Comics A.M. | Muhammad cartoonist to be added to 'hate group' list

Creators | The Southern Poverty Law Center, which compiles an annual list of hate groups operating in the United States, said it will add artist Bosch Fawstin to its 2016 report. He drew the winning entry in the Prophet Muhammad contest in Garland, Texas, where two gunmen were killed Sunday in a foiled attack. The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which sponsored the competition, is already included on the list. Heidi Beirich of the SPLC described Fawstin's work as "virulently ugly" and "hate views." The artist, who was raised as a Muslim but is now an outspoken critic of Islam, responded, "So they want to put a cartoonist on there who doesn't act out violently? Go for it." Fawstin, creator of the "anti-jihad superhero" Pigman, also vowed to continue his work despite fears for his safety: "I understand the threat, but I'm not going to be cowed by it. I still intend to go up there and I still intend to speak out." [Reuters]

Crime | Although Elton Simpson, one of two gunmen responsible for Sunday's attack in Texas, had online ties with people associated with ISIS, investigators suspect he was trying to impress them, not acting on their orders. That would explain the tweet Simpson sent immediately before the attack, according to former FBI agent Tim Clemente: "They may have had email communication or read communications from ISIS, but I don't think they were directed by ISIS. I think it's the other way around -- they were kind of applying for membership into ISIS. And so they were doing this act, sent out the tweet in advance because if they know there's a possibility they're not going to make it out of this, then they can't give recognition to what they were trying to do after the fact." [CNN]

Publishing | In a two-part interview, Terry Nantier and Jim Salicrup of Papercutz discuss some new initiatives, including the relaunch of Nickelodeon Magazine; their Disney titles, including the Italian series Mickey X and The Zodiac Legacy, which is co-authored by Stan Lee; their planned collections of Dennis the Menace comics; and the return of the Tekno Comix stories conceived in the 1990 by Neil Gaiman. [ICv2]

Creators | Jillian Tamaki talks about her new book, SuperMutant Magic Academy, which compiles her webcomic but also includes new material, and about winning the Caldecott Medal for This One Summer, the graphic novel that she co-authored with her cousin Mariko. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | British cartoonist Hunt Emerson discusses his latest graphic novel, Goodbye God?, an examination of the creationism controversy. [Birmingham Mail]

Comics | Hero Complex has a first look at a piece of art by Darrick Robertson from the Vertigo collection Mad Max: Fury Road-Inspired Artists. [Hero Complex]

Comics | Dustin Harbin and Mike Dawson discuss Batman: Year One in the latest TCJ podcast. [The Comics Journal]

Conventions | Anthony Domanico shares his experiences at his first comics convention. [CNET]

Retailing | The Portsmouth, Ohio, comic shop Sorta My Comics has reopened in a larger space after closing a few months ago when the mall where it was located shut down. Owner Vincent Herman is a longtime comics fan who stresses the good deals to be had at his store: “We aren’t in it to get rich or anything like that. We don’t think it is right to buy a comic or game for $4 and then turn around and price it for $25. That isn’t how we are.” [Portsmouth Daily Times]

Retailing | Comics seem to be something of a sideline at Lakeport, California's Kingdom Games and Comics, which just held its grand opening, but owner Brandon Costner stocks the new comics and hopes to develop a loyalty program and comic book club eventually. [Record-Bee]

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