Comics A.M. | Malaysian cartoonist challenges nation's sedition act

Legal | On the day his trial on sedition charges was due to begin, Malaysian political cartoonist Zunar threw a curve ball, asking the high court to declare the sedition law unconstitutional. The Malaysian government has repeatedly attempted to ban or censor Zunar's cartoons, but this case actually stems from a series of nine tweets he wrote following the conviction of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on sodomy charges; Zunar accused the court of following the wishes of the prime minister. On Friday, Zunar's lawyers (one of whom has also been charged with sedition) filed a petition with the high court saying that the lower court that was to hear the case had no authority to do so. The Malaysian Federal Court recently dismissed a challenge that made a similar argument; Zunar's case is now scheduled to be heard on Dec. 8, with a decision expected a week later. [Index on Censorship]

Creators | Zunar was actually in London last week and flew back for the trial. While abroad, he did an interview about why he was planning to return to challenge the charges against him: "This is my responsibility to really make things happen and if you don't break this nobody will, so somebody has to do this and it's me." But, he said, there are other dangers besides incarceration: "I don't want to think so much about the outcome because I want to concentrate on drawing cartoons. If I think so much about that it will affect my output. I will start to practice censorship. So I don't want to do that." [Vice]

Comic strips | Brendan Burford, comics editor for King Features Syndicate, talks about the history of the funny pages. The syndicate is marking its 100th anniversary with a special insert that will go in newspapers nationwide next week and with the publication of the massive book King of the Comics: 100 Years of King Features. [The New York Times]

Cartoons | Hugh Hefner paid well but was a demanding boss, once reducing the legendary Harvey Kurtzman to tears. John Kelly looks at some correspondence between Hefner and his cartoonists and talks to several historians and collaborators, including Little Annie Fanny assistant Bill Stout, Kurtzman's friend and editor Denis Kitchen, and cartoonist Jay Lynch, about the difficulty of being a cartoonist for Playboy. [The Comics Journal]

Comics | Youth in Decline is a small publisher that has been putting out the anthology series Frontier, which consists of single-issue comics by a variety of creators. Publisher Ryan Sands has just announced the 2016 titles, which will include an adult comic, BDSM, by Eleanor Davis, as well as new work from Kelly Kwang, Richie Pope and Rebecca Sugar. [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | Lynda Barry, whose work is being featured in an exhibit in Madison, Wisconsin, does a radio interview on art and her inspirations. [Wisconsin Public Radio]

Creators | Michael Cho talks about the 24 variant covers he will be doing for Marvel's February comics. [Sktchd]

Creators | Clayton Crain, back in his hometown of Yakima, Washington, for Central City Comic Con, talks about getting his start as a comics artist and working his way up to his current status as a freelancer for Marvel and other publishers. [Yakima Herald]

Conventions | Dave Herndon reports in on ComiqueCon, the first convention to focus entirely on women creators, which took place in Dearborn, Michigan, this past weekend. [Press & Guide]

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