Comics A.M. | Jury weighs fate of Michael George

Legal | The fate of Michael George was placed in the hands of the jury Thursday after closing arguments in the trial of the former retailer and convention organizer accused of the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara in their Clinton Township, Michigan, comic store. Although a comic collector places George in the shop around the time of the shooting, George's mother insists he was asleep on her sofa. The jury deliberated for about two hours Thursday, and is expected to continue this morning. [Detroit Free Press]

Legal | Manga blogger Melinda Beasi contemplates the larger implications of the arrest of Brandon X for bringing manga into Canada that authorities deemed to be child pornography: "What terrifies me about Brandon’s case is that each time we allow our courts or communities (any courts or communities) to criminalize comics (any comics), we are inviting them to criminalize our own." [CBLDF]

Publishing | Heidi MacDonald comments on the layoff of Marvel Chief Operating Officer Jim "Ski" Sokolowski: "Now, this is where we will speculate a bit: you don’t have to be a genius to see that letting go of two high-ranking execs and several other people who all worked on magazine distribution means that you aren’t much interested in the magazine distribution business any more. One thing that is known, anyone at Marvel who was trying to expand Marvel’s non-DM efforts soon ran afoul of owner Ike Perlmutter, whose commitment to saving a penny to make a dime is well known. Ike has categorically forbidden any holding of inventory on books, a policy which is behind Marvel’s habitual inability to keep books in print. It also explains their anemic showings — relative to their size in the DM — on the BookScan market and lack of any kind of backlist. In order to have a backlist, you need to have books sitting around ready to be ordered, and Ike’s policies forbid that no matter how much of a sure thing the sales are. Inventory isn’t the kind of thing that you can somehow sneak into a different bottom line, either. One bookselling executive at Marvel once quipped that if he kept any inventory around, he’d get fired." [The Beat]

Creators | Talk of the Nation discusses MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic with its creator, Art Spiegelman. [NPR]

Creators | The Malaysian Star profiles Malinky Robot creator Sonny Liew. [The Malaysian Star]

Creators | Gene Golan, one of the creators of The Adventures of Unemployed Man, wore a superhero costume to a panel discussion on the use of art and culture in activism to make the point that cultural content can make political messages more powerful and spread them more widely: "Golan said CNN anchors were caught off guard when what they thought was a light-hearted interview with guys dressed in costumes turned into a devastating economic critique." [Campus Progress]

Superheroes | Virginia Postrel looks at the exhibit of Alex Ross's superhero art at the Warhol Museum. [Business Week]

Manga | Jason Thompson pens a fond tribute to Azumanga Daioh, the four-panel manga that more or less started the craze for four-koma manga about wacky schoolgirls. [Anime News Network]

Graphic novels | Following up on Nadim Damluji's critique of Craig Thompson's Habibi as a work of Orientalism, Noah Berlatsky looks at Neil Gaiman's Ramadan through the same lens and finds that while he successfully separated fact from fantasy, Gaiman still presented readers with an outsider's version of that fantasy. [The Hooded Utilitarian]

Graphic novels | Paste Magazine rounds up the most interesting graphic novels of the week, with commentary. [Paste]

EXCLUSIVE: Batman, Barbara React to Curse of the White Knight's Big Death

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