Political Cartoons | Cartoonist Rights Network International (CRNI) has bestowed this year’s Courage in Cartooning Award to an Iranian refugee being held at Australia’s offshore detention center on Manus Island. The 25-year-old man, whose name is Ali but goes by the pseudonym Mr. Eaten Fish, suffers from post-traumatic stress, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic attacks. CRNI cited the cartoonist’s courage in revealing the conditions at the camp: “Eaten Fish has been able to keep up a stream of cartoons documenting the unspeakable abuses and excesses of the guards and administrators of the camp,” they said. “For this he has been the subject of beatings, deprivation of food and, even worse, degrading treatment by the guards. Australia has made publication of negative information about the camp punishable by two years in prison.” A number of Australian cartoonists have drawn cartoons supporting him, and mental health advocates are urging the government to bring him to the mainland for treatment. [The Guardian]
Characters | Lynda Barry draws the real origin story of her character Marlys. [Slate]
Libraries | A successful crowdfunding campaign has raised over €2,000 to be used to purchase graphic novels for the Central Public Library in Floriana, Malta. “The comic scene in Malta has grown exponentially over the past few years, and the fact that people who are not affiliated with us believed in our idea and funded it means the world to us,” said Ryan Scicluna, assistant librarian at the University of Malta and the chair of the NGO Graphic Novels Library Malta (GNLM), which raised the funds. [The Times of Malta]
Creators | Malaysian artist Billy Tan, who now draws Marvel Comics from his studio in Shanghai, China, talks about discovering comics when he moved to the United States as a teenager: “It wasn’t until I moved to the States and stumbled into the work of (noted fantasy art painter) Frank Frazetta that my world changed. I had never seen this type of art before. It just opened me up to a whole new world, new possibilities. Then I got into comic books where I discovered Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, Whilce Portacio and the other guys who were all back in the early 1990s were the hot artists over at Marvel before taking their act to Image Comics.” Tan was in as a special guest at the 2016 AsiaPop Comicon. [The Philippine Star]
Creators | In a podcast interview, Leela Corman talks about her new book, “We All Wish for Deadly Force,” a collection of her short comics done over the years on a variety of topics. [Comics Alternative]
Creators | Paul Gravett interviews the Chinese artist Zao Dao, who is just 25 years old and lives in a remote village but has found an audience via the internet; her book “Song of Sylvan” sold out in a day, and a French edition is in the works. [Paul Gravett]
Manga | The members of the AV Club discuss the seminal manga “Akira.” [AV Club]
Comics | Laura Andrea Garzón Garavito writes about the current comics scene in Colombia and in Latin America in general, winding up with a list of recommended reading. [Comics Workbook]
Conventions | Soda City Comic Con, in Columbia, South Carolina, had a rough first year thanks to floods that kept many would-be attendees away. This year things were better, with attendance growing from 3,000 last year to 6,500 this year, and the organizers plan to grow even more next year, with more space and more events. [The State]
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