Comics A.M. | Donations sought to repair Superman displays

Organizations | The Siegel and Shuster Society is seeking donations to repair the fence surrounding the former site of Joe Shuster's childhood home in Cleveland and to help maintain the new Superman exhibit at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The wooden fence, which is decorated with large metal plates depicting the first Superman story from Action Comics #1, was damaged early last month by a drunken driver. Repairs are expected to cost about $3,000; any additional money will be put toward future restoration. Dedicated in October, the airport's Superman Welcoming Center has suffered wear from visitors encouraging children to pose for photographs beside the statue. The group is seeking $1,500 to fix the damage and install a barrier to keep kids off the exhibit. Donations can be made through the Cleveland Foundation. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Conventions | It's time for the mass media to start earnestly explaining Comic-Con to their readers; here's one that gives a quick overview of the history of the con and gathers quotes from various notables, including Marvel's Joe Quesada, the guy who runs the Walking Dead obstacle course, and CBR's Jonah Weiland. [The Long Beach Press-Telegram]

Conventions | I know there's a lot of Comic-Con news floating around right now, but this is one item not to miss: Three graduate students from the Department of Religious Studies at University of California, Riverside, will be making presentations as part of the Comic Arts Conference on three very diverse topics: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' rescue of a sacred Islamic object, creation stories in Girl Genius, and the use of comics tracts by the Children of God/Family International church. [UCR Today]

Manga | The publisher Seven Seas has announced three new manga licenses: Girls und Panzer, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, and Strike Witches. [Anime News Network]

Creators | This interview with Atomic Robo writer Brian Clevinger spends a curiously large amount of time talking about what he doesn't like in comics — cheesecake — but manages also to cover his evolution as a creator, from the internet phenomenon 8-Bit Theater to the success of Atomic Robo, in a very entertaining way. [rvanews]

Creators | Jack Katz talks about his graphic novel The First Kingdom, which will be reprinted by Titan beginning this year. [ICv2]

Comics | Sonya Rehman interviews the editors of Pakistan's first Urdu-language comics publisher, Kachee Goliyan, which started as a couple of webcomics on Facebook and has grown to include a line of high-quality print comics. The comics are also available in English. [The Diplomat]

Comics | John Brownlee takes a look at the iconography of comics — the symbols that describe everything from smells to swears — as cataloged in Mort Walker's 1980 book The Lexicon of Comicana. [Co.Design]

Retailing | Defiant Comics, which will be opening soon in the Chicago suburb of Forest Park, promises to defy the stereotype of comics shops as dank, unfriendly places and instead be welcoming to all: "We're of the philosophy that everybody can find a comic book no matter what background you have, no matter what sex you are, no matter what age you are," says co-owner Brian Fisher. [Forest Park Patch]

Characters | It wouldn't be particularly surprising if Time's book The 100 Most Influential People Who Never Lived included some comics characters — in fact, it would be surprising if it didn't. Early word is that Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt are in there. [The AAUGH Blog]

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