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

Conventions | Wizard World Chicago Comic Con drew a lot of attention from mainstream media for the appearance on Saturday of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who charged $80 for photos and $50 for autographs (more than Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Avery Brooks, the Chicago Sun-Times points out, but less than William Shatner). Blagojevich, who was convicted last week of lying to the FBI, told Fox News he didn't receive an appearance fee, and that the event wasn't all that lucrative for him: "I didn't really get any money from any of the photos I took, because I took probably hundreds of them and couldn't bother to ask anybody for any money for that. Those were free. I did sign some signatures. I was there because I was invited at the last minute by the promoters, and it was an opportunity to get out there among the people."


For non-Blagojevich convention news, turn to Maggie Thompson, who posted daily coverage (noting the event was well-attended, with a lot of first-time attendees), and Rich Johnston, who rolled out video after video. Time Out Chicago has a report from the floor, as well as photo galleries from Friday and Saturday. [Wizard World Chicago Comic Con]

Manga | Critics in Denmark are calling for an exhibit of manga at the Kunsthallen Brandts media museum to be banned "for depicting children in an overtly [sexual] manner." [The Copenhagen Post]

Awards | Today is the last day to submit nominations for the Friends of Lulu Awards. [Occasional Superheroine]


Publishing | David Brothers talks to representatives from Dark Horse, Tokyopop and Vertical Inc. about the state of the manga industry in the United States, focusing on the economy, piracy and digital distribution. [Comics Alliance]

Retailing | Melissa Dex Guzman pens a tribute to Vancouver's The Comic Shop, which is moving locations, and to direct-market stores in general. [Beyond Robson]

Creators | Tony Harris is profiled by his hometown newspaper. [Macon Telegraph]

Creators | Brendan Wright talks at length with Stumptown artist Matthew Southworth about his theater background, his early comics work, and collaborating with Greg Rucka on the Oni Press series. [The Wright Opinion]


Creators | Mat Johnson and Simon Gane discuss their new Vertigo graphic novel Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story, which debuts this week. "When I first read the full script, I was gripped, moved, I laughed at points, and felt choked at others," Gane said. "I think I was most struck by Mat's dialogue and the chemistry between his characters and also how passionately he felt about those subjects -- that's inspirational to me as his collaborator." Gane walks through his process on the Vertigo blog; The Huffington Post has a preview. [News & Observer]

Creators | D.J. Kirkbride, editor of Popgun, Vol. 3, is briefly profiled. [The Columbus Dispatch]

Comics | Tom Spurgeon, with assistance from his readers, takes a first run 25 comics that were emblematic of the 1970s. [The Comics Reporter]

Comics | Joe Vince marks the end of Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, with a list of six reasons he would vote for Mitchell Hundred as mayor. [OC Weekly]

Comics | Steve Miller spotlights Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory, as it makes its initial moves toward television. [The Boston Phoenix]

Comic strips | Antonia Zerbisias rounds up feminist reactions to the end of Cathy Guisewite's 34-year-old comic strip Cathy. [Toronto Star]

Manga | A 12-year-old girl from Los Angeles was the millionth visitor to the Kyoto International Manga Museum in Japan, which opened in November 2006. [The Mainichi Daily News]

Pop culture | Eric McKean looks at the popularity of the Incredible Hulk persona -- DrunkHulk, LonelyHulk, BuddhistHulk, etcc. -- and "Hulkspeak" on Twitter: "Short simple structures, use of ellipsis, and nonstandard capitalization: These are the very same characteristics that researchers have found to be typical of text messages, making Hulk a great fit for Twitter’s 140-character limit." [The Boston Globe]

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