Comics A.M. | The comics Internet in two minutes

Publishing | Following the purchase last week of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property by Viacom/Nickelodeon, Mirage Studios announced it will publish Tales of the TMNT at least through May 2010.

On the official website, cartoonist Dan Berger writes that co-creator Peter Laird retained an option to publish up to 18 TMNT comics a year. Elsewhere, writer Tristan Jones notes that the agreement only covers single issues "based on the current Mirage Universe stuff (eg: a continuation/conclusion to Volume 4)."

However, judging by comments made yesterday afternoon by Laird, it seems unlikely he will invoke that option in the near future: "One thing that is becoming clear to me is that, right now, I need to really step back from Turtle stuff. I am feeling strongly that I need to distance myself from the TMNT to truly grasp what has happened, and become accustomed to it. With that in mind, I have to say that it is likely that any new TMNT comics coming from me/Mirage (under the 'reserved rights' clause negotiated in the sale) are probably not going to be seen anytime soon. Although I do have the right to publish up to eighteen issues of TMNT comics per year, it is highly unlikely that I will do that right away. In all honesty, the idea of doing ANY new Turtle stuff right now leaves me cold." [NinjaTurtles.com]

Legal | A court has ordered South Korean cartoonist Choi to pay $17,000 to settle a dispute with Wonju City over a cartoon that included offensive words about President Lee Myung-bak. The city recalled about 20,000 copies of the promotional paper after readers discovered the hidden message. [The Korea Times]

Retailing | Dirk Deppey wonders whether the current state of specialty music, movie and video-game stores offers A Christmas Carol-like glimpse at the future of the direct market. [Eurogamer]

Publishing | I knew that Disney's Studio Fountain and Soda Store carried the BOOM! Kids line of Muppets and Disney/Pixar comics, but this is the first mention I've seen of any of the books in a Disney theme park. [Westfield Comics]

Publishing | Jessica Reed uses an appreciation of Asterix on the eve of the character's 50th birthday as an opportunity to take a few jabs at the French: "There's something endearing about the French and their illusions de grandeur, in which they like to think of themselves as the underdogs putting up a righteous fight for the survival of their perceived uniqueness. I fear the French are too often guilty of clinging to obsolete historical landmarks, most of which paint a picture of their country as having an important and respected say in world culture – from international diplomacy to food, fashion and art. This is a vestige of the past, and yet Asterix charmingly perpetuates this comfortable illusion of control for many a French reader: they're depicted as feisty, fun-loving patriots with a culture and spirit of résistance that can't be obliterated, even under duress." [Guardian]

Publishing | Speaking of milestones: Casper, The Friendly Ghost is 60. [Express-News]

Creators | Brian Heater continues his multi-part interview with Guy Delisle. [The Daily Cross Hatch]

Creators | Deb Aoki talks with Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda about their book Yokai Attack! [About.com]

Manga | David Welsh gathers a panel of notables to recommend horror/supernatural manga. [The Comics Reporter]

Comics | A Welsh scholar has included the 1970s DC Comics series Beowulf, Dragon Slayer in her study of "representations of masculinity in modern reworkings of the Beowulf story." [WalesOnline]

Comics | A candidate for the most boring superhero comic of all time: Adventures of the Super Site Selectors: The Search for the Perfect Location. [The Charleston Gazette]

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