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Comics A.M. | Taipei comics festival expected to draw 400,000

by  in Comic News Comment
Comics A.M. | Taipei comics festival expected to draw 400,000

Conventions | The third Taipei International Comics and Animation Festival kicked off today in Taiwan, where organizers expect as many as 400,000 attendees over the next five days. Forty-seven artists, authors, actors and producers from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are participating in the event, which last year attracted 409,000 fans and generated about $5.9 million in sales. [Want China Times]

Legal | Kuala Lumpur Inspector of Police Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted Monday that he’s investigating Malaysian cartoonist Zunar and a member of Parliament, Nga Kor Ming, for sedition. Khalid wrote that both men were “purposely inviting” police action by taking to Twitter to protest a court’s decision to uphold the conviction of opposition party leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of sodomy. The conviction will force Anwar out of his seat in Parliament. Police raided Zunar’s office two weeks ago, while the cartoonist was in London, seized 150 books, including collections of cartoons about the case. At that time, Zunar said he expected to be called to the police station. The Malaysian government has been widening its use of the Sedition Act, often charging people based on Twitter and Facebook posts, in order to stifle criticism. [Malay Mail Online]

Legal | Ecuadorian cartoonist Xavier Bonilla (Bonil) is in trouble with the law again. The country’s Superintendency of Information and Communication (Supercom) held a hearing Monday on charges of “socioeconomic discrimination” stemming from a cartoon published in August that made fun of Assemblyman Agustín “Tin” Delgado for stuttering during a speech. Bonilla and his newspaper apologized, but the Ecuadorian central government broadcast a video denouncing the cartoon. Bonilla sympathizers are pushing back on social media with a hashtag campaign (#YoSoyBonil), and a number of organizations have supported him. Last year, Bonilla was forced to redraw a cartoon about government corruption. [Panama Post]

Webcomics | Webcomics are on the rise in Taiwan, as the print comics industry slumps (sales are down almost 50 percent in recent years) and creators, including two award-winners, Chung Yun-de and Yeh Yu-tung, complain about low pay and lack of artistic freedom. Both artists are now publishing their work online on the Line webtoon portal. [Taipei Times]

Creators | Alex Dueben talks to Mana Neyestani about his life as a cartoonist in Iran, his graphic novel An Iranian Metamorphosis, and the children’s comic he drew that sparked a riot. [The Comics Journal]

Creators | Jim Rugg discusses the new printing of Street Angel. [Comics Alternative]

Creators | Cartoonist Chip Beck talks about his career, which included drawing cartoons for the CIA and the State Department. [Washington CityPaper]

Creators | Artist Chris Lie talks about his creators’ group re:ON, which produces comics anthologies aimed at teenagers in Indonesia; the comics use local slang and feature draw on aspects of everyday life as well as Indonesian history. “We created re:ON Comics with the aim of reviving local comics in Indonesia,” Lie said, and the comics seem to be doing well, with sales of over 10,000 per issue. [The Jakarta Post]

Comics | Reed Beebe discusses the use of strange languages, such as Enochian, in comics and consults fantasy author and editor Jeff VanderMeer on the topic. [Nothing But Comics]

Conventions | Last weekend’s Dallas Comic Con’s Fan Days was a success, but it may have outgrown its venue. [The Dallas Morning News]

Retailing | Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was just voted one of the 10 nerdiest spots in the country, and Joe Miller, owner of the long-lived (since 1977!) The Comic Store has done his share to keep it that way. [PennLive]

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