Controversy | Zainab Akhtar has a good roundup of the SodaStream controversy: A number of internationally known creators have protested SodaStream’s sponsorship of the Angoulême International Comics Festival because the soft-drink manufacturer has a factory in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “All of Israel’s settlements in the Occupied West Bank are illegal under international law, and SodaStream’s factory in specific was build on land seized from several Palestinian villages in what is regarded as the largest single act of expropriation by the Israeli government in its 47-year long military occupation of the West Bank,” the organizers of the protest said in a statement. A number of artists, including Jacques Tardi (whose work was celebrated in a special exhibit at the show) have signed an open letter to festival organizer Frank Bondoux, asking him to end the relationship with SodaStream. Tardi also issued a statement saying he felt that he had been “taken hostage,” as he did not know about the sponsorship until the festival began. [Comics and Cola]
Creators | In a local-boy-made-good piece for the Baton Rouge newspaper, artist J.G. Jones talks about his work on Black Widow, Marvel Boy and 52, and how he came to be a comics artist in the first place. [The Advocate]
Creators | U.K. artist Brian Davis has escaped eviction after selling enough copies of his self-published book Angel Delights to pay off his $2,000 in arrears. [The Jewish Chronicle]
Manga | Jason Thompson takes a look at Ultimo, the manga series that started out as a collaboration between Stan Lee and Shaman King manga-ka Hiroyuki Takei. [Anime News Network]
Academia | In the latest Inkstuds podcast, David Brothers interviews comics scholar Qiana Whitted about the work of Frederic Wertham, the history of African-American comics, and her own experience teaching comics and comics history in an academic setting. [ComicsAlliance]
Criticism | Ng Suat Tong rounds up the best online comics criticism of 2013. [The Hooded Utilitarian]
Conventions | Sattya Kandala takes a look at Comic Con India’s Delhi event, which kicks off today. The Indian convention scene has expanded rapidly, with the organizers of this con staging events every few months in different cities throughout the country. While American comics have their fans, the majority of the exhibitors at this con are Indian. [The New York Times]
Conventions | ComiXology’s Ivan Salazar gives a more personalized account of his journey to India for the con; it looks like he will be keeping a con diary. [comiXology Tumblr]
Conventions | Regina, Saskatchewan, will get its first comics convention in May; tickets are on sale now. [CKOM]
Retailing | Times have been good for the Rancho Cucamonga, California, comics shop 4Color Fantasies, so much so that it’s moving to a new space three times the size of the current ocation. [Inland Valley Daily Bulletin]
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