Libraries | A parent plans to appeal a decision by a New Mexico school district to keep Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar on the shelves of the Rio Rancho High School Library. Catrenna Lopez complained in February after her 14-year-old son brought home the acclaimed hardcover, insisting it contained “pornographic” images and promoted prostitution. A review committee appointed by the superintendent of Rio Rancho Public Schools voted 5-3 last week to retain the book. In response to the decision, Lopez said, “To me, this book is kind of like having a Hustler magazine in the schools.” If she follows through with her plan, the appeal would go to the school board, which would take a public vote on its decision. [KRQE]
Political cartoons | Venezuelan cartoonist Rayma Suprani, who was fired for drawing a cartoon criticizing the country’s health care system, and Ecuadorean cartoonist Xavier Bonilla, who is facing criminal charges for his cartoon lampooning an Afro-Ecuadorean politician, talk about their work and the pressures they face; the article includes numerous examples, including the “corrected” cartoon Bonilla was forced to draw after the Ecuadorean government objected to one of his cartoons. [The Washington Post]
Creators | Alan Gardner reports that cartoonist Stacy Curtis has lost his vision following a stroke two weeks ago. He is expected to make a full recovery. In the meantime, his artist friends have been filling his Facebook wall with get-well wishes in the form of drawings of pigs and banjos, a nod to his Dueling Banjo Pigs blog. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Creators | The Comics Journal posts Gary Groth’s interview with the late Irwin Hasen, one of the last of the Golden Age artists and the creator of the newspaper strip Dondi. The interview, recorded in 2013, is apparently Hasen’s last. [The Comics Journal]
Creators | Chris Mafigiri Mugarura, one of the few independent comics creators in Uganda, talks about his comic Children of War, and about creating a uniquely African medium: “I guess it’s like how football was invented in England but we all know the South Americans have taken the sport to another height. My wish is that at this sport , it’s exhausting seeing all the ‘NGO’ and religious comics around, I wish comic book artists could be allowed to express themselves more freely in a positive way.” [All Africa]
Graphic novels | A group of creators in Inverclyde, Scotland, is working on a graphic novel that will tell the Battle of Achi Baba, a World War I battle in Turkey that cost the lives of many local soldiers. The 50-page book uses contemporary sources and is being created by a group of volunteers with support from the Heritage Lottery. It will be available for free when it is released in June. [Greenock Telegraph]
Manga | There has been a lot of talk lately about American comics that use manga styles and tropes, so I took a look at the other side of that cultural exchange: manga that borrow from American and European culture, including Jiro Kuwata’s Bat-Manga and QuinRose’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired Alice in the Country of Hearts. [The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog]
Comics | Both DC and Dynamite indicate on their comics that the paper they are printed on is certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative; Reed Beebe looks at what that means — and what it doesn’t. [Nothing But Comics]
Awards | The winners of the 19th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize were announced Monday. The Grand Prize went to Yoiko Hoshi’s Aisawa Riku, which has not been licensed in English, but the New Creator award went to A Silent Voice, which will be published by Kodansha Comics starting in May. [Anime News Network]
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