Conventions | On the eve of the inaugural Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the Chicago Reader examines the escalating competition between convention owner Reed Exhibitions and longtime Chicago Comic Con organizer Wizard Entertainment: "It's but one battleground in a war the two powers are waging across the country — an epic struggle that some observers see as a contest between the forces of good and, well, not so good."
Writer Deanna Isaacs touches upon the rise of Wizard's Rosemont event to the second-largest comics convention in North America, and its more recent decline. She quotes a couple of local retailers who have become "disenchanted" with the show. But Wizard CEO Gareb Shamus shrugs off the complaints: "Everybody's going to tell you this or that. You're talking about one person. We have 1,000 vendors at our show in Chicago, and they make a lot of money."
The Daily Herald interviews C2E2 show-runner Lance Fensterman, who says he expects between 35,000 and 40,000 attendees this weekend. The Chicago Tribune, meanwhile, offers its own preview, with eight "must-see" convention events, and brief Q&As with Alex Ross and Jeff Smith. [C2E2]
Digital comics | Mark Fiore, who earlier this week became the first editorial cartoonist to win the Pulitzer Prize exclusively for animated work, had his iPhone app rejected in December. Apple told Fiore that his NewsToons app, with its Flash-animated political satire, "contains content that ridicules public figures," a violation of its iPhone Developer Program License Agreement.
As Laura McGann notes in her article, Fiore isn't the first cartoonist to have difficulties with Apple: The Bobble Rep app, which uses caricatures by Tom Richmond, and Daryl Cagle both initially were rejected by Apple on the same grounds. [Nieman Journalism Labs, via Romenesko]
Digital comics | Brian Heater considers what Apple's iPad could mean to independent comics. [The Daily Cross Hatch]
Publishing | Tom Spurgeon, Sean T. Collins and Alan David Doane comment on March's comics-price milestone as, for the first time, more comics in Diamond's Top 300 were priced at $3.99 than at $2.99. [The Comics Reporter, Attentiondeficitdisorderly, Trouble with Comics]
Conventions | Rob Clough and Frank Santoro file reports from the MoCCA Festival, while Graphic NYC and Indie Spinner Rack team up for audio, transcript and photos from the panel "The Art of the Superhero: When Singular Vision Meets Popular Mythology." [MoCCA Festival]
Conventions | A writer with Suffolk University's student newspaper offers a dreary assessment of last weekend's Boston Comic Con. [The Suffolk Voice]
Creators | Keith Phipps chats briefly with Mark Millar about Kick-Ass, creating his own properties, and his "knack for writing troubled, sensitive teens": "The funny thing, actually, is that it seems to have become a little thing, like the way Stephen King always writes about writers from Maine. I think it’s totally a lack of imagination on my part. When I stop and look back, I think, 'Shit, I’ve just done the same thing each time.' [Laughs.] People say 'Write what you know.' And I suppose at that age, I was a kid obsessed with comic books. I just wrote from the heart, I suppose, what things were like for me at that point. I mean, Kick-Ass in particular is massively autobiographical, right down to things like Dave’s mom dying at the same age my mom died. Same name, same reason, all this kind of stuff. I didn’t even plan it out like that, I just found it pouring out once I was starting to write it. So yeah, I suppose I have to think up some new themes for new work." [The A.V. Club]
Creators | Brian Truitt spotlights writer Larry Hama, who returns to the G.I. Joe franchise with a Free Comic Book Day issue and ongoing series from IDW Publishing: "It's like coming home again. It's comfortable and it's like, hey, I know these guys. I don't have to do tons of research and read tons of back issues." [USA Today]
Creators | Matthew Meylikhov posts a video interview with artist Cameron Stewart from last weekend's Boston Comic Con. [Multiversity Comics]
Education | A spotlight on Stanford University's English 190G, known as "The Graphic Novel Class." [The Stanford Daily]