Comics A.M. | Graphic novelist charged in torture killing of girlfriend

Crime | Screenwriter and graphic novelist Blake Leibel has been arrested on charges of torturing and murdering his girlfriend Iana Kasian, who recently gave birth to their child. Leibel, the 35-year-old son of a wealthy Toronto family, is the co-creator of the graphic novel Syndrome, published in 2010 by Archaia, which he described at the time as “a lengthy graphic novel that grappled with the questions surrounding what provokes a person to commit evil acts.” The press was quick to pick up on several aspects of the murder that mirrored the graphic novel: among them, that he allegedly drained Kasian's blood, as a character does to several victims in Syndrome. Leibel has pleaded not guilty to the charges. [The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times]

Libraries | The Henning, Minnesota, school board on Wednesday voted 4 to 2 to return Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's award-winning graphic novel This One Summer to the school library — but only under certain conditions. The book will be kept in a special section, and only 10th to 12th graders who have written permission from their parents will be allowed to check it out. Henning has just one school for grades K through 12. The book was removed from the school library after a single complaint. [Star Tribune]

Legal | Red Pegasus Games and Comics, of Oak Cliff, Texas, has stopped using an image of a red pegasus as its logo after a request from ExxonMobil, which has a similar logo. "They said we can keep the name, but we can’t keep the logo," said co-owner Kenneth Denson. "And rather than fight a company that has an army of lawyers, we just decided to change logos." Denson and his husband Gabriel Mendez, the other co-owner, thought of the red pegasus as a symbol of Dallas, not Exxon, and in fact Exxon allows the display of the logo on two local hotels — but the city must get permission for any other uses. As Exxon spokesman William Holbrook explains, "We have to defend our marks properly. Otherwise, we’ll lose the right to use them." [Dallas Morning News]

Graphic novels | The deluxe edition of Batman: The Killing Joke topped BookScan's May graphic novels bestseller list, which measures bookstore and mass-market sales. However, the publisher with the most slots on the May top 20 was Viz Media, with eight titles, including three volumes of Tokyo Ghoul and two of One-Punch Man. [ICv2]

Creators | MariNaomi talks about her new graphic memoir Turning Japanese, which recounts her effort to explore her Japanese roots by working as a hostess in Japanese bars in San Jose, California, and Tokyo. [Bitch Media]

Creators | In a podcast recorded during the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Chester Brown and Nina Bunjevac perform a dramatic reading of a chapter from Brown's new book Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus. Brown also discusses the book and his theological views, and Bunjevac talks about her book tour for Fatherland and some changes she is making in her career. [Virtual Memories]

Creators | Steve Lieber discusses his new series The Fix. [Graphic Policy]

Manga | Nerdist posts a preview of the Sherlock manga, which is based on the first episode of the BBC television drama. Titan Comics is publishing it as a monthly comic, an unusual format for manga in English. [Nerdist]

Conventions | The first-ever Indigenous Comic Con will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in November. "We wanted to create a space of celebration and say ‘Hey. We are in these spaces.’ A lot of wonderful creators are doing some incredible work in these areas. It’s time to celebrate that," said artistic director Dr. Lee Francis IV. The con will include a keynote panel featuring Red Wolf artist Jeffrey Veregge and Super Indian Comics creator Arigon Starr. The show will not shy away from serious discussions but will emphasize the positive, said Francis, who uses the term "Indigenous Futurism" to emphasize that Native Americans are not just people in the past: "We are both present and we have a positive and productive future where we exist, where we thrive, and that’s what we want to show." [Indian Country Today]

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