Comics A.M. | 'Silver Spoon,' and the rise of ... farming manga?

Manga | In Japan, as elsewhere, people would rather read about farming than actually do it; agriculture has become a popular topic for manga, and the Agriculture Ministry recently announced an award for manga that raise interest in farming. The article mainly focuses on Hiromu Arakawa's Silver Spoon, which has recently been made into a movie; Arakawa is also the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist, a fact the article omits. [The Wall Street Journal]

Awards | Silver Spoon was on of the 10 nominees for this year's Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize; two manga that are published in English, Attack on Titan and Animal Land, also made the list. [Anime News Network]

Retailing | First it was graphic novels getting nominated for book awards, and now a comic shop is in the running for a bookstore award: Page 45, a comic shop in Nottingham, England, has made the shortlist for its region's Independent Bookshop of the Year award. There are five other contenders; if the shop, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, wins the award, it will go on to the national competition. [Nottingham Post]

Creators | Rebekah Isaacs, the new artist for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, talks about her previous work on Angel & Faith, and her relationship with Joss Whedon and the Buffyverse. [Hero Complex]

Creators | Johnny Vardeman profiles longtime Mark Trail artist Jack Elrod, who is putting away his pen and handing over the strip to fellow Gainesville, Florida, resident James Allen. [Gainesville Times]

Creators | Alex Behr talks to Chris Ware about many topics, including his daughter's art, the works of Joseph Cornell and why he doesn't read his comics aloud. [Salon]

Creators | As Will Eisner Week draws to a close, Darwyn Cooke talks about working on the latter-day version of The Spirit and what he learned from Will Eisner. [13th Dimension]

Creators | Tom Spurgeon devotes his Sunday interview to cartoonist MK Brown; Fantagraphics has just published a collection of her work, Stranger Than Life: Cartoons and Comics 1970-2013, and she says there is more to come. [The Comics Reporter]

Creators | RC Harvey profiles Playboy cartoonist Eldon Dedini, and as you might suspect, the images are NSFW. [The Comics Journal]

Conventions | Stan Lee was a day late to Sacramento Comic Con: He had to cancel his Saturday appearances due to illness but rescheduled for Sunday and gave a brief interview to the local TV station as well. [Fox 40]

Retailing | Philadelphia's Brave New World is the latest comic shop to offer a Ladies Night, and the first one will feature creators Christine Larson and Annie Mok. Reporter Jake Blumgart does a nice job of summarizing the recent conversation around women and comic shops, in case you missed it. [Philly.com]

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