Comics A.M. | Justiniano pleads not guilty; Burkle loads up on B&N stock

Crime | Josue Rivera, the comic artist known as Justiniano, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of possessing more than 100 photographs and videos containing child pornography. Rivera was arrested in Connecticut on May 10 following a July incident in which police say he mistakenly gave a funeral home director a thumb drive containing 33 files classified as child pornography instead of the one containing photos of a deceased relative. Police later seized Rivera's computer and found 153 files of suspected child pornography. On Tuesday, the 38-year-old artist pleaded not guilty to first-degree possession of child pornography, and requested a jury trial. [Connecticut Post]

Retailing | Days after it was announced that media conglomerate Liberty Media offered $1 billion to buy Barnes & Noble, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle has revealed he bought another 603,000 shares at $18.49 a share, raising his stake in the bookseller to 19.74 percent. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Burkle, already the book chain's largest shareholder, may be "playing a potentially dangerous game of chicken to force a takeover price for Barnes & Noble even higher." [Deal Journal]

Conventions | London MCM Expo kicks off Friday at Excel. Comics guests include John Allison, Dan Boultwood, Becky Cloonan, Paul Duffield, Marc Ellerby, Warren Ellis, Gary Erskine, Kieron Gillen, John McCrea, Jamie McKelvie, Jamie Smart and Emma Vieceli. [London MCM Expo]

Conventions | Comicpalooza will be held Friday through Sunday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Comics guests include Marc Bernardin, Jennie Breeden, Joe Eisma, Alé Garza, Phil Hester, Don Kramer, Andy Kuhn, Bob Layton, David Mack, Terry Moore, Chris Roberson, Arthur Suydam and Fred Van Lente. [My San Antonio]

Conventions | Jeff Baker looks at some of the Portland, Oregon, authors attending BookExpo America in New York City this week. Among them is Craig Thompson, whose graphic novel Halibi will be published in September. [The Oregonian]

Publishing | PopMatters kicks off a three-part profile of BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie, who fondly recalls at age 7 receiving a copy of Fantastic Four #178. [PopMatters]

Publishing | Eva Volin interviews Gina Gagliano, marketing associate for First Second Books and programming director for Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011. [Good Comics for Kids]

Creators | Time Out Chicago excerpts Paul Hornschemeier's Life with Mr. Dangerous, accompanied by quotes from the cartoonist that didn't make it into the profile in the print edition of the magazine: "It’s funny: When people meet me, I’m very jokey. I think they’re like, 'How is that the same person [as the guy who wrote these books]?' But I don’t tend to put on Groucho Marx glasses and yuk it up when I’m sitting by myself and writing books. My native state is to be pretty introspective and a little bit on the sad side." [Time Out Chicago]

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