Comics A.M. | Despite ban, 'Death Note' is still big in China

Censorship | China may have banned 38 manga and anime series, including Attack on Titan and Death Note, but fans are still finding ways to read and watch them -- and Death Note is one of the most popular topics on the social media service Sina Weibo. "Chinese authorities are used to a certain degree of permeability in their various bans and directives," says Jonathan Clements, author of Anime: A History. "The issue with a lot of Chinese censorship isn't about a blanket ban that keeps 100% of material out. It's about making life as difficult as possible for people who actually want it. A ban like this is about restricting casual access." [BBC News]

Publishing | NPR looks at the phenomenon of women creators raising big bucks on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to fund independent projects. The piece includes interviews with C. Spike Trotman, Hazel Newlevant, Amy Reeder and Janelle Asselin, who says, "Comics is not a wealthy medium outside Marvel and DC. The publishers [of] creator-owned things are often on a shoestring budget. I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to start a business — looking at all the things that go into it — and getting a small-business loan is a nightmare. Women in particular are still given fewer small-business loans than men are." [NPR]

Publishing | Ken Levin, co-founder of the revived 1First Comics, discusses the company's ambitious publishing plan, which will launch in September and feature a mix of new creator-owned properties and classics from the first iteration of First in the 1990s. [ICv2]

Creators | Amelia Rules creator Jimmy Gownley talked to a roomful of kids about making comics — and encouraged them to make their own. [The Herald Sun]

Comics culture | Retailer Sonia Gatej, librarian Robin Brenner and creator Jennie Wood (Flutter) discussed the problem of sexism in the comics world, and the changes they have seen, in a forum held over the weekend at the Worcester (Massachusetts) Public Library. [The Worcester Telegram]

Collectors | Craig T. Neises profiles art teacher Tony Onesto, whose comic collection numbers 70,000 items—some valuable, some meaningful only to him, such as the comics his father carried with him in Vietnam. [Miami Herald]

Retailing | Barnes & Noble has increased the footprint of graphic novels in its stores recently, with not only more space but new face-out displays of new releases and staff picks. ICv2 founder Milton Greipp pays a visit to a Madison, Wisconsin, store to see how that plays out. [ICv2]

Exhibits | Writer Beau Smith (Green Lantern, Wynnona Earp) will give a guided tour of the Huntington (West Virginia) Museum of Art's exhibit "WHAAM!: Original Comic Drawings from the Collection," and he gives the local paper a preview of his talk, which will cover the history of comics and how they are made. [The Herald-Dispatch]

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