Comics A.M. | <i>Flashpoint</i> gets real? 31,000 flock to Otakon

Publishing | Popular comic-book guest star President Barack Obama will make a brief appearance in this week's Flashpoint #4. DC Comics Executive Editor Eddie Berganza told USA Today that the inclusion of the actual President, rather than a fictional counterpart, signals that the danger is real — something that will get pushed as the publisher prepares for the September relaunch. [USA Today]

Publishing | Fantagraphics announced the lineup for the first volume of its EC archives series, which will collect Harvey Kurtzman's war stories. [Fantagraphics blog]

Conventions | More than 31,000 anime and manga enthusiasts flocked to Baltimore over the weekend for Otakon, one of the biggest fan-oriented anime conventions. There were a few anime and manga licenses announced, but mainly it was a meet-and-greet for fans and publishers. [Anime News Network]

Creators | io9 chatted with Walt Simonson at the Comic-Con International about his legendary Thor run, from Frog Thor to designing Beta Ray Bill's head: "Before I ever talked about Bill's design, nobody ever said, 'Bill's a horse.' Back in the day, nobody knew. I did this for two reasons. One, the monster quality –- in many cultures, skulls are an emblem of death. At the same time, Bill's head is very roughly based on a horse's skull. I was a geology student when I was younger, and I was familiar with skulls. Skulls have this quality of horror, but at the same time, horses are beautiful animals. The skull is the structure under the skin that gives the horse its look. In a way, the skull was representative of Bill's true nature." [io9]

Creators | Incredible Hulk writer Greg Pak reflects on his 10 favorite moments from his five-year run on the title. [MTV Geek]

Creators | The Apocalipstix writer Ray Fawkes discusses his latest Oni graphic novel One Soul. [The Star]

Creators | Creator Brian Ralph talks about the collected edition of Daybreak. [Giant Robot]

Creators | Chris Roberson talks about the upcoming Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover he's writing for IDW: "When I was nine years old, there was nothing that commanded my attention more than Star Trek and the LSH, and the years since haven't dampened my enthusiasm. This project is SO much in my wheelhouse that, when Chris Ryall first approached me about it a few months ago, I simply assumed that it was a prank that one of my friends was playing on me. It wasn't until I was in a meeting with IDW CEO Ted Adams about another project, and asked him point blank, 'This Star Trek/Legion thing is a prank, right?' that I was finally convinced that it was really happening." [ComicsAlliance]

Creators | Blankets creator Craig Thompson shares some youthful scribblings from a 70-foot-long scroll comic he did as a kid. [Doot Doot Garden Blog]

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