Comics A.M. | Denmark's Muhammad cartoons, 10 years later


Political cartoons | On the 10th anniversary of the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, experts and journalists reflect on the controversy that followed. While the publication of the cartoons and their aftermath have "made some journalists more thoughtful about the way they cover minority groups," journalism professor Angela Phillips says, "In other instances I think it made quite a lot of journalists if anything less sensitive to these issues. There is in some countries an even faster recourse to a rather essentialist notion of freedom of expression." [Agence France-Presse]

Political cartoons | Carson Juste, the editor who made the decision to publish those cartoons 10 years ago, writes that apologizing would only have made things worse, and adds, "To use a cliché that has become popular again: I wouldn’t have been able to look at myself in the mirror if I had refused to print them." [Copenhagen Post]

Retailing | ComicsPRO director Joe Field (the creator of Free Comic Book Day) reveals some more details about this year's new promotion, Local Comic Shop Day. "While FCBD is a marketing event, LCSD is a sales promotion," Field explains, with the focus on discounts and variant covers rather than free stuff. [13th Dimension]

Creators | Dana Simpson, the creator of the comic strip Phoebe and Her Unicorn, talks about the gender imbalance on the funny pages: "There’s more awareness that girls read comics ... but there’s a perception that while girls will read stuff written for boys, the reverse isn’t true. But that’s changing; I have boys who read my very pink books. But there’s a sense that even if you have a girl character she can’t be too girly, that femininity is bad. That’s something I’d like for people to get over. It’s limiting. What’s wrong with being feminine, being thoughtful and pink?" Simpson, who is transgender, says that doing Phoebe is a way to go back and "reimagine" her childhood, and she is working on a graphic memoir about her transition. [The News Tribune]

Creators | Mark Medley profiles Kate Beaton, talking to not only the cartoonist herself but fellow creators and the folks at her publisher, Drawn and Quarterly. Beaton is currently on tour promoting her new book, Step Aside, Pops! [Globe and Mail]

Creators | Political cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz spoke about his work to a Mexican-American studies class at the University of Arizona, talking about how presidential hopeful Donald Trump has given him plenty of material this summer and deflecting a challenge from a student about his choice to work for Disney/Pixar on Coco, a film about the Day of the Dead. (Alcaraz was strongly critical of Disney two years ago, when they tried to trademark the term Día de los Muertos.) [Arizona Daily Star]

Publishing | Kris Saldana presents a short course on three indie publishers, Fantagraphics, Nobrow and Drawn and Quarterly. [Panels]

Manga | The Japanese city of Kushiro has hit on a new idea for promoting tourism: It's paying the production costs for a manga series set in the area, 9: Kimi Ga Iru Machi De Koi O Shita (9: I Fell in Love in the Town Where You Live). The creator, Hisa Kyomachi, interviewed the townspeople and is incorporating local sites into the story. [Japan Times]

Conventions | Dan Gearino looks forward to the inaugural Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, which launches on Thursday with a heavy-hitting roster of indie comics creators as guests, thanks to the efforts of artistic director Jeff Smith (Bone). The lineup includes Art Spiegelman, Jaime Hernandez, and Kate Beaton. [Columbus Dispatch]

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