Comics A.M. | SDCC, Salt Lake in talks over trademark dispute

Conventions | Organizers of Comic-Con International and Salt Lake Comic Con are reportedly attempting to reach a settlement in their trademark dispute over the term "Comic Con." Weeks after issuing a cease-and-desist letter in July 2014, Comic-Con International sued the Utah event, insisting organizers were attempting to “confuse and deceive” fans and exhibitors with their use of the term “Comic Con.” The producers of Salt Lake Comic Con have called the lawsuit "frivolous," arguing that Comic-Con International's trademarks are invalid. After being granted the trademark in July for "Salt Lake Comic Con," organizers claimed victory in the feud, but Comic-Con International maintained nothing had been resolved. Now Salt Lake Comic Con co-founder Bryan Brandenburg says lawyers  updated a federal judge about that case on Tuesday, and that both sides are still working to come to an agreement. A hearing scheduled for next month. [Fox13]

Passings | The Gulf Center for Human Rights has confirmed long-circulating rumors that Syrian political cartoonist Akram Raslan is dead. Raslan was arrested in October 2012 by Syrian security forces after posting cartoons on Facebook critical of President Bashar al-Assad. He was tried in secret and tortured by Syrian security forces; he reportedly died of injuries related to his mistreatment, despite being transferred to a hospital. "Akram Raslan’s death as a result of torture by the regime’s henchmen is a reminder that Syria has been a hell for journalists for more than four years," said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Middle East and Maghreb desk. "Professional and citizen-journalists alike are caught between the various parties to the conflict and are terrorized by both radical Islamist groups and Bashar al-Assad’s ruthless regime. We reiterate our appeal to the UN Security Council to end the impunity by referring to the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court." [Reporters Without Borders]

Political cartoonists | A four-story mural of imprisoned Iranian cartoonist Atena Farghadani, created as part of a civil rights awareness campaign, is being removed after it was vandalized twice in a matter of days. Maziar Bahari, a journalist who was himself imprisoned and tortured in Iran, planned a series of murals to coincide with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's visit to New York later this month to address the United Nations. The Farghadani mural, by the South African artist Faith47, showed the cartoonist in hijab, with no mouth, but after it was splattered with red and white paint in two separate incidents, the organizers have decided to remove it. [Comic Riffs]

Creators | Chris Schweizer, creator of The Crogan Adventures and The Creeps, tells a group of sixth-graders how to make comics — and how to be scary. [Bolingbrook Patch]

Creators | Norwegian artist Kristian Nygård talks about his comics, which depict depression from the inside. [Huffington Post]

Creators | Dan White created The Department of Ability, a series of comics about superheroes whose superpowers stem directly from their disabilities, to create well rounded characters for his daughter Emily to enjoy. [ABC News]

Retailing | David Harper asks five retailers about their customers' reactions to DC Comics' "DC You" initiative. [Sktchd]

Exhibits | An exhibit of cartoons by Isle of Man cartoonist Harold "Dusty" Miller shows an unusual slant on World War II, filled with references to long-forgotten events. [IOM Today]

Festivals | Lauren Orsini writes about the wide array of creators and types of comics at Small Press Expo. [Forbes]

Conventions | The Baltimore Book Festival, which has a significant comics component, coincides with Baltimore Comic Con this year. In this article, Karen Peltier focuses on comics that go outside the boundaries of superhero comics by white males, interviewing Bill Campbell of Rosarium Publishing, Flutter creator Jennie Wood and M3 creator Erica Schultz. [Baltimore City Paper]

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