Comics A.M. | Market shrinks for Australian comic strips

Comics strips | Matt Saracini looks at the impact on Australian cartoonists of a cost-cutting decision by media giant News Corp. Australia to replace individual comics pages in their largest newspapers with one national page. In the process, some more expensive locally produced strips were jettisoned in favor for cheaper syndicated ones from overseas, like Garfield and The Phantom. News Corp. owns more than a hundred daily, weekly, biweekly and triweekly newspapers. [SBS.com]

Creators | Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat, now living in Kuwait after troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attacked him and broke both his hands, talks about his decision to portray al-Assad explicitly in his cartoons, rather than sticking to more generic themes like freedom and human rights: "It was a big decision to start to draw Bashar and, yes, I was scared of what might happen, particularly when I was attacked. But I had a responsibility to do what I did. If I am not prepared to take risks I have no right to call myself an artist. If there is no mission or message to my work I might as well be a painter and decorator." [The Guardian]

Creators | Paul Pope was out of the country when his comment that a DC Comics executive told him, "We don't publish comics for kids. We publish comics for 45-year-olds" went viral, but now that he's back, he's clarified the context — although he stands by his original account — and notes he still has a good working relationship with the publisher. [Newsarama]

Jobs | DC Entertainment is seeking a director of interactive marketing, based out of its offices in Burbank, California. [Time Warner]

Creators | Action Comics artist Tyler Kirkham talks about how he got started in comics, working in the Top Cow bullpen, and the creator-owned series he is drawing for Zenescope. [Salt Lake Magazine]

Comics | Jeffrey O. Gustafson looks at a couple of scenes from that classic proto-comic, The Bayeux Tapestry. [The Comic Pusher]

Conventions | On the occasion of Otakon's 20th anniversary, Roland Kelts looks at what makes the con — and the fans — so special. [Japanamerica]

Exhibits | Fairfield County, Connecticut, seems to be a hotbed of cartoonists, and right now six of them, including New Yorker cartoonists Joseph Farris and Dana Fradon, are showing their work together at a local cafe. [Danbury News Times]

Review | Sean Rueter liked some aspects of Mike Kingston's pro-wrestling comic Headlocked but felt the side characters were more interesting than the protagonist. Still, he thinks the Kickstarter-funded comic has potential: "It's not hard to see Headlocked becoming an engine that could support a number of different storylines and even kinds of stories within the world of pro wrestling, and living up to Kingston's vision of it as 'a wrestling cable drama in a comic book.'" [Cageside Seats]

Review | Eddie Campbell reads Ulli Lust's Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life. [The Comics Journal]

Organizations | Discount Comic Book Services (DCBS) and Things from Another World (TFAW) have joined the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) as corporate supporters. [The Comics Reporter]

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