Comics A.M. | 'Kuroko's Basketball' blackmailer withdraws appeal

Legal | Hirofumi Watanabe has withdrawn the appeal of his conviction last month on charges of sending more than 400 threatening letters to venues in Japana connected with the manga Kuroko’s Basketball. The 37-year-old former temporary worker admitted to all charges during his first day in court, but mpoved to have his conviction overturned after he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Watanabe, who said he doesn't feel guilty for what he did and won't apologize, acknowledged that he sent the letters out of jealousy of the success of Kuroko's Basketball creator Tadatoshi Fujimaki. [Anime News Network]

Manga | The most promising new market for manga right now? India, where the comics market in general is exploding. Kevin Hamric of Viz Media says manga is already well known there and fans can't get enough, while Lance Fensterman of ReedPOP, the company behind New York Comic Con, talks about the planned collaboration with Comic Con India. The one obstacle: the same one that afflicted the American manga market, Japanese publishers' reluctance to license their properties. [The Japan Times]

Publishing | Michael Petranek, associate editor at the children's graphic novel publisher Papercutz (home of the Smurfs anthologies and the Lego Ninjago graphic novels) talks about his job. [Comics Creator News]

Retailing | Tom Spurgeon interviews Dan Stafford, the owner of Kilgore Books and Comics in Denver who also publishes the work of local artists. He has also made a film about creator John Porcellino titled Root Hog or Die. [The Comics Reporter]

Digital comics | Ryan Joe takes a look at the digital comics distribution options for self-published creators. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Former model Velvet Haney discusses her autobiographical graphic novel The Mousehouse Years, which deals with her hardscrabble childhood in Toronto. [Inside Toronto]

Creators | Rapper Darryl McDaniels discusses his new graphic novel line, which will debut at New York Comic Con. [New York Daily News]

Commentary | Mark Peters looks at Saga from a parent's point of view. [Salon]

Manga | Arthur Tam talks to two experts about why yaoi manga is so popular among women in Hong Kong. In addition to the usual reason, that looking at male-on-male relationships creates a "guilt-free comfort zone," there's also the sense of rebellion — Hong Kong is a pretty buttoned-down place right now, and in fact 20 women were arrested earlier this year for writing yaoi and uploading it to the internet. And there are some uniquely Chinese themes in homegrown yaoi, such as stories about a man taking care of his ailing lover and tales set in the imperial court in which the emperor falls in love with a eunuch. [Time Out Hong Kong]

Education | Teacher librarian Jessica Lee talks about running a graphic novel book club in her Berkeley, California, middle school. [Good Comics for Kids]

Conventions | Beatriz Valenzuela reports on the scene over the weekend at the Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention. [Long Beach Press-Telegram]

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