Comics A.M. | Minnesota GOP leader apologizes to Neil Gaiman

Politics | Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean has apologized for calling Neil Gaiman a "pencil-necked little weasel," but contends the author and comics writer should return the $45,000 fee he received in May 2010 for speaking at the Stillwater, Minn., library (Gaiman donated the money, minus agents fees, to charity). Dean's original remarks were made during a discussion of how the state's tax-generated Legacy funds for the arts are spent. He was quoted as saying that Gaiman, "who I hate," is a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

Now, however, the Republican lawmaker has dialed back the rhetoric while standing by his underlying criticism. "My mom is staying with us right now," he tells Minnesota Public Radio. My wife's out of town, and she was very angry this morning and always taught me to not be a name caller. And I shouldn't have done it, and I apologize."

Gaiman, who responded to Dean's initial comments early Wednesday on Twitter, has since expanded on his remarks on his website, writing in part, "I don't like the idea that a politician is telling people that charging a market wage for their services is stealing." [Minnesota Public Radio, Underwire]

Comics | A psychologist has been brought in to a Houston elementary school after a group of fourth-graders created a comic book allegedly depicting them holding a gun to the head of one of their classmates. [My Fox Houston]

Publishing | Brian Truitt previews DC Comics' upcoming Flashpoint event. "Naturally, everything we're trying to do is to sell as many comics as possible because that's the business we're in," says Co-Publisher Dan DiDio. "Creatively what it does is it gives us a chance to freshen the pot and think of something. We're telling continuous fiction, so it's important for us to continue moving on in that fashion." [USA Today]

Conventions | Robot 6 contributor Brigid Alverson wraps up last weekend's Boston Comic Con, which saw attendance increase from 4,100 in 2010 to about 6,000 this year. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Dan Clowes talks about his latest graphic novel Mr. Wonderful. [Speakeasy]

Creators | Scott Christiansen profiles illustrator Brad Rader, whose graphic novel Fogtown is nominated for a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Award. [Anchorage Press]

Creators | Laura Lyall spotlights Scott Forbes (Forgetless, 27). [Here]

Creators | The National Post’s literary blog continues its mini-profiles of creators attending this weekend’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival: Dave Kellett, Coffee Spoons Comics, Gabby Schulz, Jordan Shiveley, Meghan Murphy, Niki Smith, Jess Fink and R. Sikoryak. [The Afterword]

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