Graphic novels | A number of incoming freshmen at Duke University have refused to read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, chosen as the summer reading selection for the class of 2019. Brian Grasso started the conversation by posting on the class Facebook page that he wouldn’t read the graphic novel because of its depictions of sexuality, saying, “I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it.” That opened up a discussion in which some students defended the book and said that reading it would broaden their horizons, while others shied away from the visual depictions of sexual acts. And Grasso felt that the choice was insensitive, commenting: “Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind. It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me.” [Duke Chronicle]
Creators | Kylie Wu, creator of the webcomic Trans Girl Next Door, and other LGBTQ cartoonists talk about their work, the increasing number of LGBTQ comics and characters, and why it’s important that younger people see their work. [MTV News]
Creators | Van Jensen interviews Jeff Parker about becoming a professional creator and his creative process. [Paste]
Creators | Paul Trap is one of the few newspaper cartoonists to score a syndication deal in recent years. His strip Thatababy placed fourth in a contest in 2009, but the editors at Universal UClick liked it so much they offered him a contract anyway. Thatababy is based loosely on his family’s experiences, although his son is now 22. “Nothing is overtly us, but there are a lot of subtleties that are the three of us,” said his wife, Patty. [Omaha World-Herald]
Publishing | DC Entertainment Co-Publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio talked about the “essential” DC comics at a panel discussion at the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank, California. [Burbank Leader]
Comics | Joshua Stein writes about “the golden age of food comics,” which is happening right now, he says. He’s not talking about comics cookbooks but comics that include food as part of the action, as in Starve, Chew and Get Jiro. [Eater]
Exhibits | Tom Spurgeon interviews comics scholar Charles Hatfield about the show of Jack Kirby’s work, “Comic Book Apocalypse,” which opens today at California State University, Northridge. [The Comics Reporter]
Collectors | South Portland, Maine, comics collector Chad Gilley shares his collection, which dates back to the 1960s, on a weekly podcast. Gilley sees his collection as a time capsule, reflecting artists and the lifestyles of the different time periods, and he acknowledges that they are not worth a lot of money, although he does offer some tips for keeping them in good condition. [Portland Press-Herald]
Retailing | Reporter Jane Lethlean pays a visit to the Rockford, Illinois, comic shop Top Cut Comics, where manager Mike Lamps shares his lifelong love of comics and offers suggestions to newcomers. [Rockford Register Star]
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