Comics A.M. | Japan launches anti-piracy initiative

Piracy | The Japanese government is joining with 15 anime production companies and manga publishers to launch a major initiative that will target foreign pirate sites. The push will start Aug. 1 and will have two components: The government will send takedown requests to 580 pirate sites and also launch a website that directs people to legitimate sources of online manga. The Japanese Cultural Affairs Agency estimates that Chinese pirate sites cost the industry 560 billion yen (about $5.5 million) last year. [Crunchyroll]

Comics | Lidia Jean Kott talks with writer Jason Aaron about his female Thor and pays a visit to Fantom Comics in Washington, D.C., where a quarter of the customers are women and the bestselling title is Saga (the bestselling superhero comic is Ms. Marvel). [NPR]

Creators | Michael Cavna has a brief interview with Rutu Modan, whose The Property won the Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Box Brown talks about his new graphic novel Andre the Giant. [Pop Matters]

Creators | Brian Heater interviews Peter Kuper for the RiYL podcast. [BoingBoing]

Comics | Michael Calia offers six tips for comics newbies. [The Wall Street Journal]

Conventions | Last week, on the eve of Comic-Con, Maggie Thompson reminisced about the show's early days. [Yahoo News]

Exhibits | Cynthia Rose reviews the U.K. exhibition "Comics Unmasked." [The Comics Journal]

Retailing | Mitchell Davies, co-owner of All Star Comics in Melbourne, Australia, talks about how it feels to win the Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

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