Awards | The winners of the first Kirkus Prize were announced last night, and Roz Chast took top honors in the nonfiction category for her graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Chast is also a finalist for the National Book Award, marking the first time a graphic novel has been nominated in one of the adult categories. [The Washington Post]
Legal | A Turkish court acquitted cartoonist Musa Kart on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stemming from a cartoon Kart drew last year portraying the then-prime minister as complicit in covering up government corruption. “Yes, I drew it [the cartoon] but I did not mean to insult,” Kart said. “I just wanted to show the facts. Indeed, I think that we are inside a cartoon right now. Because I am in the suspect’s seat while charges were dropped against all the suspects [involved in two major graft scandals]. I need to say that this is funny.” If convicted, Kart could have faced nearly a decade in prison. [Today’s Zaman]
Political cartoons | British cartoonist Martin Rowson has taken to Twitter to encourage cartoonists to draw their own caricatures of Erdoğan, who seems to be trying to suppress dissent; in addition to the Kart case, another cartoonist was fined for drawing Erdoğan as a cat. “Maybe, if it’s safe, a whole pile of cartoonists round the world should tweet their cartoons of Erdoğan to teach him some humility before God and us cartoonists,” Rowson wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise he might give the very strong impression that he’s a chippy narcissistic despot.” He got things rolling by posting his own cartoon, using the hashtag #ErdoganCaricature. [The Guardian]
Graphic novels | ICv2 posts a brief report, apparently based on both sales and interviews with retailers, about the graphic novel market. The big takeaway is that the number of women customers is increasing in both bookstores and comics stores, and children are a growing audience as well, predominantly in retail bookstores. The article includes links to ICv2’s estimate of last summer’s top graphic novel franchises in a number of categories, including superhero comics, genre comics, kids’ comics, and manga. [ICv2]
Awards | Tom Spurgeon posts the nominations for the BD/Manga category of the Le Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse and notes two creators who are familiar to English-language readers, Luke Pearson (Hilda and the Black Hound) and Kevin Cannon (Crater XV); I would add a third, Diana Thung, whose August Moon, like Crater XV, was published in the United States by Top Shelf. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Michael Cho talks about his new graphic novel, Shoplifter. [Broken Frontier]
Creators | Argentine cartoonist Joaquin Salvador Lavado (Quino) talks about his creation, Mafalda, a comic strip about a little girl that has been a fixture in South American newspapers for 50 years. Lavado recently became the first cartoonist to receive the Prince of Asturias Award. [Euronews]
Collecting | George Gene Gustines looks at the increasing popularity of original comic art, and he points out some places to buy it. [The New York Times]
Manga | Germany’s first manga cafe offers 11,000 volumes, but curiously, just 700 of those are in German. It was started by a Japanese expat and serves a mixed clientele of German and Japanese customers; the cafe is located in Dusseldorf, which has a large Japanese population. [The Associated Press]
Conventions | Oafcon, the Oklahoma Alliance of Fans convention, whose roots go back to 1967, is moving to a larger venue in Norman, Oklahoma, this year; as in previous years, the slate of local creators, including Jack Bender (Alley Oop) and Donnie Pitchford (Lum & Abner) is expected to be a big draw. [NewsOK.com]
Conventions | Last year, 3,000 people came to Rose City Comic Con in Tyler, Texas; this year, organizers expect 8,000. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]
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