Comics A.M. | DeviantArt withdraws as SDCC Artists' Alley sponsor

Conventions | Comic-Con International is seeking a new sponsor for Artists' Alley after DeviantArt, the sponsor of the area for the past two years, withdrew support. In a letter sent Wednesday to exhibitors, organizers said they are seeking a new sponsor and remain committed to Artists' Alley. Heidi MacDonald provides context, noting that the development comes amid ongoing fears about the future of Artists' Alley, which occupies valuable floor space in an exhibition hall starving for more. [The Beat]

Political cartoons | Michael Cavna has issued an open for cartoonists to draw cartoons in support of imprisoned Iranian artist Atena Farghadani, and tweet them with the hashtag #Draw4Atena. Robert Rusell, executive director of Cartoonist Rights Network International, has written an open letter to the leaders of Iran asking them to intervene. [Comic Riffs]

Political cartoons | Jeet Heer writes about the meaning of Prophet Muhammad cartoons and Art Spiegelman's comic about them. [The New Republic]

Publishing | Alfredo "Apple" De La Fuente, founder of Alamo City Comic Con, is starting his own publishing company, Guardian Knight Comics. The first issues of Gears & Bones, an ongoing series, and Sanitarium, a six-issue miniseries will debut in August. A third series, Moon Streak, will debut in September, just in time for Alamo City Comic Con. [San Antonio Express-News]

Creators | The California State University, East Bay, newspaper profiles one of its famous alumni: Gene Luen Yang, creator of American Born Chinese and Boxers and Saints, who earned a degree in education from the university in 2003; his final project was about comics and education. [The Pioneer]

Creators | As an exhibit of his work opens in Saginaw, Michigan, New Yorker cartoonist Ed Koren reflects on his long career and the art of cartooning: "Charles Schulz (who drew Peanuts) had a way of generalizing a philosophical approach so that the viewer could take it personally. He noticed all those things; you have to be keen on noticing everything, and that's true for artists in general. It's key." [MLive.com]

Conventions | Max Jaeger has an advance story on Flame Con, New York's first LGBTQ-focused comics and pop culture convention. [Brooklyn Daily]

Conventions | This list of "25 Reasons Why You Don't Make Any Money at Comic Cons" has been making the rounds; despite the negative you're-doing-it-wrong phrasing, there is some solid advice in there. [Derpygurl]

Retailing | After 18 years in business, the Circleville, Ohio, comic store Journey Into Comics is having a grand re-opening as it moves into a new space; owner Joe Smith takes the opportunity to reflect on his lifelong love of comics and his philosophy of running a comic shop. [Circleville Herald]

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