Comics A.M. | DiDio and Lee on DC's move, changing audience

Publishing | DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee talk about the state of the comics market, DC's upcoming move from New York City to Burbank, the growing female audience and more. "There’s also a diversification within the audience itself the past couple of years," Lee observed. "You’ve seen more women, more female readers, in general. When we launched Batgirl and Gotham Academy, those books struck a different note, different tonality, and that was in large part due to editor Mark Doyle bringing these projects together with different kinds of creators. It was our way of broadening the base of the Batman family of books but doing it in a different way to attract a different audience. I think it speaks well to the future that we’re not just going to strike the same note looking for the same customer. [...] You can’t necessarily rely on the same continuity, the same core hardcore comics-driven material; you have to diversify, broaden your net and bring in different voices to the company." [ICv2]

Digital comics | The digital comics distributor iVerse is planning a relaunch in November with some new and enhanced features, including its own version of panel-by-panel view and the ability to import PDFs and other DRM-free comics into its reader. The other key feature, which has been there all along, is that iVerse allows in-app buying on iOS devices, something that market leader comiXology dropped after it was acquired by Amazon earlier this year. [The Beat]

Comic strips | The newspaper syndicate Tribune Content Agency (TCA) has withdrawn a recent Love Is cartoon and issued an apology after complaints from readers that it promoted rape culture. Love Is, which has been around in almost exactly the same format since the 1960s, always features a nude couple and some sort of sentiment about what love is. The cartoon in question included the text "Love is ...  knowing that 'no' means 'maybe' and 'maybe' means 'yes.'" Readers of the Chicago Sun-Times, which carries the cartoon, took to Twitter and Facebook to protest, and the Sun-Times ran an apology as well. Although the cartoon is pretty dated, the TCA confirmed this was a current comic. [The Huffington Post]

Legal | A U.K. man has been convicted of 10 charges of "possessing prohibited images of children," that is, manga and anime depicting nude or partially nude minors or children taking part in sexual acts. Investigators who searched Robul Hoque's computer after it was seized by police in 2012 found no actual photographs of children being sexually exploited, and Hoque's barrister pointed out that some of the images are available on legal sites in the United Kingdom. This is the first case involving manga-style images, but it's Hoque's second conviction; in 2008, he was convicted on six counts of making "indecent pseudo-photographs" of children, which were basically cartoons done in the the more realistic three-dimensional style used in video games—again, no actual children were involved. The 2008 case was also the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. "This case should serve as a warning to every Manga and Anime fan to be careful. It seems there are many thousands of people in this country, if they are less then careful, who may find themselves in that position too," said Hoque's barrister, Richard Bennett. [Gazette Live]

Legal | Two books by the political cartoonist Zunar are no longer banned in Malaysia, thanks to an appeals court decision that gave cartoons the back of their hand, saying they did not merit the same scrutiny as "serious and sober works of literature." The Malaysian government had banned both books on the grounds that they were seditious, but the court stated that "this is a case where the law of sedition is being used as a convenient peg to control freedom of expression." There was also the question of whether the individuals mentioned in the cartoons could sue for libel, but Zunar invited anyone who felt they were portrayed inaccurately to do just that. He doesn't appear to be worried. Despite this decision, several of the cartoonists other books are still banned in the country. [CBLDF]

Comics | Alfredo Richner writes about Soda Pop Anthology, a collection of works by 26 Puerto Rican female creators and collectives. [Global Voices Online]

Publishing | Daniel Best unearths two lists of the 10 most powerful men in comics, one from 1973 and one from 1994, and republishes them with his own commentary. [20th Century Danny Boy]

Retailing | Main Street Comics and Collectibles of Minot, North Dakota, puts the emphasis firmly on nostalgia, according to owner Will Pinkey: "When somebody comes in here, I want them to be able to collect the stuff that they maybe necessarily didn't have access to before." [KMOT]

Exhibits | The paintings of Enki Bilal are on display at the Hotel des Arts in Toulon, France. Apparently, Bilal's paintings have quite a following among art collectors — not comics fans — and he could actually make more money from them than his comics, but he likes making comics better: "I am a storyteller. Painting doesn’t satisfy me 100 percent. I also need words." [The Wall Street Journal]

Superheroes | There's not really a news hook here, but this Chinese news site has some fairly spectacular photos of workers picking up trash on the sides of sheer cliffs while dressed like superheroes (the costume looks vaguely like Spider-Man). [Ecns]

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