Comics A.M. | 'Stone Soup' daily strip ends after 20 years

Comic strips | Cartoonist Jan Eliot has announced that, after 20 years, she will no longer create daily strips for Stone Soup. She will, however, continue to produce a Sunday version. She's cutting back so she can focus on other projects without all the deadline pressure: "It may seem like a small task, creating one cartoon a day, but it is herculean in many ways. The pressure to be good enough, funny enough, to create interesting-enough drawings, live up to the standards of great cartoonists I admire and share the comics page with is not a small thing." [The Daily Cartoonist]

Conventions | As the third Salt Lake Comic Con approaches, co-founders Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg talk about the event's beginnings -- how they chose the venue, how they managed to book William Shatner and Stan Lee for the first convention, and how they used social media to build a following before the event itself. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Creators | "I credit X-Men and thrash metal with giving me a social conscience," March artist Nate Powell said last week in a library talk in Indiana. Powell, who grew up in Arkansas, told the audience, "In the early 80s, the specter of the Jim Crow South was separated from my life by a very thin veil." That was initially an obstacle to his work on March: "At times, I was drawing African-American figures a little too white, because at that point I was afraid of drawing features that might be perceived as being too much of a caricature." He past that, however, and he relies on extensive research to make sure he's getting the details right. [Indiana Daily Student]

Creators | Lisa Hanawalt interviews her former Pizza Island studio-mate Kate Beaton about why everyone should know who Ida B. Wells is and why she wants to make a comic about the Korean Admiral Yi Sun-sin: "He drove turtle boats! Turtle boats. As adorable as war machines get." [Jezebel]

Creators | Barbara Pokryszka, who emigrated from Poland to England and found work as a chambermaid, has created a graphic novel, Tale of Two Cities, illustrating the poor working conditions of workers in luxury hotels, who work for outside contractors rather than the hotels themselves. [The Guardian]

Creators | R.W. Watkins interviews J.R. Williams over the course of almost a year, in a wide-ranging series of written questions and answers. [Comics Decoder]

Graphic novels | I interviewed Chris Duffy, the editor of the new Fable Comics anthology from First Second, and there's a complete fable by Tom Gauld at the end of the story as well. [Good Comics for Kids]

Comics | David Kieve talks about his comic My First Startup, which aims to teach children entrepreneurship, and the Kickstarter campaign to fund it. [Sktchd]

Retailing | Jeff McAdam checks in with a Salt Lake City comic shop and costume shop, both of whom say Salt Lake Comic Con gives their businesses a significant boost. [Fox 13 News]

Retailing | Tash Green and Christine Chien, the owners of Secret Identity Comics in Brisbane, Australia, set out to create a comic shop that is welcoming to everyone: ""We wanted to have a big focus on community, getting people talking about comics, enjoying comics, creating a space where everybody feels welcome and they can talk about their passion without feeling judged or excluded," said Green. "Of course there will be the questions asked because we're both female doing this in a genre that is mostly male focused, but for us it's more about being inclusive for everybody and creating that diversity." [Brisbane Times]

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