Awards | Art Spiegelman on Sunday won the Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, marking only the third time an American has received the honor (the other two were Will Eisner and Robert Crumb). “Considering my poor skills, I’m looking a little like the president Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize,” he told the festival by telephone from the United States. Spiegelman will serve as the grand marshal for next year’s event.
Other winners at the four-day festival, which drew an estimated 200,000 visitors, include David Mazzuchelli for Asterios Polyp (Grand Jury Prize), and Naoki Urasawa and the late Osamu Tezuka for Pluto (Intergenerational Award). The full list of winners can be found here. [Agence France-Presse]
Retailing | The beleaguered Borders Group announced on Sunday that it’s delaying January payments to vendors and landlords in an effort to save cash while it tries to complete a debt restructuring. This marks the second round of delays for the bookseller, which has been pressuring large publishers and distributors to agree by Feb. 1 to convert late payments into $125 million in loans. The bookstore chain announced just last week that it secured a $550 million credit line from G.E. Capital, but only if several tough conditions were met — including an unlikely agreement from publishers. [The Wall Street Journal]
Passings | Mike Rhode reports that Jeff Alexander, a former executive director of the Small Press Expo and coordinator of the Ignatz Awards, passed away over the weekend, apparently of a heart attack. The SPX website and Greg McElhatton have tributes. [ComicsDC]
Publishing | Dark Horse has announced it’s delaying the planned January launch of its proprietary platform for distributing digital comics, stating only that “factors beyond our control have impacted our plans and we are working to address these new developments.” [Dark Horse]
Publishing | Rich Johnston reports on rumors that Marvel will experiment with a 20-page/$2.99 price point approach for some of its books. [Bleeding Cool]
Legal | A Swedish appeals court on Friday upheld the conviction of a manga translator for possessing 39 drawings that violated the country’s child-pornography laws. It did, however, reduce the fine imposed on Simon Lundström from about $3,866 to $864. [The Local]
Conventions | Ninety-one exhibitors now have withdrawn from the upcoming Tokyo International Anime Fair following increased restrictions by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on the sale of manga and anime containing “extreme” depictions of sexual acts. Organizers of the March event acknowledge that there will be just 153 exhibitors. [The Independent]
Creators | Matthias Wivel posts the first part of a transcribed interview with Chris Ware conducted in May at the Copenhagen International Comics Festival. [TCJ.com]
Creators | Matthew Price interviews legendary MAD cartoonist Sergio Aragones. [The Oklahoman]
Comics | Ben Morse explains why super speed is better than flight. [The Cool Kids Table]
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