Comics A.M. | Japan plans to build national manga museum

Manga | As part of its Cool Japan initiative, the Japanese government plans to build the "Manga National Center" -- a museum dedicated to manga, anime and video games -- in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Expected to cost about $90 million, the project will be funded through a mixture of public and private-sector money. [Chicago Tribune]

Passings | Augie Scotto, an artist whose work appeared in Will Eisner's PS magazine, passed away March 15 at age 88. He began his career in 1949, drawing largely crime and Western stories for such early publishers as Eastern Color, Atlas and Charlton. Scotto seems to have left comics for a while around 1953, but returned in 1968 as the penciler for Tower Comics' Dynamo and as an inker for DC Comics until around 1978. [Timely-Atlas-Comics]

Political cartoons | Angelique Chrisafis profiles Maryse Wolinski, whose husband, cartoonist Georges Wolinski, was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attacks. She feels the French government could have done more to protect him and his co-workers. [The Guardian]

Political cartoons | The firing of Kenya-based political cartoonist Godfrey Mwampembwa (Gado) by Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper has brought attention to the publication's owner, Prince Karim Aga Khan, who is both a businessman and the hereditary leader of the Ismaili Shias. The Aga Khan is accused of acquiescing to pressure from the government to tone down criticism not only in Kenya but also in his Uganda paper, the Daily Monitor. He declined to comment, but a spokesman for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta denied the allegation, saying, "Anyone saying that must be absolutely mad." [The Independent]

Political cartoons | Political cartoonist Vishavjit Singh, who bills himself as Sikh Captain America, is taking on presidential candidate Donald Trump, sending him a postcard a day as what he calls "an exercise in compassionate literary illustrated activism." Singh is also tweeting the postcards, which feature his cartoons, with the hashtag #SendSikhNoteToTrump, and he invites others to participate — as long as they are not hateful. [NBC News]

Creators | Roz Chast talks about selling her cartoons to The New Yorker, her 2014 book Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? and her work habits. [Syracuse Post-Standard]

Creators | Rhymes with Orange creator Hilary Price talks about what appears to be a first for the funny pages: a comic strip showing two women in bed. [Star Tribune]

Publishing | Gary Groth, co-founder of Fantagraphics and editor-in-chief of The Comics Journal, talks about his 40 years in the business, his favorite comics interviews, and his thoughts on superhero comics, and offers some suggestions for recommended reading. [Little Village]

Conventions | David Glanzer, marketing and public relations director of Comic-Con International, guests on the Voice of San Diego podcast to talk about hotel prices, the convention center expansion, and other con-related issues. [Voice of San Diego]

Conventions | Jessica Dolcourt asked attendees at the first Silicon Valley Comic Con why they were there. [CNET]

Retailing | Katie Proctor answers some questions about the "woman-friendly" comics shop, Books with Pictures, that she plans to open in Portland, Oregon. The store will also be welcoming to new readers: "I feel like the most important thing that I want to contribute to comics retail is a space that eliminates that barrier to entry, of being good enough or authentic enough of a fan, that you will not feel embarrassed picking out a comic book; that there is no sense that you’re going to pick out the wrong thing, that you’re going to start in the wrong place." [OPB]

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