Comics A.M. | Comic-Con expected to inject $136M into local economy

Conventions | San Diego's Convention Center Corp. has adjusted its estimate of how much money Comic-Con International pumps into the local economy, down from last year's $178 million to $136 million, because of possible double-counting and other flaws in methodology. [Voice of San Diego]

Passings | Leonard Starr, who wrote and drew the comic strip Mary Perkins On Stage, died Tuesday at age 89. Starr started his career in 1942, when he was a student at New York's Pratt Institute, and he worked for most of the early comics publishers: Funnies, Incorporated, Timely (now Marvel), Fawcett, E.C. and DC. He also did work for the Simon and Kirby studio, and both Joe Simon and Jack Kirby were admirers. When comics publishing began to decline in the mid-1950s, Starr began working on newspaper comics and crafting his own strip, Mary Perkins On Stage, which ran from 1957 until 1979, winning a Reuben Award in 1965. After Mary Perkins ended, Starr took over as writer and artist of Little Orphan Annie, bringing new energy to that legacy property until his retirement in 2000. He also wrote a series of graphic novels, Kelly Green, and was the main showrunner for the ThunderCats animated series. [News from ME]

Conventions | Several women involved with Anime Matsuri, one of the largest anime conventions in North America, have accused its event manager, John Leigh, of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct. The accusations include inappropriate sexual jokes and innuendo, requests for nude pictures and an attempt to lift up part of a cosplayer's costume. In a written response, Leigh said these were "attempts at humor" and added, "Given a couple of days to reflect, I realized that my sense of humor may not be well-received and I had to take that to heart." He apologized and noted that he had taken an online sexual harassment course and resigned his post as the Japan Lolita Association's Kawaii Ambassador. [Houston Press]

Plagiarism | The Southern Poverty Law Center has apologized for unknowingly posting an altered and plagiarized version of a cartoon created by Bob Englehart, editorial cartoonist for the Hartford Courant. Englehart's original three-panel cartoon showed a Confederate flag being lowered; someone added two panels of a rainbow flag being raised and posted the altered cartoon on Twitter, with Englehart's signature cropped out. The SPLC posted the altered cartoon with a credit to the Cagle Cartoons syndicate, whose name appeared on the cartoon. The Courant simply asked that the record be corrected, which the SPLC did. [The Daily Cartoonist]

Creators | Kelly Sue DeConnick talks about how she's deconstructing the exploitation genre in Bitch Planet, and offers some recommendations for new readers. [Ms. Magazine]

Creators | The aptly named cartoonist Mark Brewer discusses his new book, Brewology: An Illustrated Dictionary for Beer Lovers, which allowed him to combine his profession with his love of craft beers. [Akron Beacon Journal]

Creators | Artist Zak Kinsella (King Maul, Outré Veil) talks about collaborating with writers, his drawing process and what the X-Men meant to him: "They deal with a lot of progressive feminism and acceptance and love and stuff that’s just really cool while all at the same time [there’s] dudes in tights punching each other. It made progressive-ism accessible to a young man. It’s not your typical power struggle fantasy. It straddles those boundaries but if you look at their best character Storm. I mean, she was punk rock Storm." [Hush Comics]

Creators | Brian Anderson discusses creating a gay Mormon superhero for his comic Stripling Warrior. [NewNowNext]

Comics | Carrie Jung interviews creators of several comics featuring Native American superheroes. [Aljazeera America]

Conventions | Jennifer de Guzman covers the graphic novel scene at the American Library Association's annual meeting, which included a panel on graphic novel challenges featuring Gene Luen Yang and Mariko Tamaki. [Publishers Weekly]

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