diagrams in 'Thing Explainer' cover all kinds of neat stuff — including computer buildings (data centers), the flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), the stuff you use to steer a plane (airliner cockpit controls), and the little bags of water you're made of (cells)." [CNET]

Creators | Drew Friedman and Stephen Froninger discuss a dozen 20th-century caricaturists who have faded into undeserved obscurity. [Forward]

Manga | Ryan Holmberg explores why blood banks and selling blood pop up so often in manga. [The Comics Journal]

Collectors | Jerry Harrington has been buying comics since he was a kid — when he would cut school to hit the drugstore as the new issues arrived -- and he now has more than 20,000 comics and teaches a course in comics history at his local community college. [Iowa City Press-Citizen]

Events | Erica Friedman files her report from the first Queers & Comics Conference in New York. [Okazu]

Exhibits | An exhibit of work by Lynn Johnston will span her whole career from her childhood drawings and the medical illustrations she did in college through her long-running comic strip For Better or For Worse. [Bay Today]

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