Legal | A 16-year-old in Nantes, France, was arrested last week for posting a cartoon on Facebook that mocks the Charlie Hebdo killings; the charge is “advocating terrorism.” The cartoon shows someone holding a copy of Charlie Hebdo and being struck by bullets. Electronic Intifada posts what is most likely the offending cartoon (it had been shared widely on social media), a takeoff on one of the more notorious Charlie Hebdo covers, accompanied by the text, “Charlie Hebdo is shit. It doesn’t stop bullets.” The original cover featured a cartoon of an Egyptian protestor holding the Koran, with text that read, “The Quran is shit, it doesn’t stop bullets.” [France 3]
Publishing | Sales were down in 2014 for Diamond Book Distributors, even though the industry overall had an up year. The reason: DBD lost a key client, Dark Horse, to Random House. Nonetheless, Vice President Kuo-Yu Liang sees good things in store for 2015, including strong sales of indie graphic novels, expanding international sales, and the much-anticipated March: Book Two, which was released this week. [Publishers Weekly]
Manga | The Japanese manga industry also had a strong 2014, with sales up 4 percent, which is impressive because the rest of the industry had a down year. This is the second year in a row that sales increased, and Oricon reports that over 500 million volumes of manga were sold and the total manga market was worth 281.51 billion yen in 2014. [Anime News Network]
Internet | Digital media company Defy Media has laid off “a large number” of employees across its video game sites, including The Escapist, which last year began expanding its coverage to include comic books, cosplay and geek culture. Among those let go was Editor-in-Chief Greg Tito, who wrote briefly about his departure. Managing Editor Joshua Vanderwall has been promoted to take his place. [JBG News]
Publishing | Reading Deb Aoki’s report on Image Expo is the next best thing to being there. She summarizes the key points of Publisher Eric Stephenson’s opening address and gives a thorough rundown of all the new title announcements. [Publishers Weekly]
Awards | Steve Foxe analyzes the comic book nominees for this year’s GLAAD Media Awards, mentions some other worthy titles that could have been nominated but weren’t, and argues that the awards should mention artists as well as writers. [Paste]
Creators | Rep. John Lewis talks about his experiences in the civil rights movement and the creation of his graphic memoir March. [Wired]
Festivals | Wim Lockefeer plans ahead, with a look at the featured shows at next week’s Angoulême International Comics Festival: a Bill Watterson retrospective that will devote particular attention to the settings of his Calvin and Hobbes cartons, major exhibits on Jack Kirby and Jiro Taniguchi, and smaller shows featuring the Moomins, Kinky & Cosy, the cartoonist Mezzo’s biography of bluesman Robert Johnson, and French creators Alex Barbier and Guilliaume Chauchat. [Forbidden Planet]
Art School | WGN TV pays a visit to the International School of Comics Chicago and talks to faculty member Jill Thompson as well as alumna Sara Pichelli. The school is the only U.S. branch of an international institution that started in 1979 in Italy. [WGN]
Comics | Mike Re provides a quick guide to the various iterations of Star Wars comics. [Asbury Park Press]
Commentary | Matthias Wivel reviews the post-attack issue of Charlie Hebdo, including an analysis of the cover cartoon: “Charlie maintains the right to draw the prophet, and considering what has happened, it had to be that way. Anything else would be a capitulation … But this image is also an attempt to reclaim Muhammad from the murders. A signal that the prophet and his teachings are not the property of fundamentalists, but a faith shared by a huge chunk of the world’s population. And not only that, they also belong to those of us who do not follow them.” [The Comics Journal]
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