Comics A.M. | Founder Mark Smylie to leave Archaia

Publishing | Archaia founder Mark Smylie will leave the company he founded in 2002 to focus on his writing career. Creator of Artesia and author of the 2014 novel The Barrow, sold the company in 2008 to Kunoichi Inc., but remained as an acting principal. BOOM! Studios then purchased Archaia in 2013, transforming it into an imprint of the publisher. [press release]

Conventions | Filmmaker John Waters says the organizers of Shock Pop Comic Con, which took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on the weekend of Feb. 14, owe him $6,250 — and they have told him they don't intend to pay. Waters said the con seemed legit, if lightly attended, and they paid the first half of his fee up front. “I didn’t think that they were gonna – in a very short time – send a letter from a lawyer that basically was just like, ‘Don’t bother even trying,’” he said. But that's what they did: The letter said the company that organized the event "had to close their doors and had no assets within which to satisfy its debts." Freelance talent manager Shade Rupe said the con had "an incredible lineup," but it was poorly organized; he got stuck with the limo bill for one of the people he represents, actor Danny Trejo. [Broward/Palm Beach New Times]

Political cartoons | On the advice of its Security Intelligence Police, the Finnish Parliament has canceled an event at which artist Lars Vilks was scheduled to appear. Vilks has drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and was the target of an assassination attempt in February. [Yle Uutiset]

Creators | Rep. John Lewis and his collaborators on his graphic memoir March, writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, talked about the book and tied it in to current events at an appearance at the Brooklyn Public Library. “There’s a weight to the fact that these books have a voice and presence in larger public discussion, because they are needed,” Powell said. “We have the terrible fortune of having our books appear at a juncture in American history and events that really illuminate the distance we have come [since the 1960s], and the way in which that distance has not traversed.” [Brooklyn Eagle]

Creators | Scott McCloud talks about his new graphic novel The Sculptor, his love of New York, and his appearance this weekend at the MoCCA Festival. [AM New York]

Graphic novels | With MoCCA this weekend, Scott Rosenberg picks six graphic novels worth looking out for. [AM New York]

Creators | In a video interview, Sudanese political cartoonist Khalid Albaih discusses the power of political cartoons and his own work, which has resonated with young activists in the Middle East. [Jadaliyya]

Creators | Alan Katz interviews Steve Younkins, creator of the webcomic Q2Q Comics, a humorous take on life backstage at the theater. [DC Theatre Scene]

Comics | Frank Santoro goes shopping for some back issues. [The Comics Journal]

Conventions | You won't find John Waters or the cast of The Walking Dead at Linework NW; organizers of the Portland, Oregon, festival put the focus on the artists (this year's lineup includes Lisa Hanawalt and Daniel Clowes), and they intend to keep it small and intimate. [The Portland Oregonian]

Conventions | And the Georgia indie-comics festival FLUKE keeps it real simple, according to organizer Robert Newsome: “It’s a glorified zine swap. It’s a place for people to get together and see what they’ve been working on for the past year.” [Red and Black]

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