Comics A.M. | Oz Comic-Con scrutinized for scarcity of female guests

Conventions | Clem Bastow notes a disconnect at Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne, Australia, where women were a slight majority in the audience but were severely underrepresented as guests; DC artist Nicola Scott was the only woman in the comics contingent. Organizer Rand Ratinac said it was purely a matter of availability: “We offered for literally dozens if not hundreds of different guests, we always do, because you’re dealing with people whose schedules they sometimes can’t lock in until a month before the event. This time, of the people that we wanted, there were just a lot of guys that were available. Next year, it could be a whole bunch of girls; it all just depends who can come.” But Scott points out that there are simply fewer women in superhero comics than in the other sectors of the industry and superhero creators are what brings the audience in the door. [The Guardian]

Political cartoons | When he was summoned to appear before Ecuador's Superintendency of Information and Communications (SUPERCOM), cartoonist Xavier Bonilla brought along some props: Two four-foot-long pencils, one of which was mostly eraser. It's his commentary on SUPERCOM's order that he erase and redraw one of his cartoons, which the commission found insulting to President Rafael Correa. Bonilla talks about walking a fine line, as his newspaper allows him to draw what he wants but frequently suggests he tone it down, and he himself admits that he doesn't go as far as he used to. Meanwhile, Correa has not only publicly insulted Bonilla, he invited his 1.6 million Twitter followers to do so as well. Only 2,000 joined in. [Committee to Protect Journalists]

Creators | Writer Tim Seeley talks about DC Comics' new series Grayson, in which Dick Grayson heads off on an assignment from Batman to infiltrate a spy organization. It's more adventure tale than superhero story: "Well, for a start it's much more of world-hopping adventure, and the story will be about Dick's conflicts with being undercover as much as it is about his fights against worldwide threats! In Grayson Dick isn't patrolling rooftops, and standing on gargoyles as much. He's running through markets, and jumping on trains, and leaping from airplanes! [Kindle Post]

Creators | Sean Ryan chats about the Suicide Squad as the first issue of New Suicide Squad goes on sale. [Kindle Post]

Creators | The Tiny Titans team of Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani discuss their many, many projects, including their new limited series, Tiny Titans: Return to the Treehouse, their self-published line, Aw Yeah Comics, and more. [Comics Alliance]

Comics | Following on the recent Comics and Medicine conference, several doctors discuss how using comics can help educate patients and allay their fears. Pediatric allergist Alex Thomas used a video and comics to explain allergy medications to his patients. "For example, one of the questions was how does ‘Bronco the Dilator’ work as a type of asthma medication," he said. "Before the comic book, 18 percent kids got it right. After the comic book, 68 percent kids got it right." [Voice of America]

Academia | Prof. Julian Chambliss, a member of the faculty of Rollins College, talks about teaching comics courses and researching the ways comics and history intersect. [Women Write About Comics]

Digital comics | The Indian publisher Amar Chitra Katha, which has been making comics about historical and legendary figures for decades, has launched its own digital comics app. [Asian Pacific Post]

Retailing | Brittney Mejia looks at how two Arizona comics retailers weathered the recession and not just stayed open but, in one case, expanded. [Arizona Republic]

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