Comics A.M. | Retailer, perennial candidate Clint Thomas dies

Passings | Clint Thomas, the owner of Clint's Comics in Monroe, Louisiana, was found dead Saturday at his home. He was 50 years old. In addition for running his store for nearly two decades, Thomas was known as a perennial political candidate, having run for mayor five times. He was challenging Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell in the current election, saying, if elected, he would look for "damsels in distress." Thomas reportedly viewed himself as Batman, attempting to save the city from the "supervillains" who had taken over the government; as a candidate, he made no promises and accepted no donations, because he believed money corrupts politicians. [The News-Star, NBC 10]

Legal | Sakda Sae Iao, political cartoonist for the Thai Rath newspaper, was summoned Sunday to a meeting with the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the military junta that rules Thailand, to discuss his cartoons. While no penalties were levied, Sakda was told his cartoons contained inaccuracies, and that if future cartoons caused problems he could be prosecuted. Sakda, who goes by the pen name Sia, was called in by the NCPO after last year's coup and asked to moderate his criticism of while they tried to restore order. [Bangkok Post]

Legal | Amnesty International has condemned the indecency charges brought against cartoonist Atena Farghadani for shaking hands with her lawyer. Farghadani, who has already been sentenced to 12 years in prison for a cartoon depicting Iranian legislators with animal heads, was scheduled to go to court Saturday for a hearing, without a lawyer. "It is clearly both absurd and a violation of the right to privacy to consider a man and a woman shaking hands as a criminal offence," said Raha Bahreini of Amnesty International. "These charges are politically motivated and they are a blatant attempt by the Iranian authorities to harass Atena and hinder her lawyer’s work representing her. Instead of subjecting this young prisoner of conscience to further harassment and intimidation, the Iranian authorities must immediately drop these charges and free her immediately and unconditionally." [Amnesty International]

Publishing | Archie Comics Co-CEO Jon Goldwater talks about the rebranding of his flagship comic and characters. [PR Week]

Comics | Paul Litch started out wanting to be a comics creator, but he ended up in a more rarified position: He's the comics grader for CGC. Grading is based on physical factors such as the condition of the cover, the pages, and even the staples, but there's also a bit of art to it: "But when you have a book that you can see two or three different grades on, trying to come up with the right one, the correct one that the market will accept and that will look correct in the holder, that’s when the tough calls come into play." [MyCentralJersey.com]

Creators | Artist Jeffrey Veregge, a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe, talks about working on Marvel's Red Wolf, which features a Native American protagonist: "I love the fact that we are showing Red Wolf in a contemporary setting that will allow him to show the traits that many Native professionals have within themselves." [The Seattle Times]

Creators | Writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson talk Jughead. Zdarsky says, "I definitely went back and read a lot of the older stuff, but really I've been taking my cue from what Mark and Fiona have been doing with the main Archie series. It sounds cliche to say they've created fresh new takes on everyone while staying true to the characters, but it's true. It's true." And Henderson explains about Jughead's hat. [USA Today]

Graphic novels | Anna James looks at the growing popularity of graphic novels about illness and medicine in the United Kingdom, with a focus on a few recently published titles and a few more that are due to come out in the next few years. [The Bookseller]

Minicomics | Rob Kirby reviews the minicomics he picked up the Small Press Expo. [Rob Kirby]

Conventions | The Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo, MICE, is coming to Boston (well, Cambridge) on Oct. 17-18, with guest appearances by Gene Luen Yang and double Ignatz Award winner Sophie Goldstein. The anthology APB: Artists Against Police Brutality is among the books that will debut at the show. [The Boston Globe]

Conventions | Frederick Aldama, one of the organizers of Sol-Con: The Brown + Black Comix Expo, which featured Jaime Hernandez, Lalo Alcaraz and Eric Dean Seaton as guests. "One of the great things about putting on an event like this is that it puts a spotlight on the importance of this talent, in a way that even people who are bottom line about dollars will understand that there is a market," Aldama said. "A market that has largely been marginalized and that, if they don’t wake up to it, tomorrow they are not going to be having that bottom line." [The Washington Post]

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