Conventions | Vendors who paid the $60 deposit to exhibit at Cherry City Comic Con are clamoring for a refund after word circulated that the Salem, Oregon, convention won’t happen this spring as planned. (There appears to have been some discussion about the con being canceled on Facebook, but the convention’s Facebook page now states, “A marketing solutions company is helping us start the new year right and get us back on track to make this a successful show everyone can love.” No other posts appear on the page.) This isn’t the first round of controversy for the con: Last May, organizer Mike Martin called an exhibitor “batshit insane” on Facebook when she asked for a refund and expressed concern that the con would not be a “safe place for female cosplayers.” Martin is also the organizer of a craft fair that was canceled; some exhibitors for that event were denied refunds because of “a locked PayPal account.” [KOIN]
Graphic novels | Raina Telegemeier headlines a story about the broadening of the audience for graphic novels, with a focus on female creators and readers, as well as young audiences. Her 2010 memoir Smile has more than 1.5 million copies in print, while her most recent release, 2014’s Sisters, boasts 1.4 million. [The Wall Street Journal]
Digital comics | Japanese publisher Kodansha will start publishing its manga anthology magazines digitally the same day they come out in print. They plan to roll out the digital program for three magazines to begin with and will extend it to all 22 of its publications by June. [Anime News Network]
Retailing | Peter Hartlaub looks at the success of comics shops in the San Francisco area, which has about 10 of them. The article includes interviews with Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience, Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics and John Jackson Miller, who records the ups and downs of comics sales at Comichron. The overall market is growing at a rate of 5 to 10 percent per year, and Fields says “There aren’t any massive best-sellers any more. But there are a ton of titles that are going to resonate with a large, diverse audience.” [SFGate]
Legal | Sebnem Arsu looks at repeated attempts by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to suppress cartoonists who are critical of him and his government. The article includes interviews with cartoonist Musa Kart, who was recently acquitted of insulting the then-prime minster, and Aslan Ozdemir, editor of the magazine Leman. [The New York Times]
Creators | Tom Spurgeon interviews Jesse Jacobs, creator of Safari Honeymoon. [The Comics Reporter]
Political cartoons | Israeli cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen is rallying fans of his political cartoon Dry Bones, which runs in the Jerusalem Post and has been picked up by newspapers around the world, to fight back against the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. [Christian Broadcasting News]
Comics | Jordan West explains continuity, including why you don’t need to know absolutely everything to enjoy a comic and why you definitely shouldn’t get hung up on it: “Any comic you pick up is bound to have some detail that contradicts some other detail in some other comic, and the majority of the time it won’t make one iota of difference. Does that stop overzealous uber-readers from taking every opportunity to point out something a writer got ‘wrong,’ especially if the writer is a woman? Not even a little bit. Ask Gail Simone how many of her Tumblr messages are random bits of Black Canary trivia from anonymous users. Don’t be That Guy. Accept a little inconsistency and move on with your life.” [The Mary Sue]
Criticism | Noah Berlatsky explains why you don’t have to know everything about a particular genre in order to critique it. [LA Review of Books]
Best of the year | Brian Truitt rolls out his picks for best creators, comics and characters of 2014. [USA Today]
Conventions | Convention season starts early in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Albuquerque Comic Con kicks off Friday with special guest William Shatner. [KRQE]
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