Conventions | A number of cosplayers at London’s MCM Comic Con reportedly had to hand over their fake guns due to the United Kingdom’s strict laws, which ban private ownership of both real handguns and realistic fakes. Anyone toting a BB gun or a black plastic pistol without a bright red or orange cap on the end had to turn it over at the door, although many owners got them back. Other types of weapons are banned as well, although replicas are allowed, and attendees could buy real swords and knives at the show and have them delivered to their homes. [NBC News]
Awards | The winners of the Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica short story contest have been announced, with the top prize going to Richard Woods’ The Giants of Football, which mixes soccer and space aliens in an 1892 setting. Woods says the story was inspired by an offhand comment by FIFA chief Sepp Blatter: “Blatter said something about football being so popular, it would one day be played on another planet,” he says. “That got me thinking. I had the story jotted down a while before the arrests were made [14 defendants were charged with racketeering in the US in May] and for a moment, I thought, oh, bollocks. But then I realised it didn’t really matter. Nothing much was going to change, not in the short term. So I kept at it.” [The Guardian]
Manga | A United Nations expert investigator has called for Japan to ban drawn images of children being sexually abused. While Japan banned most forms of child pornography last year, the law exempted manga, anime, and video games. “All these are obviously lucrative businesses,” said UN Special Rapporteur Maud de Boer-Buquicchio. “What is worrying is that there is a trend which seems to be socially accepted and tolerated.” But translator Dan Kanemitsu argues that what she is talking about is not actually child pornography. “Child pornography entails the involvement of children, and we must confront it for that reason,” he said. “[De Boer-Buquicchio] meant sexualised depictions of childish looking characters in manga and anime. Many male and female artists in Japan draw characters in an art style that looks childish to western eyes. Therefore it is a rejection of an art style popular in Japan.” [The Guardian]
Passings | Manga creator Kōji Miyata died Thursday from a brain hemorrhage. He was 34. Miyata’s works included Kikimimi Zukan (Pictorial Book of Sound), Mahiru ni Miyoko (Miyoko at Noon) and Inugami-hime ni Kuchizuke (A Kiss for the Dog God Princess), as well as some short stories. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Nakaba Suzuki talks about his series The Seven Deadly Sins. His motto is simple: “no chapter that sucks.” [Kodansha Comics]
Graphic novels | Mary and Bryan Talbot announced their newest project at the Lakes International Comics Festival: The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia, the story of 19th century French feminist Louise Michel, known in her day as “The Red Virgin of Montmartre.” [Down the Tubes]
Comics | Lucy Bellwood sketches some of the presenters at XOXOXO, the pop-culture and technology festival that took place in Portland, Oregon. Her subjects include Spike Trotman and Lisa Hanawalt. [Medium]
Comics | Comics expert Gary Colabuono shows off his 1944 Supergirl ashcan edition, created 15 years before the superheroine made her actual debut to secure the trademark. He says he’s been offered as much as $50,000 for the ashcan, which he stores in a safe-deposit box. [CBS Chicago]
History | The New York Times’ Retro Reports (short videos on the news of the past) takes up the stories of the comics scare of the 1950s and Tipper Gore’s music-labeling crusade of the 1980s. Comics historian Carol Tilley and MAD Magazine artist Al Jaffee are among those interviewed. [The New York Times]
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