Comics A.M. | Does Desperate Dan hold key to City of Culture?

Comics | Could the competition to become the 2017 U.K. City of Culture hinge on ... Desperate Dan, the pie-eating Wild West strongman from the long-running children's comic The Dandy? Hull Daily Mail columnist Angus Young thinks the character could give Dundee the edge over fellow finalists Leicester, Swansea Bay and, yes, Hull. Dundee, Scotland, is home to The Dandy and The Beano publisher DC Thomson, and features statues of Desperate Dan and Beano character Minnie the Minx in its city center. "Having your picture taken next to the barrel-chested grizzly-chinned hero is apparently one of the top-ten things to do when visiting Dundee," Young writes. "[...] This a bloke who thinks nothing of eating several cow pies in one sitting. A cowboy so tough he shaves his chin with a blowtorch and sleeps in a reinforced bed filled with building rubble." The winner will be announced in November. [Hull Daily Mail, The Evening Telegraph]

Publishing | Tim Hanley looks at the percentage of women working on comics released by various publishers in April and comes up with some surprises: More than 20 percent of the creators at BOOM! Studios and Zenescope (yes, the Grimm Fairy Tales people) were women, as opposed to 10 percent to 13 percent at Marvel and DC Comics, and just one woman at Valiant. "Ultimately, BOOM! is a fantastic example of using female creators in a range of styles and genres, and the Big Two would be wise to look there for up and coming talent," he says. [Bleeding Cool]

Creators | Novelist Stefan Kanfer presents a short, very readable biography of Will Eisner. [City Journal]

Creators | Mouse Guard creator David Petersen interviews Ben Caldwell, who contributed a striking story to the Mouse Guard anthology Legends of the Guard, Vol. 2: "One thing most of my stories feature is the glory of unintended consequences -- wait, the two things most of my stories feature are the glory of unintended consequences, and a bit of unnecessary theatricality. One of my favorite bits of mouse guard (outside of the world building) is the intimate nature of the characters, so I wanted to do a small story. So I worked both all that one story by watching my insane twin daughters, and thinking what sort of stupid antics they would come up with to stop villains. The story pretty much wrote itself from there." [David Petersen]

Creators | John Porcellino, creator of the long-running minicomic series King Cat Comics, guests on the Tell Me Something I Don't Know podcast. [BoingBoing]

Creators | Darwyn Cooke and Len Wein talk about their work on the Before Watchmen comics, including their very different reactions when they were first invited to work on the project. [Kindle Post US]

Comics | Indian artist Vidyun Sabhaney and Japanese artist Shohei Emura talk about their research into the three traditional Indian forms of visual storytelling and the comic they are developing based on that research. Vidyun says one hallmark of modern comics versus traditional storytelling forms like puppetry is the creator's distance from the audience: "They do not know the audience, but the traditional styles are more personal, and the storyteller usually knows the audience well." [DNA]

Comics | Christian publisher Kingstone Comics highlighted three projects at the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis: The Remaining, a post-Rapture story that is already being made into a movie; Randy Alcorn's Eternity, which is set in the world of the New Testament, and a graphic adaptation of the Bible. [Publishers Weekly]

Conventions | Brian Cremins files a comprehensive con report on the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE). [The Comics Grid]

Conventions | Michael R. Murray made the trek to Albany Comic Con with his two kids, and the only negative thing he has to say is about the fans: "Yes, there were a number of people there with boxes of books for a creator to sign, and that can become tedious when I’m far enough back that I can’t comfortably engage in conversation. In this case, there was no conversation at all, as an artist, or in this case a writer, politely signed 200 or more books. More frustrating to me, and I was amazed at the level of patience these guests showed, I saw books handed over for signatures still in bags and boards." But his teenage daughter got him a cool Father's Day gift—a Spider-Man sketch by Mark McKenna, which she had inscribed by the other creators at the show as well. [The Celebrity Cafe]

Analysis | Michael Chaney, associate professor of English at Dartmouth College, gives a TEDx talk on how readers digest a graphic novel. [Forbidden Planet]

Process | And here's another video, of shoujo manga creator Arina Tanemura drawing a manga cover. [Anime News Network]

Digital comics | Jeffrey L. Wilson does a pretty thorough review of comiXology's Comics app for iPad, and then he kicks the tires on the Dark Horse app. [PC Magazine]

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