Comics A.M. | Ed Fisher dies; Palestinian cartoonist sentenced

Passings | The New Yorker cartoonist Ed Fisher has died at the age of 86. Mike Lynch has a nice appreciation, with a sampling of cartoons and links to other obituaries. Fisher was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2000, Lynch says, but even so, he often came to the New Yorker offices on "look day": "He would be sitting on the couch, in the cartoonists' waiting room, with his portfolio, ready to chat. I introduced myself and was really glad to meet him. More than once he pulled out his roughs and showed them to me. Ed treated me like an equal." [Mike Lynch Cartoons]

Legal | Palestinian cartoonist Muhammad Saba'aneh, who was detained by Israeli authorities in early March, has been sentenced to five months in jail and must pay a fine of 10,000 shekels. Saba'aneh was charged with contacting "enemy entities," according to his lawyer. He was originally arrested and held without specific charges, raising fears that he would be detained indefinitely. [FARS News Agency]

Creators | Fiona Staples, the artist for Saga, says she's not surprised that Apple will not allow Saga #12 to be sold within the comiXology and Image apps, although she wasn't expecting it, either: “I knew it wouldn't be an issue for Saga readers. After everything we've thrown at them in issues No. 1 through 11, I knew they wouldn't be fazed by a couple of tiny porno images on a robot's face-screen. And I guess I didn't think anyone outside our readership would notice or care.” [Comic Riffs]

Digital comics | It's not just Saga: According to an anonymous source, the publishers of the Franco/Belgian digital comics app Izeo got a vaguely worded message from Apple to take down all the "pornographic" comics in its app or Apple would remove it. Acting conservatively, the source says, they pulled 2,800 of their 4,000 comics and then put a number of them back after review; at the moment, 1,500 of their more risque (and best selling) comics are gone from the app — but still available in the iBooks store. [Good E-Reader]

History | As the Donald Duck comic strip passes its 75th anniversary, Jim Korkis looks at the origins and history of the strip and the life of its first artist, Al Taliaferro. [Mouse Planet]

Comics | Tom Spurgeon guests on Tim Young's podcast to discuss how to expand the comics audience. [Deconstructing Comics]

Retailing | In a post that was originally destined to be part of my survey of the manga market — but that stands quite well on its own — Christopher Butcher talks about manga from a retailer's point of view, both who is buying and what manga can do for retailers who put some effort into it. [Comics212.net]

Webcomics | A webcomics reader offers some suggestions for a well-organized webcomics site. I would add to this "make your comic obvious on the page," because a surprisingly large number of webcomics sites make you hunt for it. [Narrative Investigations]

Creators | Writer Neil Herndon talks about his coming-of-age story Game Boys, which debuts this week as a digital-first comic on the USA Today website. [USA Today]

Digital comics | The Japanese mobile platform LINE has added a digital comics service for iOS and Android that launched with more than 30,000 volumes; key publishers such as Kodansha, Shogakukan, and Shueisha are on board from the beginning, and the service offers free previews of most comics. Prices are kind of high, though, with a volume of Dragon Ball costing almost $10 in the service's virtual currency. The comics service ties in with LINE's social networking features, allowing users to share their purchases on their timelines. While it chiefly serves the Japanese market, LINE has users in Thailand and Taiwan and is targeting Singapore as its next market. [ZDNet]

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