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

Publishing | Stanley Pignal takes a look at the transformation of the Tintin brand since the death of Hergé in 1983, as the cartoonist's widow Fanny Vlamynck and her husband Nick Rodwell drastically changed merchandising strategies. In the process, the prickly Rodwell has become a controversial figure, running afoul of fans and journalists alike in his effort to exert control over Tintin's image.

Of particular interest is a brief profile of Bob Garcia, a novelist and fan who published a series of books examining Hergé's possible inspirations for Tintin. Garcia believed he could legally reproduce a few copyrighted illustrations for the purpose of critique, but Moulinsart saw things differently: The writer is now fighting to keep his home as penalties and legal fees mount. [Financial Times]


Crime | Danny Wayne Barton, owner of Kryptonite Komics in Carbon Hill, Alabama, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly sold marijuana to police informants on four separate occasions. Three of those incidents reportedly occurred in Barton's shop, which also sells smoking devices as the Good Karma Store. The 38-year-old retailer faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison on four counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance within a three-mile radius of a school. [Daily Mountain Eagle]

Retailing | Tom Spurgeon talks at length with Brian Hibbs of Comix Experience about sales of alt comics, the challenges of opening a comic store, the digital model, ComicsPRO, Diamond and more. [The Comics Reporter]


Webcomics | Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Chris Onstad (Achewood) and Brad Guigar (Webcomics.com) discuss making a living through webcomics: "In good years, Onstad grosses around $250,000 in sales, though sales have been leaner in the past two recession years. He estimates having about 100,000 regular readers." [AOL Small Business]

Libraries | John Campanelli spotlights Ohio State University's Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum which, if all goes as planned, will move from its basement location to a $20.6 million home in a renovated Sullivant Hall in 2013. [The Plain Dealer]

Conventions | Luke Y. Thompson assesses the mood among professional attendees regarding a possible move by Comic-Con: "My sources invariably see it as a battle between San Diego and Los Angeles, with Anaheim an irrelevant factor, despite the fact that it has the most hotel space. First of all, it’s Disney’s backyard, which could put the other movie studios ill at ease (Glanzer denies that this would be an issue, saying that it was originally a question they had, but that all parties involved have assured him it would not be a problem). And secondly, it’s enough of a commute from L.A. to be an annoyance, and not quite enough to be a vacation (though fans and exhibitors who actually live in OC are for it, nobody else seems to be)." [Deadline]


Passings | Bruce Weber pens an obituary for Modesty Blaise creator Peter O'Donnell, who passed away on May 3. [The New York Times]

Creators | Douglas Wolk chats with Grant Morrison about Batman and Robin, the identity of Oberon Sexton and The Return of Bruce Wayne. [Techland]

Creators | This profile of television host Jonathan Ross divides its focus between his departure from the BBC and his move into comics with Turf, his Image collaboration with artist Tommy Lee Edwards: "Christ, it’s hard! But I’m really enjoying the nuts and bolts of the writing, which I didn’t think I would — I thought I’d just be thrilled at the sheer vanity of having my name on something with colours and pictures." [Times Online]

Creators | Artist Shane Davis is interviewed by his local newspaper. [Hickory Daily Record]

Comics | Tom Spurgeon talks with Ben Schwartz, editor of The Best American Comics Criticism. [The Comics Reporter]

Manga | Jason Thompson considers "five brilliantly perverted manga." [i09.com]

Comics | Ben Morse explains the appeal of Iron Man: "He’s basically a walking action figure, the type of concept that is like candy coated in crack to a kid, as you can go wild over his accessories and the fact that he’s got different suits for different occasions. I also think the idea of 'suit of armor' is just easier for people to wrap their head around than something like telepathy, a healing factor, freeze breath or even super speed (to say nothing of the really complex super powers)." [The Cool Kids Table]

Superman #5

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