Comics A.M. | Police face 'Charlie Hebdo' suspects in twin siege


Crime | Police have surrounded an industrial park in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, France, 25 miles north of Paris, where the two suspects in Wednesday's massacre at the offices of satire magazine Charlie Hebdo are believed to be hiding. Police say brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi have taken over a print shop and are holding a hostage, and have reportedly told negotiators they wish to die as martyrs. The Associated Press reports that a second, apparently linked siege at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris is believed to involve Amedy Coulibaly, suspected of killing a police officer on Thursday. Police say he's holding at least six hostages. [The Guardian]

Commentary | Philosopher Jason Stanley discusses the anti-authoritarianism of Charlie Hebdo: "Yet, as the staff of Charlie Hebdo was aware, there surely is a difference, in France, between mocking the pope and mocking the Prophet Muhammad. The pope is the representative of the dominant traditional religion of the majority of French citizens. The Prophet Muhammad is the revered figure of an oppressed minority. To mock the pope is to thumb one’s nose at a genuine authority, an authority of the majority. To mock the Prophet Muhammad is to add insult to abuse. The power of the majority in a liberal democracy is not the power of monarchs, to be sure. But it is power nonetheless." [The New York Times]

Political cartoons | The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which in 2005 published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked controversy (and were republished by Charlie Hebdo) was the only Danish newspaper this week not to publish any of Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad cartoons. "I maintain the right as an editor to be able to print all types of drawings again at some point. Just not right now," said editor Joern Mikkelsen. "The same debate has been going on now for 10 years, for or against the drawings and so on. We must move on." [Agence France-Presse]

Creators | In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders, Dan Springer revisits the case of cartoonist Molly Norris, who proposed a "Draw Mohammad Day" and went into hiding after Muslim cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki called for her death. Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in 2011, but Norris apparently remains underground, living under a different name. [Fox News]

Graphic novels | According to BookScan, DC Comics had the largest share (20.64 percent) of the graphic novel market in 2014, and Image Comics was the No. 2 publisher, with 16.48 percent. Marvel is the third publisher to make it past the 10 percent mark, with 12.37 percent, and manga publisher Viz Media is fourth with 9.49 percent. The full chart was released Thursday at Image Expo. BookScan doesn't cover the entire book market but does capture a good part of it, including retail bookstores, Amazon and some mass-market stores. [ICv2]

Comics | Stephen Burt celebrates 20 years of Astro City, with an appreciation and an interview with writer Kurt Busiek. [Slate]

Creators | Alex DeCampi and Carla Speed McNeil talk about their newly announced Image Comics title, No Mercy. [Hero Complex]

Creators | Another newly announced Image team, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, discuss their new book Paper Girls. [USA Today]

Creators | Here's Darwyn Cooke on his first creator-owned title, Revengeance, revealed at Image Expo. [Entertainment Weekly]

Creators | And Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire on their new Image collaboration, A.D.: After Death. [Vulture]

Comics | Christmas annuals — hardback, full- or part-color editions of weekly comics that come out at holiday time -- are a British tradition that's been slowly waning as the comics fold one by one. DC Thomson put on an extra marketing push for its Beano annual, however, and it seems to have paid off; it was the top-selling annual, with sales of more than £1 million. Impressively, the Dandy annual hit the No. 9 spot, although Thomson stopped publishing the weekly comic two years ago. [Down the Tubes]

Design | Michael Dooley takes a look at the new book Criterion Design, a compilation of package designs from the Criterion Collection of videos, which features work by a number of comics artists, including Jaime Hernandez and Darwyn Cooke. [Print]

Conventions | The organizers of Waco's Heart of Texas Comic Con are determined to make a comeback after their second event, a horror con, flopped. The initial HOT Comic Con, held in March, had an attendance of about 9,000; September's Con of the Living Dead drew just 3,000. "Con of the Living Dead showed us the locals do not want a horror show," said co-organizer Aaron Foster. "We don’t look at it as a bad thing. We look at it as a learning experience. We really want this to turn into a staple in the Waco community. That’s really what we’re going for." [Waco Tribune-Herald]

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