Comics A.M. | 'Naruto' spinoff miniseries to launch in April

Manga | Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto ended its weekly serialization in Shonen Jump magazine in November, but a spinoff miniseries, Naruto Gaiden: Nanadaime Hokage to Akairo no Hanatsuzuki (Naruto Spinoff: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring Month), will launch in the April 27 issue of Japanese Shonen Jump. The magazine teases, ""Urgent News: The story enters a new generation …"  [Anime News Network]

Legal | A Turkish court has fined cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan the equivalent of about $2,700 for a cartoon that allegedly implied that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is gay. The cartoon, which appeared on the cover of Penguen magazine shortly after Erdoğan's election, showed him asking government officials whether they had prepared "any journalists to slaughter," an allusion to ritual sacrifice. A citizen filed a complaint with the government, alleging the "ball-shaped" gesture that one character was making implied that Erdoğan was gay—an allegation the cartoonists denied. Nonetheless, the prosecutor charged both with insulting the president. The court agreed and sentenced them to 14 months in prison, then reduced that to 11 months because of the cartoonists' "good behavior," and finally commuted it to the fine. In a Kafkaesque twist, however, Baruter will now be tried on a new charge of insulting the prosecutor because, as part of his defense, he stated that the "wrong interpretation of the hand gesture by the prosecutor could be related to his subconscious." [Hurriyet Daily News]

Political cartoons | Charles A. Mason covers an appearance by Ecuadorian cartoonist Xavier Bonilla (Bonil) at Western Kentucky University. Bonilla showed some of his cartoons and discuss President Rafael Correa's attempts to silence him. [Bowling Green Daily News]

Creators | In an interview that is of necessity filled with spoilers, Scott McCloud discusses the ending of his latest graphic novel, The Sculptor. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | Laura Hudson profiles Jason Shiga, who takes the choose-your-own-adventure story to its logical extremes in Meanwhile and his other graphic novels. [BoingBoing]

Creators | Priscilla Frank gathers a list of 18 LGBTQ creators worth checking out. [The Huffington Post]

Graphic novels | Dominic Umile reviews March: Book Two and adds some historical context from other sources. [Chicago Reader]

Exhibits | John Kelly pays a visit to the Alt-Weekly Comics show at the Society of Illustrators in New York, and he gathers interviews and background information that really make this article a primer on this important, if often neglected, sector of the comics world. [The Comics Journal]

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