Comics A.M. | Houston tourism group sues con over 'Space City' name

Legal | The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau has sued the organizers of Space City Comic Con, claiming trademark infringement over the event's use of the term "Space City." Many Houston businesses use the nickname, which dates back to the 1960s, but the bureau's lawyer said the trademark only covers tourism- and convention-related events. The bureau owns a 50 percent share in Comicpalooza, which directly competes with Space City Comic Con, and has asked the court to not only stop the show from using the name "Space City" but also to turn over part of its profits and agree not to compete with the bureau. [Houston Chronicle]

Cartoons | Playboy was once one of the best markets for gag cartoons, but with the recent redesign, they were tossed out the window along with the nude centerfolds. Jules Feiffer, Doug Sneyd, Playboy editorial director Jason Buhrmester and others talk about the reasons for, and ramifications of, that decision, Playboy's history as a magazine showcasing great cartoons, and what the future may hold. [FastCoCreate]

Comics | Sam Sweet traces the origins of MAD Magazine cover boy Alfred E. Neuman, going all the way back to 1894. [The Paris Review]

Awards | Garfield creator Jim Davis, who was born in Marion, Indiana, and went to Ball State University in Muncie, will receive a Governor's Arts Award on April 9. The linked post also includes a video interview with Davis. [Indianapolis Star]

Creators | Claire Landsbaum talks to several teams of Pakistani creators who are making comics addressing their country's culture of violence, starting with the bullying and bigotry that they believe give rise to extremism. [Vulture]

Creators | Jacky Fleming draws comics about the erasure of women from history; her seventh book, The Trouble With Women, has just come out. [The Guardian]

Creators | Here's a nice local-newspaper profile of George Jartos, a semi-retired cartoonist and illustrator who continues to turn out gag cartoons for magazines. [Bellingham Business Journal]

Manga | Manga translator Zack Davisson talks about his job, especially a dimension of it that few people are aware of: "Translators are supposed to be invisible. We are enablers, the babel fish in the ear with no personality or presence of our own. Readers want to think all the translator does is swap words into a different language, substituting 'あ' for 'a.' But that’s not how translation works. Especially not literary translation. Especially not Japanese to English translation. And especially not manga translation." He gives lots of interesting examples, too. [The Comics Journal]

Comic strips | Today is International Women's Day, and the GoComics blog Laugh Tracks celebrates by highlighting its comics by women. [Laugh Tracks]

Retailing | Here are some suggestions for retailers on how to get involved with Small Press Day on July 9. [Broken Frontier]

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