Comics A.M. | NC Retailer Takes Shot at State's 'Bathroom Bill'

Retailing | The transgender superhero Chalice from the new AfterShock comic "Alters" will make her North Carolina debut on a specially designed cover that depicts the character replacing gendered bathroom signs with unisex ones. It's a direct shot at that state's controversial "bathroom bill" that mandates that people use the public restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. Bret Parks, owner of Ssalefish Comics in Winston-Salem, commissioned the special cover from AfterShock and will host a signing on Sept. 17 by writer Paul Jenkins and cover artist Richard Case. He will also donate 10 percent of the sales of the special comic to Equality NC, which advocates for equal rights for LGBTQ residents of North Carolina. [Triad City Beat]

Libraries | Columbia University's Rare Books & Manuscripts Library has acquired the personal archives of Howard Cruse, creator of "Stuck Rubber Baby" and a pioneer who began incorporating gay themes in his comics in the 1970s. “It feels especially appropriate [that my archives are with Columbia] since the core of my cartooning life, not to mention my years as a participant in the gay liberation movement, was spent a few subway stops away from the University in New York City,” Cruse says. [Columbia University Libraries News & Events]

Political cartoons | Cartoonist Tony Branco defends his cartoon depicting presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in blackface: "Political cartoons are supposed to rile people up, get people talking, have a discussion about issues. It's supposed to focus people's attention on the issue, and that's what the cartoon did. And I'm pretty proud that it did that." The cartoon was published in April but gained notoriety only this week, when a Donald Trump surrogate, pastor Mark Burns, tweeted it and then deleted the tweet and apologized. [The Washington Post]

Creators | Garry Trudeau talks Donald Trump. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Alan Moore talks at length to Heidi MacDonald about his novel "Jerusalem" and his love of his home town of Northampton. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | In a video interview recorded at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Eisner Award winner John Jennings and Damian Duffy talk about their graphic novel adaptation of Octavia Butler's "Kindred," as well as Afrofuturism and black speculative fiction. [Nerds of Color]

Creators | I interviewed John Allison about his comic "Bad Machinery," a story about British teenagers solving mysteries that often have a supernatural angle. It's still available as a webcomic, but Oni Press is also publishing the collected editions in two trim sizes, a 9-inch by 12-inch edition and a more "backpack-friendly" 6-inch by 9-inch edition. Allison talks about creating the comic itself as well as making the transition from web to print. [Good Comics for Kids]

Creators | Artist Phil Hester discusses the health problems he has experienced in the past year and how they have affected his work. [Comics Bulletin]

Creators | Writer-about-comics Steve Morris has started a new feature in which he interviews a creator about five of their milestone works; his first subject is Larry Hama, creator of "G.I. Joe: An American Hero." [Comics Alliance]

Creators | Izumi Matsumoto, creator of "Kimagure Orange Road," has begun treatment for cerebrospinal fluid hypovolemia (depleted cerebrospinal fluid) after being bedridden for the past three months. Matsumoto has suffered from the condition for years, and it forced him to stop drawing manga from 1999 to 2005. He is undergoing treatment and says he will be avoiding all screens, including computers and phones, as their light exacerbates his illness. [Anime News Network]

Comics | Eleanor Tremeer looks at some early superheroes who are now in the public domain. [Movie Pilot]

Academia | The Columbus (Ohio) College of Art and Design will launch a Comics & Narrative Practice major in fall 2017. [Columbus Dispatch]

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