Comics A.M. | Matt Groening donates $500,000 for UCLA chair

Creators | The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has given $500,000 toward the creation of a chair in animation at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Matt Groening Chair in Animation at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television will “allow visiting master artists to teach classes” and “bring working professionals with wide-ranging expertise” to work with students. The cartoonist, a graduate of Evergreen State College in Washington, makes an annual $50,000 donation to UCLA to help students who create socially conscious animated shorts. [The New York Times]

Legal | Attorneys for comics retailer and convention organizer Michael George, who's serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of his first wife Barbara, made arguments Monday on a motion for acquittal or a new trial -- that would make George's third -- on the basis that there was insufficient evidence for conviction, and that the prosecutor raised a new issue in closing arguments. [Detroit Free Press]

Digital | The current digital comics model excludes retailers, says The Beguiling manager Christopher Butcher, except for the comiXology digital storefront program, whose terms he describes as "horrible." Butcher recaps the problems with the current digital comics model (region locking, DRM, and the fact that you don't really own the comics, just a license to read them) and outlines his vision: "A standard-format digital comic that can be read on every device and on any format, a download that exists independently of the store that sold it, and that can be sold by us (rather than just marketing someone else who’s selling it, and being paid a pittance to do so)." [Comics212.net]

Business | The Kickstarter campaign for the video game Double Fine hit its $400,000 goal in just eight hours, and has $1.3 million in pledges so far, with more than a month left for more to roll in. That has comics creators like Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis talking about the potential of Kickstarter—and its possible pitfalls. [Comics Alliance]

Creators | How do you and your collaborators avoid becoming the next Tony Moore and Robert Kirkman? Jeff Parker (Underground, Bucko) talks about the questions creators should be asking — and answering — about ownership, credit, and dividing up the money (and the debt). [Parkerspace]

Creators | Former Spawn artist Greg Capullo has gone back to his "crazy horror area" to illustrate Scott Snyder's Batman: "I fell back a little bit into my Spawn roots for a minute and did all that creepy cool horror stuff back then, and tried to give a little bit of that feel." [USA Today]

Creators | Michael Cavna talks to the French artist Boulet about The Darkness, the 24-hour comic that he drew at this year's Angoulême international comics festival. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Conan the Barbarian artist Becky Cloonan discusses her minicomic Wolves, and her upcoming follow-up Orcs: "It isn't really a sequel, but it does take place in the same setting. It's much more of a fairy tale in the way the story plays out, and I'm also experimenting with narration. I'm thumb-nailing it right now! It sounds kind of lame too, but it's based on a haiku I wrote a few years ago. An Orc haiku." [Broken Frontier]

Creators | Matt Madden explains how he uses Evernote to organize his comics and his life. [Evernote Blogcast]

Comics | Paul Gravett, author of 1001 Comics to Read Before You Die, grabs his friends from around the world and asks them to name their picks for the best comic of 2011. The result is a very international reading list. [Paul Gravett]

Comics | Move over Tintin! Ernesto Lechner lists five more French and Belgian comics that have potential to be turned into cool movies. [Hero Complex]

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