Comics A.M. | SDCC preregistration badge sale arrives Saturday

Conventions | Although it may seem way too early to begin the countdown to Comic-Con International, badge sales open Saturday at 9 a.m. PT for those who attended the 2015 convention and preregistration (this isn't the annual mad dash, which arrives in a few months). If you're eligible, you should receive your registration code by email at least 24 hours before badge sales open. Comic-Con provides a detailed walk-through of the process. [Toucan]

Legal | The Malaysian Federal Court affirmed a lower court's ruling that the government shouldn't have banned two books of Zunar's political cartoons, 1Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun. "This is a victory for all cartoonists, it tells the Home Ministry and the government that drawing cartoons is not a crime," Zunar said. He also said the ruling means that the government must also lift bans on all his books and drop sedition charges against him. "Stop raiding this my office, stop harassing my webmaster for selling the books online, and stop raiding and threatening printers and shops involved in the production and sales," he said. [Malaysyakini]

Creators | Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto is bullish on the future of manga: "Especially with the development of high-quality digital tools, the artistic side of manga has become much easier. I think that there’ll be a whole new class of artists from all over the world emerging that may have been previously discouraged and now with these digital tools, they’ll be able to create works and create what looks like manga but have a totally different perspective since their views are different from those from Japan. I think that will help expand the manga field through their new stories and new perspectives, and I really look forward to seeing the results of some of their works." [Entertainment Weekly]

Comic strips | Designer Chip Kidd talks about the new book Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, which includes many bits of Schulz ephemera — sketches and discarded cartoons — that have never been published before. [Fast Company]

Creators | Benjamin Dix started interviewing Syrian refugees about their experiences in 2013, and earlier this year he was hired to turn those accounts into comic strips. Then the refugee crisis exploded, and his comics were suddenly more relevant than ever before. "Through just five pages of a comic you can really get to know a character much more than in a news soundbite or in a photograph," Dix says. "It’s about humanizing these refugee stories. You get to know that Hasko is a dad and an artist and a husband. Syria is a story that saturates our media. My job is a privileged job, to meet the people behind the headlines." [The Guardian]

Creators | Alison McCreesh says her graphic memoir Ramshackle, which chronicles her first year of living in Yellowknife, is about the real Northwest Territories city, not the "romanticized" version seen on TV: "There’s been a lot of talk about the North and Yellowknife and all these reality TV shows – the one on Animal Planet about the houseboats, the Ice Road Truckers, there’s a slew of these things," she says. "This is more of an honest Yellowknife: it’s got all of the downtown and the buildings, and I’m not pretending we’re some last frontier, just shacks by a lake. It’s not just the scenic stuff – there’s stuff about trucked water and freezing sewage tanks. There’s real Yellowknife stuff in there." [My Yellowknife Now]

Creators | New Yorker cartoonist Danny Shanahan talked about his life and career last week to an audience of students at Southern Illinois University. [The Western Courier]

Festivals | The Clarence Micro Fest, in Clarence, New York, is a library-based con that sounds pretty cool: It's small, family-friendly, and will feature several comics creators with local ties, who will do a panel in which the audience will help create a comic. [Clarence Bee]

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